Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2214-3157
  • E-ISSN: 2214-3165
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study investigates the impact of spending more than three years in an English environment on Saudi migrants’ metapragmatic judgments of Arabic L1 nonverbal greetings and their personality traits. Participants are 437 adults comprising three groups: Saudi L2 speakers of English in the UK, Saudis in Saudi Arabia, and British L1 speakers of English in the UK. They observed and rated an audiovisual stimulus illustrating Saudi L1 nonverbal greeting behaviours of handshake and cheek-to-cheek kiss. Statistical analyses revealed that appropriateness ratings by Saudi migrants in the UK diverged from those by Saudis in Saudi Arabia and approximated those of English L1 users in the UK. Moreover, appropriateness ratings by Saudi migrants were differently associated with personality profiles, which differed for three traits between the two Saudi groups. These findings suggest change in L1 metapragmatic judgements as well as personality as a result of prolonged and intense exposure to an L2. The results are interpreted in the light of Cook’s (2012) concept of multicompetence.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adamson, H. D.
    (1988) Variation theory and second language acquisition. Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Dörnyei, Z.
    (1998) Do language learners recognize pragmatic violations? Pragmatic versus grammatical awareness in instructed L2 learning. Tesol Quarterly, 32(2), 233–259. 10.2307/3587583
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587583 [Google Scholar]
  3. Barro, A., Byram, M., Grimm, H., Morgan, C., Roberts, C., & Valley, T.
    (1993) Cultural studies for advanced language learners. In: D. Graddol, L. Thomson, M. Byram (Eds.), Language and culture (pp.55–70). Clevedon: BAAL and Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Basow, S. A., & Gaugler, T.
    (2017) Predicting adjustment of U.S. college students studying abroad: Beyond the multicultural personality. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 56, 39–51. 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2016.12.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2016.12.001 [Google Scholar]
  5. Blum-Kulka, S.
    (1990) You don’t touch lettuce with your fingers: Parental politeness in family discourse. Journal of Pragmatics, 14(2), 259–288. 10.1016/0378‑2166(90)90083‑P
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(90)90083-P [Google Scholar]
  6. Cao, M.
    (2016) Backward pragmatic transfer: An empirical study on compliment responses among Chinese EFL Learners. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6(9), 1846–1854. 10.17507/tpls.0609.18
    https://doi.org/10.17507/tpls.0609.18 [Google Scholar]
  7. Cenoz, J.
    (2003) The intercultural style hypothesis: L1 and L2 interaction in requesting behaviour. In: V. J. Cook (ed.), Effects of the second language on the first (pp.62–80). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853596346‑006
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853596346-006 [Google Scholar]
  8. Chen, H. J.
    (1995) Metapragmatic judgement on refusals: Its reliability and consistency. Paper presented at theAnnual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Cook, V. J.
    (2002) Portraits of the L2 user. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853595851
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853595851 [Google Scholar]
  10. (2003) Effects of the second language on the first. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853596346
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853596346 [Google Scholar]
  11. (2012) Multi-competence. In: C. Chapelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp.3768–3774). New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Creswell, J. W.
    (2014) Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dewaele, J.-M.
    (2016) Brussels-London: Crossing channels while juggling with social and cultural capital. InZhu Hua, A. Komisarof (Eds.), Crossing boundaries and weaving intercultural work, life, and scholarship in globalizing universities (pp.133–146). London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (2018) Pragmatic challenges in the communication of emotions in intercultural couples. Intercultural Pragmatics, 15(1), 29–55. 10.1515/ip‑2017‑0029
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2017-0029 [Google Scholar]
  15. Dewaele, J.-M., & Botes, E.
    (2020) Does multilingualism shape personality? An exploratory investigation. International Journal of Bilingualism, 24(4). 811–823. 10.1177/1367006919888581
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006919888581 [Google Scholar]
  16. Dewaele, J.-M., & Salomidou, L.
    (2017) Loving a partner in a foreign language. Journal of Pragmatics, 108, 116–130. 10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.009 [Google Scholar]
  17. DuFon, M. A.
    (1999) The acquisition of linguistic politeness in Indonesian as a second language by sojourners in naturalistic interactions. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Hawai ‘i at Manoa.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Eisenstein Ebsworth, M., Bodman, J., & Carpenter, M.
    (1995) Cross-cultural realization of greetings in American English. Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language, 89–108.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Feghali, E.
    (1997) Arab cultural communication patterns. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 21(3), 345–378. 10.1016/S0147‑1767(97)00005‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-1767(97)00005-9 [Google Scholar]
  20. Grosjean, F.
    (1989) Neurolinguists, beware! The bilingual is not two monolinguals in one person. Brain and Language, 36(1), 3–15. 10.1016/0093‑934X(89)90048‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0093-934X(89)90048-5 [Google Scholar]
  21. Hall, E. T.
    (1966) The hidden dimension. New York: Doubleday.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Hassanain, K. S.
    (1994) Saudi mode of greeting rituals: Their implications for teaching and learning English. IRAL: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 32(1), 68–77.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Jarvis, S., & Pavlenko, A.
