Association of Arab Universities Journal for Arts مجلة اتحاد الجامعات العربية للآداب

Association of Arab Universities Journal for Arts  مجلة اتحاد الجامعات العربية للآداب

Document Type



This paper examines directive speech act performed by hotel service counters staff in Jordan. It investigates the politeness strategies employed by staff when they give their directives to hotel foreign guests. The data were collected through audiorecording interactions that occurred between the staff, who are nonnative speakers of English, and foreign guests. Findings from the study show that the directives issued by the staff are characterized by significant directness. The study argues that such directives can be perceived as blunt and discourteous and therefore capable of causing face-threat to the interactants. This principally refers to the fact that they appear to give the guests no choice in complying with the request and fail to acknowledge the imposition involved. The study concludes that the frequent use of such direct strategies may refer to the nature of institutional encounters where the staff enjoy more power due to their institutional knowledge of offering services or information that the guests need as well to the staff's right to ask questions to achieve the purpose of their task-oriented transactions. Furthermore, and more importantly, the staff's use of direct forms may be due to the need for clarity and efficiency in giving directives. The study implies that hotel managers and hospitality curricula designers can benefit from the findings to design materials and manuals that help hotel staff to use appropriate level of directness when they issue their directives to foreign guests to avoid potential face-threat and potential social misunderstandings which can lead to pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic failure.