Cross-Cultural Investigation into Generic Structure of Dissertation Acknowledgements in English and Persian: Reflections on Politeness Strategies

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Shahid CHamran University of Ahvaz

2 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


This contrastive study, in the first place, examined the generic structure and, in the second place, explored the face theory proposed by Arundale (2006) in 140 doctoral dissertation acknowledgments written by native speakers of Persian (NSP) and native speakers of English (NSE) in 7 disciplines representing soft sciences to find out what discourse genre components writers employ to articulate the communicative purpose of these acknowledgments. The results of the first phase of the study revealed four moves and a number of constituting steps. Careful surveillance uncovered an obligatory acknowledging move framed by two optional resonating and declaration moves. The findings related to the second phase of the study discovered that, approximately, majority of moves and steps exploited by the two groups function as connection face except for the shouldering responsibility step voiced as separation face. Persian writers, guided by their different cultural and literacy practices, utilized this step more than English writers. The study provided valuable information about the academic values, socio-cultural practices, and personal identity of the writer encoded in the rhetorical and organizational components of this genre.


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