Language Choice in Expressing Anger among Arab-English Londoners

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The aim of the present study is to partially replicate the study in Dewaele (2013). We want to determine whether the independent variables linked to the preference of the first (L1) or second language (L2) for the communication of anger among a large heterogeneous group of long-time multilinguals from all over the world (Dewaele 2013) have similar effects in one relatively homogeneous linguistic and cultural group, namely 110 English-speaking Arabs living in London (UK). The analysis of quantitative and qualitative data showed that, in line with the findings in Dewaele (2013), L1 Arabic was preferred over L2 English for expressing anger at oneself, family, friends and at strangers. However, English was preferred to express anger in writing and occasionally in instances of divergence with Arabic-speaking interlocutors (Sachdev, Giles &Pauwels 2013). Frequency of use of English for anger was linked to lower age of onset of L2 learning, naturalistic or mixed L2 learning context, frequency of general use of the L2 and degree of L2 socialization and higher perceived emotionality of English. Gender, age and education were also linked to language choices. Participants explained how their religious beliefs, their cultural and ideological background affect their choice of language for expressing anger.

About the authors

Jean-Marc Dewaele

University of London

Birkbeck College

Israa Qaddourah

University of St Andrews



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Copyright (c) 2015 Деваеле Ж., Каддоурах И.

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