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Abdelmalek Essaadi University

Faculty of Letters and Humanities


Department of English Studies
Tetouan.

Speech Acts in Moroccan Arabic:


« The case of “thanks” and “apologies” »

Prepared by Supervised by

OUMAMA MESTOR Prof. ROUCHDI RAJAA

Registration number: 41400305


Option: Linguistics

Academic Year
2017-2018

Monograph submitted to the Department of English Language and Literature at


Abdelmalek Essaadi University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the BA
Degree in English Language and Literature.
Table of Contents
Dedication

Acknowledgments

Key to phonetic symbols

Introduction …….………………………………………………………………………….... 1

I- Speech Act Theory …………………………………………….……………....... 2

1.1.Defining speech acts ………………………………………….……………….. 2

1.2.Austin’s Perspectives ………………………………………………………….. 3

1.3.Searle’s Perspectives ……………………………………………………....….. 5

1.4.Speech act of thanking ……………………………………………….……..….7

1.5.Speech act of apologizing ………………………………………………....…...8

II- Speech Act of Thanking in Moroccan Arabic………………………...….…... 10

Methodology………………………………………………………………..........10

2.1. Strategies of thanking ………………………………………………….…… 11

2.2. The function of thanking……………………………………………………. 18

2.3. The context of use ………………………………………………………..… 19

2.3.1. Workplace……………………………………………………...…… 19

3.2.1.1. Gender ……………………………………………………….. 19

3.2.1.2. Gender and age ………………………………………………. 21

2.3.2. With friends and family…………………………………………….. 22

2.3.2.1. Gender……………………………………………………. ...22

2.3.2.2. Gender and age………………………………………….…..24


2.4. The responses to “thank you” expressions ……………………...………… 25

III- Speech Act of Apologizing in Moroccan Arabic…………………….………... 27

3.1. Apology forms…………………………………………………………...…...27

3.2. The function of apology…………………………………………………....…30

3.3. The context of use …………………………………………………….…..…31

3.3.1. Workplace………………………………………………………...… 31

3.3.1.1. Gender …………………………………………….………..…31

3.3.1.2. Gender and age ……………………….……………………….33

3.3.2. With friends and family……….………………………...……..…… 35

3.3.2.1. Gender…………….………………………….………..…….35

3.3.2.2. Gender and age………………….……………….…..……..36

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….…….…….37

Bibliography…………………………………………………………….….…………..……38

Appendices …...…..…………..………….…………………………………………....……..39

Appendix A………………………………………………………………...…….……39

Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………40
To my beloved mother and father,
To my dear brother,
To my beautiful sisters,
To my only close friend,
This work is dedicated to you.

Thank you all!


Acknowledgments

I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to my supervisor, Professor

Rouchdi Rajaa. I am deeply thankful to her guidance, constructive comments, and valuable

support throughout this work. Her understanding and encouragement have provided a good

basis for the present study.

I owe my loving thanks to my parents for their constant prayers and support as I studied

to complete my B.A.

I wish to extend my gratitude to my dear friend Mouad who has encouraged and helped

me directly and indirectly. I greatly appreciate his comments and counsel while undertaking

this research.

My warmest thanks to my sisters and brother for their unconditional love, care and

patience and support during my study in Tetouan.


Key to Phonetic Symbols

IPA Symbol Arabic Symbol

aə ‫أ‬
b ‫ب‬
t ‫ت‬
θ ‫ث‬
ʒ ‫ج‬
ħ ‫ح‬
x ‫خ‬
d ‫د‬
Ð ‫ذ‬
r ‫ر‬
z ‫ز‬
s ‫س‬
ʃ ‫ش‬
sˤ ‫ص‬
d̪ˤ ‫ض‬
t̪ ˤ ‫ط‬
ðˤ ‫ظ‬
ʕ ‫ع‬
Ɣ ‫غ‬
f ‫ف‬
q ‫ق‬
k ‫ك‬
L ‫ل‬
m ‫م‬
n ‫ن‬
h ‫ه‬
w ‫و‬
J ‫ي‬
ʔ ‫ء‬
Introduction

The speech act of thanking and apologizing, in varied permutations and contexts, are

probably the most common speech acts in the daily life of every culture, In Morocco, thanking

and apologizing behavior has significant social value. The failure to express apology or thanks

may affect the relationship between the interlocutors. In fact, apologizing and thanking are like

any other speech act that people perform and one way of maintaining politeness and gratitude

to the hearer.

In part I, I introduce the key theoretical concepts that the study is based on, and

to provide an overview of previous perspectives that has been carried out on apologizing and

thanking.

In part II, I investigate the speech act of thanking in Moroccan Arabic and the strategies

employed by Moroccans. My investigation examines gratitude expressions produced by

Moroccans in three situations: thanking for a favor, thanking for a meal, and thanking for a

compliment. Also, I focus on five functions of thanking, acknowledging the favor, responding

to a compliment or congratulations, refusing/accepting an offer and making the hearer feel

better. Moreover, I give importance to the context of use which determines the use of thanking

strategies according to two factor: age and gender.

In part III, I present the speech act of apologizing in Moroccan Arabic and the use of

apology forms that are employed by Moroccans. My study examines apology forms produced

by Moroccans in three situations: apologizing for breaking someone’s cellphone, apologizing

for being late to a meeting and apologizing for forgetting something. Moreover, I focus on the

context of use which plays a crucial role in the use of apology forms depending on the age and

gender.

1
I- Speech Act Theory

1.1.Defining speech acts

Speech Act Theory (henceforth SAT) is based on two main assumptions. The first one,

is to differentiate between the utterance’s meaning and the way the utterance is used. The

second one is how utterances are transformed into acts. An utterance is a verbal production of

a unit of speech that can – but does not necessarily– correspond to a complete meaningful

sentence. Leech (1983) defined utterance as followed:

The word utterance . . . can refer to the product of a verbal act, rather than to

the verbal act itself. For instance, the words would you please be quiet? Spoken

with a polite rising intonation, might be described as a sentence, or as

a question, or as a request. However, it is convenient to reserve terms

like sentence and question for grammatical entities derived from the language

system, and to reserve the term utterance for instances of such entities,

identified by their use in a particular situation.(Leech, 1983:14)

A distinction has to be made between utterance and sentence .Not every sentence is an

utterance, yet an utterance can be a sentence.

An utterance may consist of single words, phrases, clauses. It is marked by a pause,

identified by the speaker, and requires a respond from the hearer. In contrast, the term

sentence which we use for units that consist of at least one main clause, is marked by

punctuation, capital letters and full stops in writing. An act is the behavior that someone does

or performs. The consideration of utterances as acts indicates that producing words or

sentences is equivalent to performing them. Hence, sentences are not just used to state things

but rather actively do things, this has been manifested in J .L .Austin‘s theory of speech act in

1962.

2
Speech acts are utterances that have performative function such as promising,

warning, threatening, greeting ...etc. For instance, when someone says “I promise to be on

time“, this utterance is not considered just as a statement said by an agent, but a kind of act is

done through this statement which is promising; the speaker is making a promise to the hearer

rather than making an assertion about anything.

1.2.Austin’s Perspectives

The origins of SAT must be derived back from 1940s and to the Oxford British

philosopher of language J. L .Austin who is best known for developing the idea of speech act

theory. Austin gave much of his attention to two types of utterances. Constative and

performative utterances. Constatives are sentences that constitute the description of something

as true or false. Performatives are sentences that denote an action.

In other word, constative” is” something and performative” does” something. Most of

performative sentences have performative verbs such as warn, promise, apologize, command,

order...etc. Yet, some performatives do not use performative verbs. For instance, “don’t do

that!” is an utterance which may be considered as warning or order, however, it does not

contain a performative verb. To help us distinguish between performatives and constatives

utterances, take these two examples: «the weather is hot», «I announce you to be husband and

wife». The two are declarative sentences that inform us about something. Yet, in the first

example, we notice that it is a sentence which might be either true or false. Nonetheless, if the

sky is very cloudy and it is quite chilly, this sentence is a false constative; it has been proven

to be incorrect. Whereas in the second example, the sentence is generating an action. It is

clear that after this sentence is uttered two persons are going to be married.

