Refusal strategies used by Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan
This study investigates the use and linguistic properties of refusal strategies by Jordanians and Syrian refugees in Jordan. To achieve this objective, a Discourse Completion Test (DCT), consisting of 10 situations: three requests, three offers, two invitations, and two suggestions was used. The participants were 40 (20 male and 20 female) Jordanians and 40 (20 male and 20 female) Syrian refugees in Jordan. The mixed-method data analysis resulted in a total of 1351 refusals: 719 Jordanian refusals and 632 Syrian refugees’ refusals. The refusals were classified by semantic formulas, directness (a dimension of communication style), and frequency of semantic formulas. The results show that the two groups utilize different semantic formulas with different frequencies when making their refusals. The two groups used a different number of direct and indirect formulas. Although the two groups belong to the Arabic culture, the differences were significant. One main difference is that Jordanians’ refusals were more direct and were often expressed as negative willingness, while the Syrian refugees’ refusals were less direct, providing an explanation of their refusals. The results also indicate that gender is a significant variable where females in the two samples tended to respond with lengthy responses when making their refusals, employing at least three refusal strategies.