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Tunisian Business Students’ Handling of the Complaint Letter Rhetoric across, Arabic, French and English:

Interdependence Revisited

Mhamdi Faycal

Abstract

This paper examines Tunisian business students’ LSP writing the complaint letter genre across Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), French and English, the languages assumed to be known by the informants of this study. The general hypothesis that this study tests is that writing the complaint letter genre in MSA and French (L2) might interfere with its writing in English. Responding to a writing task, a group of thirty (30) students majoring in International Trade at the Business School of Tunis (BST) wrote a total of ninety (90) letters of complaints. The results obtained from a discourse-based analysis indicate that writing the genre shows degrees of cross-linguistic influence at the level of the lay out, formality of style and the complain speech act across MSA, French and English. Statements of interdependence can be concluded.

Key words: interdependence hypothesis, EFL business writing, Face Threatening Acts, Politeness

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Business English is English especially related to international trade.
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