Hebrew Complaints

On the scale evaluating the severity of the complaint (reproach, disapproval, explicit complaint, warning or threat), native speakers of Hebrew seem to prefer the central strategy, explicit complaints, while all the other strategies were utilized as well (Olshtain & Weinbach, 1985, 1993).

Native speakers’ strategy choices appear to be most affected by social status (power difference) of the interlocutors but least affected by social distance (e.g., strangers, acquaintances, friends, relatives) (Olshtain & Weinbach, 1985, 1993).

The native speakers of Hebrew and American nonnative speakers of Hebrew (advanced speakers) tend to chose similar patterns of strategies, although non-native speakers tended to prefer milder forms (Olshtain & Weinbach, 1985, 1993).

[ Research notes on the section above... ]


Olshtain, E. & Weinbach, L. (1993). Interlanguage Features of the Speech Act of Complaining. In G. Kasper & S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlanguage Pragmatics (pp. 108-122). New York, Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Olshtain, E. & Weinbach, L. (1985). Complaints : A study of speech act behavior among native and nonnative speakers of Hebrew. In J. Verschueren & M. Bertuccelli-Papi (Eds.), The Pragmatic Perspective : Selected Papers from the 1985 International Pragmatics Conference (pp, 195-208). Amsterdam/Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing Company.

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