Austin believes that words not only bring about action, sometimes words themselves

are actions. This is known as speech acts. SAT assumes that speakers simultaneously involved

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in three different speech acts, mainly, (1) locutionary act, (2) illocutionary act, and (3)

perlocutionary act.

Firstly, the locutionary act or locution is the act of saying something. According to

Austin (1962) saying something is:

➢ To perform the phonetic act of uttering certain sounds;

➢ To perform the phatic act of uttering certain sounds of certain types,

conforming to certain rules (certain words, in a certain construction, with a

certain

intonation);

➢ To perform the rhetic act of using the word uttered with a certain meaning.

(Austin, 1962: 92-93)

Secondly, the illocutionary act or illocution is what is meant by an utterance, i.e. what a

speaker does by uttering a sentence ,such as threatening, promising, warning, ordering,

requesting, apologizing, thanking, … etc. The intended effect of such an utterance used to

perform a certain illocutionary act is known as illocutionary force, i.e. how the emphasis is

placed on the way in which a speaker has used his utterance. In other words, the focus is on

the act he has performed in saying what he said. That is, if a speaker asks “would you please

cook the dinner today?” coughing and in a slow tone of voice, his intent may be, in fact, to

make the hearer realize that he is sick, and that he won’t be able to make dinner today. Thus,

the illocutionary force of the speaker’s utterance is not to make the hearer cook dinner, but to

inform him that he is sick today. Most illocutionary acts are implicit or primary, i.e. they lack

performative verbs. On the contrary, an illocutionary act is explicit if the utterance contains a

performative verb. We can easily make a primary act explicit by adding the performative

verb.This utterance “bring me the book”, apparently, lacks a performative verb, so it is

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implicit. Alternatively, the speaker can say “I order you to bring me the book”. In that case,

we make the implicit act explicit by adding the verb “order”.

Thirdly, the perlocutionary act or perlocution is referred to as the effect of the

utterance on the hearer. To distinguish the three acts, we need to have a clear example as

follows: “I advise him to sleep early”. In terms of locutionary act, the speaker refers to the

hearer by “him” and meaning by “advise” to give advice. In term of illocutionary act, the

speaker of this utterance is doing the act of advising. Turning to perlocutionary act, after the

speaker utters this sentence the hearer tries to sleep early that night, because he was advised to

do so. Therefore, the action of sleeping early is considered as a feedback from the hearer after

the speaker said his utterance.

Austin pointed out that all illocutionary acts have to follow certain conventions

referred to as felicity conditions. Felicity conditions are needed to determine whether the

illocutionary act is performed successfully or not, i.e. the illocution can be either a felicitous

or an infelicitous act. There has to be an accepted procedures to perform the act such as the

right person and the right place. To illustrate, in court when the judge says “I sentence you to

ten years jail”, the condemned will be in jail for ten years because the act is performed in the

right place which is the court and by the judge who is the right person to perform this act. But,

if someone who is not a judge says “I sentence the suspect to 5 months jail”, the condemned

will not be sentenced to 5 months jail because the speaker is not the right person to perform

this act. Therefore, the act is considered as an infelicitous act.

1.3.Searle’s perspectives

A great contribution to SAT is to be found in the work conducted by John Rogers

Searle. J.R.Searle composites his ideas from many linguists including J.L.Austin. Searle

(1969) strongly confirmed the idea of SAT, and he emphasizes the importance of the

illocutionary acts. As he mentioned “… speaking a language is a manner to performing

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speech acts according to systems of constitutive rules” (Searle, 1969: 38). The goal of his

studies was to see the sentence as produced by an agent with certain intentions. Searle agreed

with Austin’s idea of felicity conditions and sets four essential conditions for performing

illocutionary acts.

There are:

1- Essential conditions, that reveal which kind of illocutionary act the sentence expresses.

2- Propositional content conditions that specify what kind of propositional

content the speech act is to have.

3- Preparatory conditions, which determine the contextual requirement of the

illocutionary act.

4- Sincerity conditions, which define the psychological state of the speaker when

expressing the act. (Searle, 1969: 54-65)

The satisfaction of these four conditions together gives a felicitous act, i.e. an appropriate act.

Take this example to demonstrate more Searle’s felicity conditions: “I want to pay the bill,

unfortunately, I don’t have the money”. The propositional content is that the speaker refuses

to pay the bill; the essential condition has to do with the fact that the speaker gets the hearer to

pay the bill; the sincerity condition is that the speaker is honest he really doesn’t have the

money to pay the bill; the preparatory condition is that the hearer might be the one who pays

the bill most of the time so the speaker gets used to it. Some utterances do not obey the four

conditions “In the utterance “Hello”, there is no propositional content and no sincerity

conditions”. (Searle, 1969:64).

Searle (1975) suggested that all speech acts can be classified into five main categories.

(1) Representatives are speech acts that represent the truth of an expressed proposition, such

as asserting, stating, suggesting, describing…etc.

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(2) Commisives get the speaker to do an action in the future such as promising, threatening,

warning, pledging…etc.

(3) Directives involve the hearer to do something such as advising, requesting, inviting,

commanding…etc.

(4) Declarations make an immediate change in the state of affair, such as declaring,

sentencing, arresting, resigning…etc.

(5) Expressives express a psychological state such as apologizing, congratulating,

complaining, thanking…etc.

1.4.The Speech Act of Thanking

Thanking/expressing gratitude is a speech act we perform in our daily life in countless

ways. Searle wrote “expressing gratitude is classified as an expressive speech act on the part

of the speaker, to the hearer who’s past or future act benefits the speaker.” (1975:12).As we

have seen before, Searle categorizes thanking as an expressive act that expresses the

emotional state of the speaker towards the hearer’s past attitude. Most of the time people

consider thanks as a respond to a favor that is done from a previous act of the interlocutor.

However, thanking can have other functional characteristics. The speech act of thanking may

be used, for instance, after receiving a compliment:

1- A: “You looked great the other day!”


B: “Oh! Thank you”

Here, speaker A tries to compliment hearer B, so thanks in this situation is used after a

compliment is received.

2- A: “Can you open the door?”


B: “Yes sure!”
A: “Thanks!”

Here, thanking is used after the hearer did the favor of opening the door

3- A: “How are you doing today?”


B: “I am good, thank you!”

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In this example, we notice that the hearer was asked about his wellbeing so, the SA of

thanking has a different function that is not really thanking but a polite respond from the

hearer ,it shows the hearer’s good ethics.

In short, as we mentioned before, thanking may be used not just in cases like after a

favor or a service is done from someone; it is used in many other situations and contexts

depending on the moral principles or the politeness of the person who carries out the act of

thanking.

Coulmas (1981) states that SA of thanking – as well as apologizing– may be studied as

a pragmatic universal, to the point that every language has a certain type of conventional

device to perform such an act :

Apologies and thanks are strategic devices whose most important function is to

balance politeness relations between interlocutors. It has been convincingly

argued by R. Lakoff (1973) among others that politeness is a universal

linguistic variable. As regards apologies and thanks, it seems to be a reasonable

assumption that they exist as generic speech acts in every speech community. I

would even go so far as to venture the hypothesis that every language provides

a stock of conventionalized means for fulfilling these functions (Coulmas

1981: 81).

1.5. The Speech Act of Apologizing

In general, humans need to express regret over offensive acts, in order to preserve a

good relationship with other people. An English quote says “sorry is the hardest word”. This

is not because the word sorry is hard to pronounce or spell, but because it has to be said after

the speaker has done something wrong and to make a repair for the offense, also to maintain a

good relationship with the hearer.

