Explanation is an expression that gives an account of the cause of the offense. In other word the speaker explains why the damage or violation happened(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.206). Some examples in Persian are:
Tu terafik gir kardam (I was stuck in traffic jam)
Ketab tu kifam bud amma az bas ajale dashtam un kife digam ra aavordam (The book was in the bag but since I was in hurry , I took another bag).
Taking responsibility refers to expressions in which the apologizer admits to having responsibility for the offense(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.210). The examples are regretting and admitting the offense. Some examples in Persian are:
Hagh darid mano sarzanesh konid (you have the right to blame me)
Manzuri nadashtam( I did not say or do it intentionally)
Offer of repair
Speaker may try to repair or pay for the damage caused by the offense. An offer of repair is often expressed explicitly. While stating an offer of repair is usually associated with the future time, expressions that demonstrate that the repair has already been done are also categorized as offer of repair (Blum-Kulka, 1984, p.211). The following are two examples:
Dorost mishe ishalla (It will be fixed , if God will)
Age khoda bekhad farad miaaramesh (I will bring tomorrow if God wills)
Concern for the hearer
Concern for the hearer is another apology strategy which is linguistic pattern that shows concern for the hearer(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.221). The following two examples show this strategy:
Shoker khoda salemid ( Thanks God you are safe)
Ishalleh ke toritun nist ( If God wills you are not hurt)
Intensification is an expression that an intensification maker uses of adverb such as: very, deeply and, etc(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.223). The following examples are:
Khili khili motaasefam ( I ‘m deeply sorry) .
Denial of responsibility
Denial of responsibility is an expression that the speakers avoid or deny of responsibility and they directly blame another party(Blum-Kulka 1984, p. 225) as the following examples show:
Be man rabti nadare ( This is not up to me)
Ghesmate dige (it is fate anyway)
Much has been written by different researchers on speech acts and apology. Researchers on apology strategies have revealed that different cultures have different rules for being polite. Many studies have recognized that a learner ?s ability to use speech acts appropriately is a major part of pragmatic competence. Rintell (1979), defines pragmatics as the study of speech acts and argues that the learner ?s pragmatic ability in the target language is reflected in how one produces utterances to communicate specific intentions ? and how one interprets other speaker ?s intentions as conveyed by these utterances.
A great amount of research has examined apologies in different languages, considering various variables such as the politeness strategies employed, the cultural values reflected in the realization of an apology, gender, the factors affecting the choice/use of a particular strategy and the strategies used by native and non-native speakers. Olshtain (1989) compared strategies by speakers of English, French, German, and Hebrew and found considerable similarities in selecting expressions of responsibility. She concluded that different languages will realize apologies in very similar ways.
Sugimoto (1997) compared the apology styles of 200 American (79males and 121 females) and 181 Japanese (82 males and 99 females) college students who responded to an open-ended questionnaire. Sugimoto reported that the four most used strategies are statement of remorse, accounts, description of damage, and reparation, and that, with the exception of accounts; the Japanese respondents used these strategies more than their American counterparts. She also reported that compensation and promise were secondary strategies used mainly by the Japanese respondents.
Certain elements that have effect on impression that an apology make, have been discussed in the literature. Hussein (1995) claims that the formulas of any speech act are determined by social distance, formality of the situation, age, level of education, and status of the participants.
Hussein and Hammouri (1998) examined the apology strategies used by Americans and Jordanian speakers of English. They found that Jordanians use more strategies to apologize than Americans. Both groups use the expression of apology, offer of repair, acknowledgement of responsibility, and promise of forbearance, and only Jordanians use the strategies of praising God for what happened, attacking the offended, minimizing the degree of offenses and interjection .
Soliman (2003), in his comparison of Egyptian and American apology styles, has found the following similarities between the two cultures: 1. Intensifiers are used in both cultures to show sincerity. 2. Interjections, such as oh, are important to show that the offender really cares about what happened. 3. People in both cultures tend to express embarrassment for the offending act. 4.Egyptians tend to attack the offended when the offender thinks the offended cannot justify his/her position as in the incident where a headmaster blames a janitor he bumped into for the incident instead of apologizing to him. 5. Egyptians praise God for everything that happens, whether good or bad.
Yang et. al. (2008), found that the use of politeness strategies in CMD can foster a sense of community among participants by creating a comfort zone in which to exchange ideas as well as motivating student participation in the learning process. Yet, the same authors reported that the student in their study who was interacting online as part of a course activity sometimes showed evidence that their concerns about politeness interfered with their learning. Schallert et al. (2008), included graduate students’ self -perceptions of their own and others’ self-perception about their politeness concerns would be associated with their use of politeness strategies in term of amount and kind of actual politeness move in their online contributions. schallert et.al.used student ?self-reflection papers to understand student ? self-awareness of their politeness concerns and chose two focal students who explicitly stated that they were less concern with politeness and three focal students who reported that they were highly concerned with issues related to politeness. They conducted a micro-discourse analysis of the written messages composed by these five selected focal students in three synchronous and three synchronous online discussions. Result showed that the two students who were less concerned with politeness used fewer politeness move and politeness strategies they used had less variety; whereas the three students who self-reported as having high concerns about politeness used more politeness move in their online discussion messages, and greater variety was found in the kinds of politeness strategies they used.
Brown and Levinson (1987:70) assert that apologies are acts that express negative politeness: they signal the speaker’s awareness of having impinged on the hearer negative face, restricting H’s freedom of action in some way. Apologizing, unlike face attacks such as insults, has a positive effect on the part of hearer (Holmes 1995: 155). To apologize is to attempt to placate or maintain H ‘hearer face; therefore, it is an inherent face-saving act for H (Edmonson et al. 1984:121). Brown and Levinson (1987:68) assert that apologies threaten S’s positive face because they directly damage S’s positive face wants (that S’s action be approved and liked.
For Holmes (1995:155) apology is speech act that is intended to remedy the offense for which the apologizer takes responsibility and, as a result, to rebalance social relations between interlocutors .For Goffman (1971:140) an apology is one type of remedy among others. Another explanation of the nature of apology is given by Fraser (1981:262) who argues that apologizing is at the least taking responsibility for the infraction and expressing regret ” for the offense committed , though not necessarily for the act itself “. Olshtain and Cohen (1983: 22) perceive apology as a social event when they point out that it is performed when social norms are violated. Bergman and Kasper (1993:82) emphasize this view as they see that the reason for apology is to reestablish social relation harmony after the offense is committed.
The apology act is classified by linguists according to various criteria. Divisions are based on external factor such as object of regret or the situation. For Goffman (1971), however, at a certain level, apology is a class in itself within broader category: what he calls remedial work. For him, the remediation can be carried out via one of three devices: accounts, request and apologies. The common usage for an account is an excuse or an explanation, in an attempt to transfer to responsibility to a third party. Strategies used to do so include not admitting commission of the act, claiming ignorance of the effects of the act and claiming impaired competence. Requests consist of “asking license of potentially offended person to engage in what could be considered a violation of his right” (112). An apology is produced after the offense and, by expressing regret, apologizing, which is not clear in accounts.
For Coulmas(1981), it is possible that people offer apologies without