A Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Study of Indirect Complaint Responses in Iranian and American News Interviews: Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Foreign Languages, Shanghai University. Shanghai, China


The present study intended to compare the complaint responses used by President Rouhani and President Obama in the Iranian and US news interview contexts. For this purpose, Boxer’s (1993) six types of indirect complaint responses were adopted: ‘ignorance’, ‘questions’, ‘topic switch’, ‘contradiction’, ‘joke/teasing’, ‘advice/lecture’ and ‘agreement/commiseration’. The transcripts of the live news interviews were selected from Tehran Times in Iran and ‘The New York Times’, ‘The Atlantic Daily’, and ‘National Public Radio’ all carried out in 2015. The results of quantitative and qualitative data analyses revealed both universal and culture-specific responses. Whereas both nations made nearly equal use of ‘question’ response in order to make solidarity, ‘contradiction’ was used most frequently in the US interviews and ‘topic-switch’ and ‘commiseration’ were more frequent in Iranian transcripts. The findings are discussed with respect to the culture-specificity and universality and the way that news interviews deal with the political information including Iran’s nuclear negotiations.


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Volume 7, Issue 26 - Serial Number 26
September 2019
Pages 41-55
  • Receive Date: 20 January 2019
  • Revise Date: 28 March 2019
  • Accept Date: 26 April 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 September 2019