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Searle (1969) classified apology as an expressive act which involves IFID1, i.e. it is

either considered as a reference to an illocutionary force made with the utterance or that

constitutes the performance of a certain illocutionary act. Sometimes, we find that more

speech acts can be involved in the act (e.g.: I am sorry = expressive, this won’t happen again

= commisive). This supports the idea that speech acts can be stimulated sequentially within a

single speech event2 .This was the reason why the traditional model has been drawn out to

take into consideration not only speech acts but speech acts sets as well. Speech act set is an

idea stated by Cohen, A. D & Olshtain, E. (1981); they found that an apology can have more

than one component and each one of them can be a speech act on its own:

Sets Forms

An apology I am sorry / I do apologize …

Acknowledgment of responsibility It was my fault/ I did a big mistake …

An offer to compensate I’ll replace that / I can fix the problem …

A promise of forbearance It won’t happen again/ I promise not to do


this again …
Table 1: The model of apology as a speech act set (Cohen, A. D. and E. Olshtain. 1981)

Overall, we can say that apologizing as speech act can be used not just to state

“sorry” cases, but it may contain other elements as noted in the table above. Also, is

considerably important to make a distinction between the speech act of apology and the

speech act set of apology that can have several functions rather than express apology. For

instance, when a speaker says, “I am sorry”, he seems to perform SA of apology by

apologizing for a mistake he has done before. Yet, when “sorry” is replaced with other

expressions like “I’ll fix that” or “I promise this will not happen again” the speaker is not just

trying to be sorry but rather offers a promise of forbearance or to give an offer to compensate.

1
IFID (i.e. Illocutionary Force Indication Device): An illocutionary force indicating device is any linguistic element that
indicates or delimits the illocutionary force of an utterance, such as word order, mood...etc. (see more information and
examples in www.glossary.sil.org)
2 Speech Events: All social activities, in which language plays an important role ( more information in www.ello.uos.de)

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II- The Speech Act of Thanking in Moroccan Arabic

One of the most common speech acts in the daily life of every culture is thanking.

Speech act of thanks is diversified in different roles, expressions, functions and contexts,

depending on the social conventions and language. In Moroccan Arabic, thanking behavior

has a very important social value. The failure to express and use expressions of gratitude can

affect the relationship between the interlocutors. This is the reason why the importance of

thanking is given a significant position according to the social norms of the Moroccan culture.

In this chapter, I focus on the strategies that Moroccan Arabic speakers employ in their

speech while performing the act of thanking, on the way they use thanking expressions in

some specific contexts in relation to different factors, and on the functions of thanking

expressions. These expressions are categorized depending of the conditions and situations of

use. I give much attention to the context of use that has a crucial role in determining which

kind of thanking expression is used in which situation. Two different contexts are analyzed.

The first one is the use of thanking in the workplace, and the second one is the way thanking

is expressed with friends and family. Moreover, I take into consideration aspects of age and

gender that may affect the use of thanking. MA3 speakers often respond to “thank you”

expressions in so many ways, which are regulated by different circumstances.

Methodology

The present study aims to give an insight into the speech act of thanking and

apologizing in Moroccan Arabic. More specifically, it is a quantitative analysis of the

different strategies employed by Moroccans to apologize/thank.

The most common method of data collection in studying verbal behavior is called the

Discourse Completion Task (DCT). Participants are provided with a written questionnaire that

consists of different social situations in which the participants are expected to express their

3
MA stands for Moroccan Arabic

10
gratitude/apology. Data of the present study were collected from 70 informants. The

participants were high school students, college students, educated and uneducated mothers,

educated and uneducated fathers, and workers. They were given a questionnaire that consist

of nine questions; four questions were related to apologizing and five questions were related

to thanking and responses to it.

I faced some difficulties and obstacles during data collection. First, some young

participants did not take the questionnaire seriously they state some weird answers. Second,

some adult participants were hardly convinced to fill in the questionnaire they preferred to

answer orally, so I was obliged to be the one who write their answers literally. Besides, some

participants, especially those who are workers, did not find time for answering the

questionnaire, so their answers were analyzed last.

2.1. Strategies of thanking expressions

In everyday informal encounters, we can employ a variety of expressions to say thanks.

However, thanking varies depending on the culture and the language. Al-Zubaidi (2012), in

his study “Expressions of gratitude in American English and Iraqi Arabic”, claimed that

people often express thanks via eight different strategies that are determined by the context

where they tend to express gratitude. The following table states the eight strategies used to

express gratitude according to Al-Zubaidi (2012)

Table 2: Strategies of Gratitude Expression (Al-Zubaidi 2012, p. 102)

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Thanking Complimenting Expressing Apologizing Acknowledging Reciprocating Expressing Alerting

benediction the imposition intimacy

To determine which strategy a speaker of MA dialect in the north uses, we must first

investigate the context and situation where it is performed. For instance after a speaker offers

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a meal to the hearer, the hearer automatically expresses his/her gratitude and says /lah ykəttar

xirək / (may God provide you with more), or /ʃukran ,nrodalək f ʃi saʕa dəl xir inʃa allah/

(thank you, next time I will do the same for you, god willing). In Morocco, people often

express their gratitude implicitly by uttering religious formulae that show the degree of their

grateful. The following figure shows the strategies and expressions used by MA speakers:

Figure 1: Gratitude Strategies in MA

Gratitude Strategies in MA

Explicit Implicit

Bald thanking Non-verbal Religious formulae Apology Other formulas


Communication

/rəbbi jxalli:k/ /smahly/ /deronʒitək mʕaja/


/ʃukran / (Thank you) Eye gaze.
(May God preserve you) (Sorry) (I may have
/shukran akhay/khti/ A head nod. bothered you)
/lah jtawəllək fəl ʕmar/ /lʕafʷ/
(Thank you) A gentle pat on the (May God give you long (Excuse me)
shoulder. /matʕadəbti rasək/
life)
/shukran bzaf/ (Don’t bother
(Thanks a lot) A smile. yourself)
lah ykəttʌr xajrək
(May God give you more) /nrodalek f ʃi saʕa
axra/
/lah jʕtik lxi:r/
(I will do the same
(May God give you good
next time)
things)
/ma xallitili ma
/lah jʕtik ma tmnniti/
nqol/
(May god give you what
(You left me
you wish for)
speechless)
/allah jʒazi:k/
/makanʃi ʕlik tkləf
(May god reward you)
rasək/
(It wasn’t
/lah jərħam lwalidi:n/
necessary)
(May god put his mercy on
your parent)

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In Morocco, The use of every strategy depends on the context. For instance, thanking for

a favor like opening the door or passing the salt is not like helping in something that is not

that simple. Have a look at these examples:

Example 1 Example 2
Context: at the garden Context: In the office.
A: /xajllah ila ma tʔawənni f had kratən A: /tqdar tjibli dək dwasa? / (Can you
tqalin bzaf/ (Can you please help me with bring me those files?)
these boxes they are so heavy) B: (gives the files to A)
B: /alla:h ja wəddi ara məkəlli nʕawnək/
A: (Smiles), /ʃukran bzaf/ (Thanks a lot)
(Sure! Let me give you a hand)
A: /Ɣadi nʕadbək mʕaja waqila, smaħli a xaj
lah jrħam lwalidin / (I may bother you with
me! Sorry brother, may God put his mercy on
your parent)

In the first example, the hearer implicitly thanks the speaker for accepting to help him

pick up the heavy boxes which is not an easy thing to do. Because A knows how hard it is to

pick those heavy boxes up, he tries to ask for help. The speaker expresses thanks by stating

expressions of both benediction and acknowledging the imposition /Ɣadi nʕadbək mʕaja

waqila, smaħli a xaj lah jrħam lwalidin / (I may bother you with me! Sorry brother, may God

have mercy on your parent). In example 2, the speaker just uses a bald thank because B has

not done anything tiring or hard to satisfy the hearer. This shows that the use of strategies to

express gratitude relies on the effort that has been done when it comes to doing a favor.

Moroccans believe that people do not have to help each other in something, so they know that

it is a great pleasure and a big favor when others accept a request for help easily, and

sometimes people help each other without even being asked .People like to help eachother

when they know that the task is difficult or hard. As a result, they tend to use expressions like

/lah jrħam lwalidin/ (may God have mercy upon your parents), and /Ɣadi nʕadbək mʕaja/ (I

may bother you) or /smaħli/ (sorry) after a favor which requires great effort is done,

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expressions like /ʃurkan/ (thanks) with a smile when the favor does not require great effort,

and when it is simple and easy to do it.

