A Pragmatic Analysis of Requests in Irish English and Russian
This study focuses on contrastive pragmatics in the realization of the speech act of requests in Irish English and Russian in conversational and institutional settings. A quali-quantitative analysis was conducted to investigate how each language differs in realizing requests in each setting and to identify commonalities and differences between them. An original ten-question written discourse completion task (WDCT) was completed by 30 Irish English and 30 Russian native speakers, which generated data of 600 responses. Five units of analysis were coded, and descriptive statistics were used for comparison. Additionally, paradigms concerning politeness theories were used to explain marked differences between the request strategies of the test groups. Overall, the results indicated that Russian speakers make a clear distinction between conversational and institutional settings whereas Irish English speakers generally do not. In addition, high levels of social informality were evidenced by the Irish English speakers across settings while Russian speakers tended to enact identity in line with the context.