Declining an invitation and refusing a request: discursive attenuation procedures used in the written answers of students of Spanish as a foreign language in the United States

Francisco J. Rodríguez Muñoz – Universidad de Almería, España
Dimitrinka G. Níkleva – Universidad de Granada, España

Francisco J. Rodríguez Muñoz y Dimitrinka G. Níkleva, 2018: "Rechazar una invitación y negarse a una petición: procedimientos de atenuación discursiva empleados en las respuestas escritas de alumnas de español como lengua extranjera en Estados Unidos",
Onomázein 39, 90-113.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.39.02

This paper aims to analyse discursive attenuation procedures that 52 students of Spanish as a foreign language of United States use. From a questionnaire, the answers linked to two communicative functions present in the Plan curricular del Instituto Cervantes were collected. In the first, participants had to decline an invitation from a friend, while, in the second, they had to refuse a request from a stranger. Although, initially, it was supposed to find a greater number of attenuation resources associated to participants’ responses when these had relation to a larger social distance degree between interlocutors, results suggest that there are other factors that prevent the validation of this hypothesis. However, differences in the amount and type of attenuation mechanisms are found regarding both functions in two groups at an intermediate level of Spanish (the first one, between A2 and B1, and the second one, between B1 and B2).