Compared to Al-Zubaidi’s (2012) strategies of expressing gratitude (table 1), Moroccans

use such strategies like apologizing and expressing benediction more than the others, which

correspond to the context of use, for instance, the strategies used when thanking for a meal

are not like thanking for a favor. The following table reveals how MA speakers express

gratitude after a favor and which strategies they prefer to employ.

Table 3: The Distribution of Strategies of Expressing Gratitude for Thanking for a favor

Strategies of Gratitude Expression Expressions Number of %


people
1. Thanking /ʃukran /(Thank you) 7 10
/ ʃu:kran bza:f/ (Thanks a lot)…
/ʕajnək li mziwnin/ (You have 6 8.5
beautiful eyes),/tatina ʒiti
2. Complimenting katħammaq/ (You look
gorgeous too),/hadʃi kan ldi:d
bza:f/ (It was delicious) …
3. Expressing benediction /rəbbi jxalli:k / (May God 11 15.7
preserve you), /lah jərħam
waldi:k/ (May God have mercy
upon you parent),/lah jkəttar
xajrək/ (May God give you
more), /allah jʒazik/ (God will
reward you) …
4. Apologizing /smaħli/ (Sorry) 14 20
5. Acknowledging the imposition /matʕaddəbʃi rasək/ (Don’t 10 14.2
bother yourself), /makanʃi ʕlik
tkəlləf ʕla rasək/ (It was not
necessary), /ʕlaʃ ʕaddəbti rasək
mʕaja/(Why did you bother
yourself?) /taqqalt ʕlik
waqila/(I may have been a
burden on you)…

6. Reciprocating /nruddalək f ʃi saʕa dəl xir 7 10


inʃaʔallah/ (If God is willing I
will turn it back to you at any
happy occasion), / marra li
maʒa Ɣadi nrudduhalək
inʃaʔallah/ (God is willing, we
will do the same with you next
time)…
7. Expressing intimacy /zajn/ (Darling),/ħbiba/ 0 0
(Lovely)

8. Others Non-verbal Communication: 6 8.5

14
Eye gaze/head nod/ a gentle
pat on the shoulder/a smile…

Combining two strategies Thanking+ apologizing/ 5 7.1


Thanking + expressing
intimacy/
complimenting + expressing
benediction
Combining three strategies Thanking+ apologizing+ 2 4.2
expressing benediction
Combining four strategies Expressing intimacy+ 2 4.2
Expressing benediction+
Apologizing+ Reciprocating
Total 70 100

Jung (2004:51) mentioned that the reason why, sometimes, people use apology as a

thanking expression has to do with “the speaker’s recognition of a burden suffered by the

hearer (i.e., the person who performed the act that serves as the object of gratitude). The

feeling of indebtedness to the person who does the favor is the reason why MA speakers use

apology to express gratitude. This strategy of gratitude was used 14 times (20%). MA

speakers also tend to combine this strategy with other strategies like nonverbal

communication and expressions of benediction.

Table 4: The Distribution of Strategies of Expressing Gratitude for Thanking for a Meal

Strategies of Gratitude Expression Expressions Number of %


people
1. Thanking /ʃukran /(Thank you) 5 7.1
/ ʃu:kran bza:f/ (Thanks a lot)…
/ʕajnək li mziwnin/ (You have 2 2.8
beautiful eyes),/tatina ʒiti
2. Complimenting katħammaq/ (You look
gorgeous too),/hadʃi kan ldi:d
bza:f/ (It was delicious) …
3. Expressing benediction /rəbbi jxalli:k / (May God 20 28.5
preserve you), /lah jərħam
waldi:k/ (May God have mercy
upon you parent),/lah jkəttar
xajrək/ (May God give you
more), /allah jʒazik/ (God will
reward you) …
4. Apologizing /smaħli/ (Sorry) 7 10
5. Acknowledging the imposition /matʕaddəbʃi rasək/ (Don’t 8 11.4
bother yourself), /makanʃi ʕlik
tkəlləf ʕla rasək/ (It was not
necessary), /ʕlaʃ ʕaddəbti rasək
mʕaja/(Why did you bother
yourself?) /taqqalt ʕlik

15
waqila/(I may have been a
burden on you)…

6. Reciprocating /nruddalək f ʃi saʕa dəl xir 5 7.1


inʃaʔallah/ (If God is willing I
will turn it back to you at any
happy occasion), / marra li
maʒa Ɣadi nrudduhalək
inʃaʔallah/ (God is willing, we
will do the same with you next
time)…
7. Expressing intimacy /zajn/ (Darling),/ħbiba/ 1 1.4
(Lovely)
8. Others 3 4.2
Non-verbal Communication:
Eye gaze/head nod/ a gentle pat
on the shoulder/a smile…
Combining two strategies Thanking+ Apologizing/ 12 17.1
Thanking + expressing
intimacy/
Complimenting + Expressing
benediction
Combining three strategies Thanking+ Apologizing+ 4 5.7
Expressing benediction
Combining four strategies Expressing intimacy+ 3 4.2
Expressing benediction+
Apologizing+ Reciprocating
Total 70 100

From the table above (table 4) we can notice the importance Moroccans give to

expressing benediction instead of using thanking alone /lah jrħam lwalidin/ (may God have

mercy upon your parents ) ,/lah jxləf lah jʒʕal lbaraka (May God give you more blessings)

especially, after a meal .This strategy was used 20 times (28.5%) . In Morocco feeding others

is something precious. They expect God to reward those who feed the others. Moreover, they

also express thanking after a meal by combining strategies of gratitude like: /ʃukran w

səmħolna lah jrħam lwalidin (thank you and sorry, may God put his mercy upon your parent),

/ hadʃi kan ldi:d bzaf nrodohalkom f ʃi saʕa delxir semħolna alƔozlan / (that was delicious we

will turn it back to you at any happy occasion dear!). Some other informants find it better to

combine two strategies, mostly, thanking + apologizing. Even though it is not necessary to

add apology but Moroccans prefer to add “sorry (smaħli)” not in its literal meaning but as a

16
way of apologizing for causing inconvenience to their host, and for all the trouble they took to

prepare the meal.

Table 5:The Distribution of Strategies of Expressing Gratitude for Thanking for a Compliment

Strategies of Gratitude Expression Expressions Number of %


people
1. Thanking /ʃukran /(Thank you) 7 10
/ ʃu:kran bza:f/ (Thanks a lot)…

/ʕajnək li mziwnin/ (You have 16 22.8


beautiful eyes),/tatina ʒiti
katħammaq/ (You look
2. Complimenting
gorgeous too),/hadʃi kan ldi:d
bza:f/ (It was delicious) …

3. Expressing benediction /rəbbi jxalli:k / (May God 5 7.1


preserve you), /lah jərħam
waldi:k/ (May God have mercy
upon you parent),/lah jkəttar
xajrək/ (May God give you
more), /allah jʒazik/ (God will
reward you) …
/smaħli/ (Sorry) 0 0
4. Apologizing
5. Acknowledging the imposition /matʕaddəbʃi rasək/ (Don’t 0 0
bother yourself), /makanʃi ʕlik
tkəlləf ʕla rasək/ (It was not
necessary), /ʕlaʃ ʕaddəbti rasək
mʕaja/(Why did you bother
yourself?) /taqqalt ʕlik
waqila/(I may have been a
burden on you)…

6. Reciprocating /nruddalək f ʃi saʕa dəl xir 0 0


inʃaʔallah/ (If God is willing I
will turn it back to you at any
happy occasion), / marra li
maʒa Ɣadi nrudduhalək
inʃaʔallah/ (God is willing, we
will do the same with you next
time)…
7. Expressing intimacy /zajn/ (Darling),/ħbiba/ 13 18.5
(Lovely)
8. Others 2 2.8
Non-verbal Communication:
Eye gaze/head nod/ a gentle pat
on the shoulder/a smile…
Combining two strategies Thanking+ Apologizing/ 20 28.5
Thanking + expressing
intimacy/
Complimenting + Expressing
benediction
Combining three strategies Thanking+ Apologizing+ 7 10
Expressing benediction

17
Combining four strategies Expressing intimacy+ 0 0
Expressing benediction+
Apologizing+ Reciprocating
Total 70 100

Paying compliments is another strategy MA speakers employ to express gratitude.

