ANNIE MAE BEROWA -
WHEN ETHNIC AFFILIATION MATTERS: LOOKING INTO THE COMPLIMENT SPEECH ACT STRATEGIES OF THE MARANAOS IN MINDANAO : INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
This study presents the compliment and compliment response strategies employed by Maranao ESL learners toward Maranao and non-Maranao addressees. Additionally, it tried to discover the influence of ethnic affiliations in the choice of strategies used by the participants. The Maranaos, which means “people of the lake”, largely settle in the region surrounding the basin of Lake Lanao who are adherents of Islam. The data were gathered through the use of written discourse completion task (DCT) questionnaires that were accomplished by 46 Maranao respondents. It was found that they strongly prefer the use of explicit strategy in giving compliments for both Maranao and non-Maranao addressees. With regard to compliment response strategies, participants strongly favored the accept strategy through the use of appreciation tokens to both groups of interlocutors. Thus, it appears that the strategies employed in performing such speech acts did not greatly differ. However, the study discovered that Maranao participants used Islamic expressions like “Mashaa Allah!” when giving a compliment and “Alhamdullilah!” when returning a compliment only to fellow Maranao addressees. These expressions seem to indicate the exclusive language use of the participants to show their shared beliefs with fellow Maranao ethnic group members and Islamic believers.
The author is a faculty member of the Mindanao State University, Main Campus in Marawi City.