A cross-cultural analysis of disagreement strategies in Algerian and Jordanian Arabic

  • Nour El Houda Benyakoub University of Jordan
  • Sharif Alghazo University of Jordan
  • Abdel Rahman Mitib Altakhaineh University of Jordan
  • Ghaleb Rabab’ah University of Jordan


This study aims to explore the use of disagreement strategies in two Arabic dialects: Jordanian and Algerian Arabic. It also investigates the effect of social status on the choice of disagreement strategies adopting Muntigl’s and Turnbull’s (1998) taxonomy. To achieve these objectives, 40 participants (20 Jordanians and 20 Algerians) were randomly recruited to respond to a discourse completion task (DCT). The participants were requested to read six situations and to react to them by making disagreements with people of higher, equal and lower statuses. A mixed-method approach was used to analyse the data. The results showed that the participants in the two study groups share similar preferences in the use of two main disagreement strategies that scored the highest in High to Low, Low to High, and in Equal statuses. The findings are discussed in the light of (im)politeness and provide implications for socio-pragmatic research in Arabic linguistics.


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Author Biographies

Nour El Houda Benyakoub, University of Jordan

Nour El Houda Benyakoub is a PhD candidate of Linguistics at the University of Jordan, Amman. She is working on the study of metadiscourse and can be reached at: nounaben401@yahoo.fr

Sharif Alghazo, University of Jordan

Sharif Alghazo is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Jordan and in the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Sharjah, UAE. His research has appeared in journals such as System, Journal of Politeness Research, Heliyon, Sage Open, Ampersand, Interchange, Lingue e Linguaggio, and Open Linguistics. He can be reached at: s.alghazo@ju.edu.jo

Abdel Rahman Mitib Altakhaineh, University of Jordan

Abdel Rahman Mitib Altakhaineh is an Assistant Professor of English language and linguistics at The University of Jordan, Amman. He obtained his PhD in linguistics from Newcastle University, UK. His research interests lie in the areas of morphology, lexical semantics, morphosyntax, and psycholinguistics. He has published research papers in several journals, including: Studia Linguistica, Lingua, Acta Linguistica Hungarica, Topics in Linguistics, Metaphor and the Social World, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Research in Language, Applied Linguistics Review, Linguistics Vanguard, Quality in Higher Education and Sage Open. He can be reached at: a.altakhaineh@ju.edu.jo

Ghaleb Rabab’ah, University of Jordan

Ghaleb Rabab’ah is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Jordan and the University of Sharjah. He has published many papers in discourse analysis, pragmatics, and translation in international journals, such as the Journal of Pragmatics, Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Journal of Politeness Research, and Research in Language. He supervised and examined many MA theses and Ph.D. dissertations. He can be reached at: ghaleb.rababah@ju.edu.jo or grababah@sharjah.ac.ae