Table 5 shows that people in Morocco avoid using thanking alone after receiving a

compliment. Instead, they prefer to combine it with other strategies such as expressing

intimacy and complementing the other too. The following example reveals the importance of

the use of combining strategies:

A: /ʒiti Ɣzala bhad lqəfta:n/


(You look gorgeous in this dress)
B: /ʃukran ʌ zajn! ta:tina ʒiti katħamma:q/
(Thank you honey! You look beautiful too)

2.2. The functions of thanking

Some gratitude expressions may serve different functions depending on the situation.

In Morocco, generally, people express thanks for five major reasons: Acknowledging a favor,

responding to compliments and congratulations, accepting/refusing an offer, and most

importantly using of thanking to make the hearer feel good. The following examples illustrate

more the five functions of thanking in MA:

(1) A: /tqdʌr təʕtini qalam? /


(Can you give me a pencil?) The function of thanking here is to
B: /ah! tabʕan/ show that the speaker acknowledged
(Yes! Sure) the favor of the hearer B
A: / ʃukran /
(Thank you!)

18
(2) A: /ʕandək lawn mzi:wən f ʕajnək/
(You have beautiful eye color) The function of thanking here is to
B: /ʃukran a ħbiba/ respond to the compliment
(Thanks darling)

(3) A: /smʌʕt xditi: lʔiʒaza djalək, məbro:k ʕli:k aħbiba / Thanking here is used to
(I heared you got your B.A,congrats darling) respond to congratulation
B: /læjba:rək fi:k! ʃukran a zajn/
(God bless you! Thanks beauty)

(4) A: /bƔiti: taxʊ:d ʃi ħælwa: ?/


Here, thanking functions as refusing an
(Would you like some cookies?)
offer. B adds thanking expression after
B: /la: ʃukran! /
refusing A’s offer.
(No, thanks!)

B used thanking to
A: / ʒibtlək ʧukla:t , ʕræftək katħma:q ʕli:h/
(I brought some chocolate for you, I know that you adore it) make A feel happy
B: /o: bsæ:ħ! ʃukran, jxʌli:k lili/ about what he/she
( Oh, Really! Thanks, may God preserve you for me) has done (bringing
chocolate)

2.3. The context of use

It is widely recognized that context plays a noteworthy role in determining the

speaker’s choice of a particular strategy for giving thanks depending on different contextual

factors such as the relationship between the interlocutors. I chose to divide this section into

two main parts: The first one is the way MA speakers use thanks’ expressions in the

workplace with their colleagues and bosses; the second one is the use of thanking forms with

friends and family.

2.3.1. Workplace

2.3.1.1. Gender

19
Gender variation in the use of thanking in workplace (thanking for a favor)

Chart n° 1 : Male Thanking

8% Expressing benediction
5.1%
Apologizing
10% 36.4%
Acknowledging the imposition

4% Nonverbal communication

Thanks+ Apology
12.1%

2% Thanks+ Nonverbal communication

21.8% Thanks+ Expressing benediction

Chart n° 2: Female Thanking

8.9% Expressing benediction


22.2% Apologizing
12.5%
Acknowledging the imposition

Expressing intimacy
5.3%
7%
2% Nonverbal communication

Thanks+ Apology
12.4% 12%
Thanks+Expressing intimacy

17.3% Thanks+Expressing benediction

The results reflected in the charts (n°1 and n°2) show that there is a great distinction

between males’ and females’ use of thanking strategies after a favor. For instance, women

tend to use expressions of intimacy more often while men rarely mention those expressions

(men 4% compared to women 12%). Moroccan men exclude intimacy expressions and

replace them, sometimes, with acknowledging the imposition such as /ʕadəbtək mʕaja/ (I may

have bothered you), or nonverbal communication as well .Yet, most of the time they find it

enough to state just “thanks” especially when the favor does not require effort, and this

20
distinction between genders is expressed obviously in the following examples (example 1 and

2):

Example 1: Female Example 2 : Male

A: /tqdʌr tməkəlli: də:k dwʌsa: si:l vu: plԑ/ A: /tqdʌr tməkəlli: də:k dwʌsa: si:l vu: plԑ/
(Can you hand me those files please!) (Can you hand me those files please!)
2.3.2. With friends and family
B: /wi: tabʕʌn / B: / wi:/
(Yes! Sure) (Yes)
A: /ʃukran: aħbiba/ A: /ʃukran/
(Thank you darling!) (Thank you!)

Moreover, apologizing expressions can be used to express thanking too. MA men tend

to use apology in the work place more than women do (men 21.8%, women 12%). Also, MA

women replace apology expressions by combining strategies such as thanks + expressing

benediction and thanks + expressing intimacy, whereas men do not combine strategies

frequently (women 12%, men 8%).

3.1.2. Age and gender

Chart n°3: Age and gender variation in the use of thanking in workplace (thanking for
a favor)

Thanking Apologizing Expressing Nonverbal Thanks + expressing Thanks + expressing Thanks+ Thanks + Apology
20% benediction communication benediction intimacy acknowledging the 16.5%
7%
15% 12% 9.3% imposition
8.5%
11%

male young male adult female young female adult

21
In the present chart, the distinction between the uses of thanking strategies of young

and adult Moroccans is drastically sharp. Young males tend to thank their colleagues by

stating a bald thanking and sometimes they add expressions of intimacy like /ʃukran a xajə/

(thank you brother).Also, mostly, they do not mention any thanking expression they just pat

on the interlocutor’s shoulder or move their thumbs up .Very few number of young males use

apology expression to thank their colleagues . Contrarily, young females feel better when

combining thanks with other strategies with their colleagues like expressing benediction,

intimacy and acknowledging the imposition : /ʃukran a zʌjn/ (thank you darling), /ʃukran

rəbbi jxʌlli:k / (thank you may God give you long life), /ʃukran ʕadəbtək mʕaja/ (thank you I

may have bothered you ). Moreover, some other young females employ nonverbal

communication more often like smiling or a head nod to show that they are thankful. Turning

to adult males, we can observe in the chart that they exclude nonverbal communication and

give as much importance to the use of thanking as to expressing benediction, and the

combination of the two as well /ʃukran lah yərħam waldi:k/ (thank you may God have mercy

upon your parents).Moroccan adult females seem to combine thanking with other strategies

like acknowledging the imposition, expressing intimacy and apology; they rarely use thanking

alone /ʃukran a zajn/ (thank you darling), /ʃukran kantmənnʌ mankunʃ: dԑronʒitək /( thank you

I wish I didn’t bother you) , /ʃukran u: sma:ħli/ (thank you and sorry). In addition, just like

male adults, female adults try to avoid using nonverbal communication and replace it by

expressing apology.

2.3.2. With friends and family

2.3.2.1 Gender

22
Gender variation in the use of thanking with friends and family (thanking for a favor)

Chart n°4 : Male


Thanking

Expressing benediction

18.3%
Achnowledging the imposition
22%

Nonverbal communication
4.3% 2%
1.2% expressing intimacy
8%

Thanks + nonverbal communication

45.5%
Thanks+ expressing intimacy

Chart n° 5: Female
Thanking

Expressing benediction

21.2%
15.2% 1.2% Aknowledging the imposition .
3%
Nonverbal communication

7.3%
Expressing intimacy

10% Thanks+ nonverbal communication


42%
Thanks +expressing intimacy

The chart makes it explicit how much at ease Moroccan males and females feel with

their friends and family. The rate variance between men and women is almost scarce when it

comes to nonverbal communication strategy (men 45.5% women 42%). This very type of

tendency also appears in thanking (women 21.2% men 22%). Also, both males and females

combine thanking with expressing intimacy (men: /ʃukran a ʕʃir/ (thank you mate), /ʃukran

alxawa/ (thank you brother); women: /ʃukran a zajn / (thank you darling) , /ʃukran a xti/

(thank you sister), /ʃukran a soħba/ (thank you friend)).