    (2008) Cross-linguistic influence in language and cognition. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203935927
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203935927 [Google Scholar]
  24. Kasper, G.
    (1992) Pragmatic transfer. Second Language Research, 8(3), 203–231.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. (2001) Four perspectives on L2 pragmatic development. Applied Linguistics, 22(4), 502–530. 10.1093/applin/22.4.502
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/22.4.502 [Google Scholar]
  26. Kecskes, I.
    (2015) How does pragmatic competence develop in bilinguals?International Journal of Multilingualism, 12(4), 419–434. 10.1080/14790718.2015.1071018
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2015.1071018 [Google Scholar]
  27. Kim, Y. Y.
    (2001) Becoming intercultural: An integrative theory of communication and cross-cultural adaptation. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. (2008) Intercultural personhood: Globalization and a way of being. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32 (4), 359–368. 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2008.04.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2008.04.005 [Google Scholar]
  29. Korzilius, H., Van Hooft, A., Planken, B., & Hendrix, C.
    (2011) Birds of different feathers? The relationship between multicultural personality dimensions and foreign language mastery in business professionals working in a Dutch agricultural multinational. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 540–553. 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.02.018
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.02.018 [Google Scholar]
  30. Kramsch, C.
    (2009) Third culture and language education. InV. J. Cook, L. Wei (Eds.), Contemporary Applied Linguistics. Vol. 1 Language teaching and learning (pp.233–254). London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Matsumoto, D. E., Hwang, H. C., & Frank, M. G.
    (2016) APA handbook of nonverbal communication. American Psychological Association. 10.1037/14669‑000
    https://doi.org/10.1037/14669-000 [Google Scholar]
  32. McConachy, T.
    (2013) A place for pragmatics in intercultural teaching and learning. In: F. Dervin, A. Liddicoat (Eds.), Linguistics for intercultural education (pp.71–85). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lllt.33.05mcc
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.33.05mcc [Google Scholar]
  33. (2018) Developing intercultural perspectives on language use: Exploring pragmatics and culture in foreign language learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. McDaniel, E., & Andersen, P. A.
    (1998) International patterns of interpersonal tactile communication: A field study. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 22(1), 59–75. 10.1023/A:1022952509743
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022952509743 [Google Scholar]
  35. Mori, K.
    (1997) Polite lies: On being a woman caught between cultures. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Paradis, M.
    (2007) L1 attrition features predicted by a neurolinguistic theory of bilingualism. In: B. Köpke, M. S. Schmid, M. Keijzer, & S. Dostert (Eds.), Language attrition: Theoretical perspectives (121–133). Amsterdam-Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/sibil.33.09par
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.33.09par [Google Scholar]
  37. Pavlenko, A.
    (2000) L2 influence on L1 in late bilingualism. Issues in Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 175–205. 10.5070/L4112005033
    https://doi.org/10.5070/L4112005033 [Google Scholar]
  38. Pavlenko, A., & Jarvis, S.
    (2002) Bidirectional transfer. Applied linguistics, 23(2), 190–214. 10.1093/applin/23.2.190
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/23.2.190 [Google Scholar]
  39. Sadighi, F., Chahardahcherik, S., Delfariyan, M., & Feyzbar, F.
    (2018) The influence of L2 English acquisition of the request speech act on Persian preschool children. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 6(4), 25–34. 10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.6n.4p.25
    https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.6n.4p.25 [Google Scholar]
  40. Silverstein, M.
    (1993) Metapragmatic discourse and metapragmatic function. InJ. A. Lucy (Ed.), Reflexive language: Reported speech and metapragmatics (pp.33–58). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511621031.004
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511621031.004 [Google Scholar]
  41. Song, S. C., Eslami, Z. R., & Galindo, K. B.
    (2018) Public apologies and intercultural communication: Perceptions of Chinese and American students. Intercultural Communication Education, 1(1), 27–44. 10.29140/ice.v1n1.41
    https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v1n1.41 [Google Scholar]
  42. Taguchi, N.
    (2014) Personality and development of second language pragmatic competence. Asian EFL Journal, 16(2), 203–211.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Taguchi, N., & Roever, C.
    (2017) Second language pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Tavakoli, M., & Shirinbakhsh, S.
    (2013) Backward pragmatic transfer: The case of refusals in Persian. International Journal of Society, Culture & Language, 2(1), 1–24.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Thomas, J.
    1983 Cross-cultural pragmatic failure. Applied Linguistics, 4(2), 91–112. 10.1093/applin/4.2.91
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/4.2.91 [Google Scholar]
  46. Valdes, G., Pino, C.
    (1981) Muy a tus ordenes: Compliment responses among Mexican-American bilinguals. Language in Society, 10, 53–72. 10.1017/S0047404500008423
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500008423 [Google Scholar]
  47. van der Zee, K., van Oudenhoven, J. P., Ponterotto, J. G., & Fietzer, A. W.
    (2013) Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Development of a short form. Journal of personality assessment, 95(1), 118–124. 10.1080/00223891.2012.718302
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2012.718302 [Google Scholar]
  48. Verhoeven, L., & Vermeer, A.
    (2002) Communicative competence and personality dimensions in first and second language learners. Applied Psycholinguistics, 23(3), 361–374. 10.1017/S014271640200303X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S014271640200303X [Google Scholar]
  49. Watson, O.
    (1970) Proxemic behavior: A cross-cultural study. The Hague, the Netherlands: Mouton. 10.1515/9783111323190
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783111323190 [Google Scholar]
  50. Wilson, J., Ward, C., & Fischer, R.
    (2013) Beyond culture learning theory: What can personality tell us about cultural competence?Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(6), 900–927. 10.1177/0022022113492889
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022113492889 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; English; metapragmatic awareness; nonverbal greetings; personality
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error