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Siwanon Ninpanit


This study explores the instances of indirect refusals as a speech act in The Surgeon,
a short story written by Roald Dahl. The investigation examined the utilization of indirect refusals and their relationship with politeness strategies and the sociological variables, namely social distance (D), relative power (P), and absolute ranking (R) of imposition, as expounded by Brown and Levinson (1987). The analysis was conducted on negative responses to offers and suggestions in the story and the results were based on the politeness strategies put forth by Liang and Min (2013). The findings demonstrate that indirect refusals used by characters, such as those between the doctor and the prince-patient in the story, align with politeness strategies, with an example in the use of excuses or reasons. The sociological variables between them play a crucial role in their usage, particularly in preserving the interlocutor's positive face by providing a rationale for their deployment. These results offer evidence to support the politeness theory proposed by Brown and Levinson.

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