23
2.3.2.2. Age and gender

Chart n°6: Age and gender variation in the use of thanking with friends and family
(thanking for a favor)

Thanking Apologizing Expessing Nonverbal Thanks + expressing Thanks+ Thanks + apology


9.1% benediction communication intimacy acknowledging the 1.3%
2.2%
3.1% 71.5% imposition
8.2%
4.1%
male young male adult female young female adult

The chart presents the distribution of the frequency of the use of thanking with friends

and family when the factor of age is introduced. Young males and females do not seem to use

thanking expressions very often. However, they employ nonverbal communication more

frequently like eye gaze, smile, or sometimes just acting like the other has done nothing for

the speaker. This is because young males and females tend to feel more comfortable with their

friends, siblings and parents. They rarely combine thanking with other strategies like

expressing intimacy and apology, except for expressing intimacy for young female like

/ʃukran a xti/ (thank you sister).Young males sometimes use expressing benediction strategy

like /lah jʕzə:k/ (may God cherish you).Turning to adult males and females, the attitude of

thanking differs compared to young Moroccans as illustrated in the chart. The frequency of

the use of thanking and apologizing is slightly similar. Moreover, adult females tend to

surpass adult males incombing thanks with expressing intimacy, whereas the contrary is

observed in nonverbal communication. Both adult males and females use expressing

benediction strategy few times like /lah yʕti:k ʃi ħaʤa/ (may God take you to pilgrimage).

24
2.4. Responses to thanking expressions

After performing the SA of thanking, the speaker expects the hearer or the“benefactor” to

reply appropriately to thanking expressions (Jung, 2004:11). The data in this section are based

on Al-Zubaidi’s (2012) classifications. MA speakers used different strategies depending on

the type of benefit they were given thanks for (see table 5)

Table 6: The Distribution of thanking responses after a favor, meal, and compliment

After After After


thanking for thanking for thanking for
favor a meal compliment

Type of strategy Expressions % % %

1-Minimizing the debt /a:llah ja wəddԑ/ 45.1 10 0


(Oh! Nevertheless)
/maʕməlt walu: /
/matəmma walu:/
(I did nothing)
/hada waʒib/
(That is my duty)
/ħʃu:ma/
(Don’t mention it)

2-Expressing pleasure /bsaħa w raħʌ/ 0 58.1


(Bon appetite) 6.5
/rəbbi jxallik/
(May god preserve you)
/lah ykətʌr xԑjrək/
(May God give more)

3-Reciprocating /ʃukran / 8.1 2.3 2


(Thank you)
4-Acknowledging the /ami:n / (Amen) 5.4 8 0
thanks
5-Expressing endearment / ħbiba/ /zajn/ (Darling) 7 3 10.3

6-Nonverbal Smile 12 0 23.1


communication Eye gaze
Minimizing the debt+ /maʕməlt walu: a zajn/ 16.2 3.1 0
Expressing endearment (I did nothing darling)
/ħʃu:ma a xaj/
(Don’t mention it brother)
Expressing pleasure+ /bsaħa w raħʌ a zajn / 0 1. 4 37
Expressing endearment (Bon appetit darling)
/jxʌllik lili aħbiba/
(May God preserve you
for me)

25
Expressing pleasure+ /Ami:n rəbbi jxallik/ 6.1 7 19.8
Acknowledging the thanks (Amen, may God preserve
you )
Total 100% 100% 100%

We can notice from the table that minimizing the debt is used most after thanking

for favor among MA speakers (45.1%).Jung (2004) states that “the responder in this category

may humble himself or herself by denying that he/she favored the beneficiary” (2004, p.13).

Occasionally, Moroccans combine minimizing the debt with expressing endearment (16.2%).

For responding to thanking for a meal, Moroccans tend to use expressing pleasure strategy

frequently, (58.1%) more than other strategies because most MA speakers use expressions of

benediction while thanking, which is the reason that the benefactors employ pleasure

expressions as a response to thanking. Coming to responses of thanking for compliment, we

can observe a significant number of people that prefer combining strategies like expressing

pleasure and endearment (37%) and using nonverbal communication (23.1%).

26
III- The Speech Act of Apologizing in Moroccan Arabic

An apology is a statement that show two things; the deep regret over the agent’s

actions, and it acknowledges the effect of the agent’s actions towards the other. Blum-Kulka,

Shoshana and Elite Olshtain (1984) stated “By apologizing, the speaker recognizes the fact

that a violation of a social norm has been committed and admits to the fact that s/he is at least

partially involved in its cause” (1984:206). Moroccans employ SA of apologizing very

frequently in their daily life. Apology expressions and forms have a significant social value in

the Moroccan culture; they reveal how respectful and polite the individual is. Sometime they

express apology without even causing a damage to the other, it is considered as a sign of good

manners.

In this part, I will focus on several apology forms, which are used by MA speakers based

on Blum-Kulka, Shoshana and Elite Olshtain (1984) apology sets. In addition, I will take into

consideration the different functions of apology since they differ depending on the context of

use. Particular attention will be paid to the gender and age variations in the context where they

apply apology SA. I will split the context of use into two parts: the use of apologies in the

workplace and with friends and family.

3.1. Apology forms

The most direct realization of apology in Morocco is employed through explicit

apology like /smaħli/ (sorry) and /lʕafʷ/ (excuse me) .However, generally, Moroccans use

other expressions –in addition to explicit apology- like /lƔalat dja:li/ (it was my fault),

/matxafʃi maƔadiʃi nʕʌwəd/ (don’t worry I won’t do it again) to express apology more than

using apology alone. Following Cohen, A. D. and E. Olshtain. (1981), Blum-Kulka, Shoshana

and Elite Olshtain (1984) the five strategies for apology expressions are summarized in the

following table:

27
Table 7: Strategies for apology Blum-Kulka, Shoshana and Elite Olshtain (1984)

Strategy Expressions

1- Apology I am sorry/ excuse me

2- Explanation or account of the situation The bus was late

3- Acknowledgment of responsibility It is my fault

4- An offer of repair I’ll make it up for you

5- Promise of forbearance It won’t happen again

In Morocco, all these five strategies are expressed in various ways depending on the

context and the type of damage they cause to the other. Have a look at these two examples:

Example 1 Example 2

A: /ʕafa:k! tqdʌr txallini nduz/ A: (Accidently pours some juice on B’s


dress)
(Please! Can you let me pass?)
A: /xalli:h ana Ɣadi nməsħulək/
B: /tabʕan! duz a: xaj/
(Leave it! I will clean that for you)
(Sure! You can pass brother)
B: /la: maʃi muʃkil/
A: /smaħli a xay/
(No! That is okay)
(Sorry brother)

The two examples reveal two types of apology strategies which are a bald apology

(sorry smaħli), and an offer of repair /xalli:h ana Ɣadi nməshulək/ (Leave it! I will clean that

for you). The use of such strategies instead of others rely on the context where apology is

expressed. Expressing apology for a damage like breaking something is not like apologizing

for being late or for forgetting something. The distribution of strategies in Morocco depends

on the situation. Let’s take into consideration three situations where apology behavior occurs:

apologizing for breaking someone’s cellphone, apologizing for being late to a meeting and

apologizing for forgetting something.

28
Apologizing Apologizing Apologizing
for breaking for being for
someone’s late forgetting
cellphone something
Strategy % % %

1- Apology 6.5 14.5 4.3

2- Explanation or account of the situation 12.5 47.1 1.2

3- Acknowledgment of responsibility 12 3.2 12.2

4- An offer of repair 21.2 1.7 21.1

5- Promise of forbearance 1.3 12.5 55

Apology+ Explanation or account of the situation 4.2 20.4 10

Apology+ Acknowledgment of responsibility 30.1 0 5

Acknowledgment of responsibility+ An offer of repair 11.3 0 0

Total 100 100 100

Table 8: The distribution of Apologizing strategies in MA

The present table displays an alternation in what concerns apologizing strategies.

