Speech Act Apologies


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Speech Act Apologies

  1. 1. An English saying goes "Sorry is the hardest word". This is not because it is hard to pronounce or spell, but because you have to admit that you have done something wrong.
  2. 2. Speech Act ---Apologies 97426026 Dolphin Lin
  3. 3. Reasons for using apologies <ul><li>To say that they are sorry </li></ul><ul><li>To explain why the offense happened </li></ul><ul><li>To make a repair for the offense and maintain a good relationship with the addressee </li></ul>
  4. 4. Five possible strategies for making an apology (Cohen & Olshtain,1981) <ul><li>1. An expression of an apology. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Acknowledgement of responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>3. An explanation or account. </li></ul><ul><li>4. An offer of repair. </li></ul><ul><li>5. A promise of non-recurrence. </li></ul>
  5. 5. An expression of an apology <ul><li>Verb----“sorry”, “excuse”, “forgive”, </li></ul><ul><li>“apologize” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I am sorry that I was late&quot; . </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;We apologize for the delay in answering your call.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Intensifier---- “really”, “very” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I'm really very sorry.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Interjection---- “Oh!”, “Oops” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Acknowledge of responsibility <ul><li>The offender recognizes his/her fault in causing the infraction. </li></ul><ul><li>The degree of recognition on the part of the </li></ul><ul><li>apologizer: </li></ul>Acceptance of the blame Express self-deficiency Expression of lack of intent Implicit expression of responsibility Not accept the blame at all
  7. 7. An explanation or account <ul><li>The speaker describes the situation which caused him/her to commit the offense. </li></ul><ul><li>Explanation is used by the speaker as an indirect way of apologizing. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The bus was late.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My clock doesn’t work.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. An offer of repair <ul><li>The apologizer makes a bid to carry out an action or provide payment for some kind of damage resulting from his/ her infraction. </li></ul><ul><li>“ How can I make it up to you- why don’t I buy you </li></ul><ul><li>lunch on Friday?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Would you be willing to reschedule the meeting?” </li></ul>
  9. 9. A promise of non-recurrence <ul><li>The apologizer commits him/herself to not having the offense happen again. </li></ul><ul><li>“ It won’t happen again!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I will never be late again!” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Factors that may affect how you would deliver an apology : <ul><li>Your familiarity with the person being apologized to </li></ul><ul><li>The intensity of the act </li></ul><ul><li>The relative authority that each of you has </li></ul><ul><li>Your relative ages </li></ul><ul><li>Your sex and that of the other person </li></ul><ul><li>The place where the exchange take place </li></ul>
  11. 11. Apologizer by relative distance of recipient
  12. 12. Apologizer by relative power of recipient
  13. 13. Sex Differences and Apologies (Janet Holmes,1989) <ul><li>Apologies analyzed according to sex of participants </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis of apology strategies according to apologizer sex </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction of apologizer sex with offence type </li></ul><ul><li>Sex of responder by response strategy </li></ul>
  14. 14. Apologies analyzed according to sex of participants
  15. 15. Analysis of apology strategies according to apologizer sex Apologizer Sex Female % Male % 2.5 1.4 E. A promise of non-recurrence 6.2 5.1 D. An offer of repair/ redress 21.0 23.4 C. Explanation or account 11.1 8.4 B. Acknowledgement of responsibility 21.0 61.7 A. Explicit expression of apology Apology Strategy
  16. 16. Interaction of apologizer sex with offence type 4.3 2.2 6.Social gaffe (e.g. burping) 13.0 10.5 5.Possessions (e.g. damaging V’s pen) 21.7 11.9 4.Time (e.g. keeping V waiting) 13.0 17.9 3.Talk (e.g. interrupting V) 8.7 19.4 2.Space (e.g. bumping into V) 39.1 38.1 1.Inconvenience (e.g. inadequate goods or services) Apologizer Sex Female % Male % Offence Type
  17. 17. Sex of responder by response strategy 2.1 5.4 F. Other 14.9 12.4 E. No response provided 25.5 21.7 D. Evade (e.g. Let’s make another time) 19.1 11.6 C. Reject (e.g. Marked silence) 10.6 10.9 B. Acknowledge (e.g. OK, but..) 27.7 38.0 A. Accept (e.g. That’s ok) Responder Sex Female % Male % Response Strategy
  18. 18. Edison’s Apology <ul><li>AFTER sinking the Hong Kong entertainment world into its worst scandal ever, singer and actor Edison Chen finally came out to issue an apology on Saturday, Feb 9, through a video released by his lawyer. </li></ul><ul><li>Edison Chen made a final public apology on Feb 21. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Exercise <ul><li>Comparing the last Edison’s apology with the previous one, which do you think is more acceptable? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Would it help if Edison cried when apologizing? Why or why not? </li></ul><ul><li>Why Edison apologized in English other than his own language--- Cantonese ? In other words, what might be the function of using English language to apologize? </li></ul>