Document Type : Research Paper


Sharif University of Technology


Cross-cultural analyses of speech acts are among the hot topics in contrastive studies and up to now various researchers have explored this very issue. Despite the ample studies in this field, the speech act of congratulation, especially the subject of ‘birthday congratulation’ remains untouched. The study investigates the possible effects of being an Iranian or an American typical Facebook user upon the kind of the category which is drawn upon to send an addressee a birthday congratulation note on Facebook. The data collected are 120 birthday congratulation notes issued by 60 Iranians and 60 Americans on Facebook. Seven dominant categories emerged from the study namely ‘Illocutionary Force Indicating Device’ (IFID), ‘Blessing Wishes’, ‘Divine Statements’, ‘Poem and Pieces of Literature’, ‘Endearments’, ‘Felling Expressions’ and ‘Compliments’. Moreover, the possible significant differences between the two groups within these categories were explored. The paper concluded that, in five categories, the differences between the two groups proved significant where the two categories ‘IFID’ and ‘Blessing Wishes’ did not show any significant differences.


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