When apologizing for breaking someone’s cellphone. MA speakers usually combine apology

with expressions that show the speaker’s acknowledgment of responsibility (30.1%) like

/smaħli: marditʃi lbal tԑlԑfu:n djalək foq tabla/ (sorry it was my mistake I did not notice your

cellphone on the table). They also offer a repair to the hearer for the damage that has been

done like saying /ana Ɣadi ndih n ʃi mʕallə:m jʕadlulək/ ( I will take it to someone who can

fix it). Coming to apologizing for being late to a meeting, MA speakers employ an

explanation to the situation very frequently(47.1%) to make the hearer know the reason of

being late instead of stating an apology alone like saying /triq kanət mblokja majbart kif

nʕməl/ (the traffic was so heavy I couldn’t find a way). Sometimes, this strategy is followed

by a bald apology. A promise for forbearance is quite useful in this situation as well like /inʃa

alla:h Ɣadi nʒi fəl waqt Ɣadda/ (if God is willing, I will be on time tomorrow).

29
Turning to apologizing for forgetting something, we can notice a large number of Moroccans

employ promise for forbearance strategy very often (55%).Take the following example:

A: /ʒəbtili dək ʧuklat li wsitək ʕli:h?/


(Did you bring me the chocolate I asked you for?)
B: /alla:h! nsi:t, kanwaʕdək Ɣadda nʒibulək a xti/
(Oh God! I forgot, I promise to bring it tomorrow sister)
A: /waxa! inʃa allah
(Ok! If God is willing)

In this example, instead of apologizing for forgetting chocolate, the speaker promises

the hearer that he/she will bring chocolate tomorrow, in order to make the hearer feel good

without mentioning bald apology.

3.2. The function of apologizing

Apology expressions may have different functions depending on the situation. In

Morocco, generally, people express apology for four major reasons: Acknowledging a

damage to someone, requesting, refusing an offer and thanking. The following examples show

the four functions of apology in MA:

(1) A: (Breaks B’s vase)


A: /smaħli maʃi blʕani/ The function of apology here is to show that the
(Sorry! I didn’t mean it) speaker acknowledged the damage he/she did
B: /dunja ha:nja/
(That’s fine)

(2) A: /smaħli, waxa tməkkə:lli mlaħ ?/ The function of apology here is to request the
(Excuse me! Can you pass me the salt?) salt from the hearer
B: /ah, hak/
(Yes! Here you are)

30
(3) A: /waʃ tʃrʌb ʃi kas djal ataj? /
(Would you like a cup of tea?) Apologizing here is used to refuse A‘s offer
B: /la: smaħli a zajn makanʃrbuʃi/
(No Sorry! I don’t like tea)

(4) A: /tqdar txarəʒ mʕaja had tamarin? /


(Can you help me with my homework?)
B: /waxa/ Here, apology functions as thanking
(Yes) even though the speaker does not
A: /smaħli Ɣadi nʕadbək mʕaja/
mention “ thanks” or “thank you” .But,
(I am sorry to bother you)
he/ she expresses a thanking strategy
B: /maʃi muʃkil/
(No problem) which is acknowledging the imposition

3.3.The context of use

Based on the use of apology in Moroccan culture, usually, the context is given a

crucial role in determining the speaker’s choice of selecting a particular apology form

depending on various factors such as the place and the relationship between the

interlocutors. This section is divided into two main parts: The first one is how MA

speakers use apology’s forms in the workplace with their colleagues; the second one is

related to the use of apology forms with friends and family

3.3.1. Workplace

3.3.1.1.Gender

31
Gender variation in the use of apology in the workplace (Apologizing for being late)

Chart n°7: Male

Apology

Explanation or account of the situation


6.5%
12%

Acknowledgment of responsability
17.3%

An offer of repair

8%
Promise for forbearance

Apology + Explanation or account of the situation


1.2% 50.3%
3.2%
Apology + promise of forbearance

Chart n° 8 : Female

Apology
9.90%

Explanation or account to the situation


31%

16.10% Acknowledgment of responsability

An offer of repair

Promise for forbearance


19%
14.30% Apology + Explanation or account to the situation
3% 7%
Apology +Promise for forbearance

The chats (n°7 and n°8) reflect the huge difference between males’ and females’ use of

apologizing forms for being late in the workplace. Women tend to use apology very often

(31%). Sometimes, they combine apology with an explanation for the situation (16.10%) ,or

the form of promise for forbearance (19%): /Ɣadda Ɣanʒi bəkri inʃaʔalla:h/ (I will come on

time tomorrow if God is willing ). However, men find it better to explain the situation in the

workplace because they give a great importance to their job compared to women. This may be

32
the reason they express an explanation to the situation very frequently (50.3%). Sometimes

this form is combined with apology (17.3%): /smaħli majbarʧi taksi/ (sorry! I couldn’t find a

taxi).

The following example will state the distinction between genders in the use of apology

forms when apologizing for forgetting the files at home

(examples 1and 2):

Example 1: Male Example 2: Female

A: /smaħli kunt mʃƔul nsit ma njiblək dwasa A: /smaħli kunt mʃƔula baraħ maʕqalt ʕla
li qultili/ walu Ɣadda nʒibumlək matxafʃi/

(I am sorry I was busy I forgot to bring the (Sorry I was so busy yesterday I couldn’t
files you asked me for) remember anything a will bring them
tomorrow don’t worry)
B: /maʃi muʃkil/
B: /waxa/
(That’s fine)
(Alright!)

Sometimes three forms of apology are expressed, especially by females: smaħli kunt

mʃƔula baraħ maʕqalt ʕla walu Ɣadda nʒibumlək matxafʃi/ (Sorry I was so busy yesterday I

couldn’t remember anything I will bring them tomorrow don’t worry). Moroccan females tend

to explain the situation, promise for forbearance and apologize at the same time which is not

preferred for Moroccan males (example 1).

3.3.1.2.Age and gender

33
Chart n°9 : Age and gender variation in the use of apology in the workplace
( Apologizing for forgetting something)

Apology Explanation or Acknowledgment An offer of repair Promise for Apology + Apology + promise
4.3% account of the of responsability 8.1% forbearance explanation or for forbearance
situation 12% 44.9% account of the
10.2% situation 13.1%
7.7%
male young male adult female young female adult

The results prevailing in the previous charts seem to be distorted if we include the

factor of “age”. The use of apology forms when apologizing for forgetting something varies

depending on the gender. Young males tend to employ the form of promise for forbearance

very frequently as well as explanation or account of the situation. However, adult males prefer

other forms in addition to promise for forbearance like acknowledgement of responsibility

and offer of repair. Turning to young females, just like young males, they seem to use promise

for forbearance very frequently. Sometimes, they combine this form with apology /smaħli

Ɣadda Ɣadi nʒibo/ (sorry! I will bring it tomorrow).Similarly, adult females employ promise

for forbearance very often when it comes to apologizing for forgetting something in the

workplace. Equally important, adult females use the form of acknowledgment of

responsibility and explanation for the situation. It is observed that Moroccan adults use

acknowledgment of responsibility and offer of repair more than Moroccan Youth, which

shows how adults are responsible for their behavior. Whereas Moroccan youth find it better to

just use promise for forbearance form.

34
3.3.2. With friends and family

3.3.2.1.Gender

Gender variation in the use of apologizing with friends and family (Apologizing for being late)

Chart n°10 : Female

Apology
4.10%

Explanation or account of the situation


18.80% 12%

Acknowledgment of responsability
1.20%

13.20% An offer of repair

Promise for forbearance


40.30%

Apology + Explanation or account of the situation

Chart n° 11 : Male

Apology

12.30% 12.20%
3.40% Explanation or account of the situation

15% Acknowlegment of responsability

An offer of repair

35.30%
Promise for forbearance
21.10%

Apology+ Explanation or account of the situation

Moroccans find no need for apologizing directly when they are with their friend and

family .The rate variance between men and women is almost scare when it comes to an offer

of repair (men 53.3% , women 40.3%) ,and explanation or account for the situation( men

15%, women 12%). Moreover, both males and females almost never mention promise for

forbearance unlike in the workplace (chart n°7 and 8). Sometimes, females combine apology

35
with explanation or account for the situation like /smaħli triq kant ʕamra/ (sorry! the traffic

was heavy), /smaħli masmaʕtʧi tԑlԑfun mli ʕajjətti/ (sorry! I didn’t hear the phone when you

called).Also, men use bald apology more than women do (men 12.2% women 4.1%).

3.3.2.2.Gender and age

Chart n° 12 : Age and gender variation in the use of apologizing with friends and family
( Apologizing for forgetting something)

Apology Explanation or Acknowledgment An offer of repair Promise for Apology + an offer Apology +
10% account of the of responsability 35.3% forbearance of repair explanation or
situation 3.5% 2% 13.8% account of the
23.2% situation
11.2%
male young male adult female young female adult

In the present chart, the variation in the use of apologizing forms of young and adult

Moroccans is drastically sharp. Both young males and females employ the form of an offer of

repair very frequently when it comes to apologizing for forgetting something. Occasionally,

they likes to combine apology with an offer of repair like /smaħli nsit di djali fʕiwta/ (sorry I

forgot, take mine instead). For adult males, they tend to use an offer of repair very often along

with explanation or account of the situation .In addition to apology and the combination of

two forms; either apology + offer of repair or apology + explanation or account of the

situation. Acknowledgment of responsibility and promise for forbearance is rarely used for

both young and adult Moroccans.

36
Conclusion

This study revealed interesting differences in the way Moroccans express gratitude

and apology depending of the context of use. For speech act of thanks, an in-depth analysis of

the strategies used in expressing gratitude and responding to gratitude expression in three

situations: thanking for a favor, thanking for a meal and thanking for compliment. The result

were used to determine whether Moroccans choose different thanking strategies according to

the type of benefit they receive. Moreover, it was observed that thanking has several functions

rather than thanking, such as apologizing and responding to a compliment. The context of use

showed significant distinctions in the use of thanking strategies in the workplace and with

friends and family depending on the aspect of age and gender. Coming to responses to “thank

you” expression, we have seen that six types of responses were used by Moroccans in

addition to the combination of two types at the same time. Concerning speech act of

apologizing, the findings have shown that Moroccans used a variation of apology strategies

depending on the situation. They were well aware of how to use adequate apology

forms to meet the requirements of specific situations and relationships. Also, apologizing has

different functions like refusing an offer, requesting and thanking. Furthermore, the study

showed that Moroccans’ choice of the type of apology form depends on the context, age and

gender.

With regard to thanks and apologies, the most outstanding findings arrived at is the use

of apologizing instead of thanking to express gratitude. This phenomenon of the extrapolation

of apology to express gratitude instead of regret for a prior action, is based on the concept of

benefit.

37
Bibliography

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(1st .ed. p.376). LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Austin, J. L. (1962). How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: Oxford


University Press.

Blum-Kulka, S. and E. Olshtain (1984) Requests and apologies: A cross-cultural study of


speech act realization patterns (CCSARP), Applied Linguistics 5/3, 196–213.

Cohen, A. D. and E. Olshtain. 1981. 'Developing a measure of socio-cultural competence:


the case of apology'. Language Learning: 31,113-134

Coulmas, Florian. (1981). “Poison to your soul: Thanks and apologies contrastively viewed”.
Conversational Routine. Ed. Florian Coulmas. The Hague: Mouton, 69-93.

Jung, E. H. S. (2004). Interlanguage pragmatics: Apology speech acts. In C. L. Moder &

A. Martinovic-Zic (Eds.), Discourse across languages and cultures, 99-116.

Leech, G.N. (1983). Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.

Olshtain, Elite. (1989). Apologies across languages. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. House & G.

Kasper (Eds.), 155-173

Searle, J.R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

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Vol. 3: Speech Acts. New York: Academic Press.

38
‫‪Appendices‬‬

‫‪Appendix A: The Original Version of the Questionnaire‬‬

‫‪35-30‬‬ ‫‪30-25‬‬ ‫‪25-20‬‬ ‫‪20-18‬‬ ‫السن ‪:‬‬

‫أنثى‬ ‫ذكر‬ ‫الجنس‪:‬‬

‫‪-1‬افترض أنك اصطدمت بأحد ما في الشارع بدون قصد‪ ،‬كيف تعتذر له ؟…………………………………‪..‬‬

‫‪-2‬افترض أنك تحتسي الشاي مع عائلتك في البيت‪ ،‬وسكبت بعض الشاي على أحد أفراد العائلة‪ ،‬كيف ستعتذر؟‬
‫…………………………………………………………………………………………‪...‬‬
‫‪-3‬افترض أنك مدعو لحفل نظمه رئيسك في العمل‪ ،‬وسكبت بعض العصير بدون قصد على زميلك في العمل‪ ،‬كيف ستعتذر‬
‫منه؟‬
‫‪………………………………………………………………………………………………….‬‬
‫‪-4‬افترض أن أمك أوصتك أن تحضر لها شيئا من السوق و نسيت إحضاره‪ ،‬كيف ستعتذر لها عن نسيانك لما طلبته منك ؟‪..‬‬
‫…………………………………………………………………………………………………‬
‫‪-5‬افترض أنك مدعو للعشاء مع أصدقائك في الحي أنهيت وجبتك وأردت النهوض كيف ستشكر أصحاب الدعوة على‬
‫الدعوة؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………...‬‬
‫‪-6‬افترض أنك تحتاج مبلغا قدره ‪ 100‬درهم طلبته من أمك وأعطته لك بكل سرور‪ .‬كيف ستشكرها؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………...‬‬
‫‪-6‬أ‪ :‬إذا كنت أنت هو الشخص الذي أعطى مبلغ ‪100‬درهم البنك او ابنتك وشكرك‪/‬شكرتك كيف سترد عليه(ا)؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………...‬‬
‫‪-7‬افترض أنك تحتاج مبلغا قدره ‪ 100‬درهم طلبته من زميلك في العمل وأعطاه لك بكل سرور كيف ستشكره؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………...‬‬
‫‪-7‬أ‪ :‬إذا كنت أنت هو الشخص الذي أعطى مبلغ ‪100‬درهم لصديقك‪/‬صديقتك في العمل و شكرك‪/‬شكرتك كيف سترد‬
‫عليه(ا) ؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………...‬‬
‫‪-8‬افترض أنك تعمل في إدارة وأردت من أحد زمالئك في العمل إحضار بعض الملفات واحضرها في حين كيف ستشكره؟‬
‫…‪..………………………………………………………………………………………..‬‬
‫‪-8‬أ‪ :‬إذا كنت أنت الشخص الذي اعطى الملفات لصديقك‪/‬صديقتك في العمل وشكرك‪/‬شكرتك‪ ،‬كيف سترد عليه(ا)؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………...‬‬
‫‪-9‬عندما يعلق أحدهم على مظهرك بقوله(ا) "تبدو جميال جدا اليوم" سواء كان أحد أصدقائك أو زمالئك في العمل كيف‬
‫ستشكره على إطرائه(ا)؟‬
‫‪…………………………………………………………………………………………………..‬‬

‫‪39‬‬
Appendix B: English Translation of the Questionnaire

Age: 18-20 20-25 25-30 30-35


Gender: Male Female

1. If you bump into someone in the street accidently, how would you apologize?
………………………………………………………………………………….
2. If you are drinking tea with your siblings and accidently you pour some tea on your sister or
brother, how would you apologize?
……………………………………………………………………………………………….
3. If you are in a party and accidently pour some juice on someone you don’t know, what would you
say?
……………………………………………………………………………………………….
4. If your mom asked you to bring her something from the supermarket and you forgot it, what
would you tell her?
……………………………………………………………………………………………….
5. If you are invited to dinner and you want to leave, how would you thank your hosts?
………………………………………………………………………………………………...
5-A: If you were the one who invited people to dinner and they thank you for your invitation
how would you respond?
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
6. If you need 100 dirhams and you ask your mom to give it to you and she does, how would you
thank her?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………….
6-A: If you were the one who give 100 dirhams to your son or daughter and he/she thanked
you, how would you respond?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………
7. If you need 100 dirhams and you ask your colleague to give it to you and she/he does, how would
you thank her/him?
………………………………………………………………………………………………...
7-A: If you were the one who give 100 dirhams to your colleague and he/she thanked you,
how would you respond?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………
8. You are working in an office and you ask your colleague for some files and he gives them to you,
how would you thank her/him?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………
8-A: If you were the one who brings the files to your colleagues and he/she thanked you, how
would you respond?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..
9. If someone told you that “you look gorgeous today” what would you say?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………

40