This study of speech acts offers deep insights into the social structure and gender differences of any speech community. Most relevant research on online speech acts has shed much light on Western speech communities, neglecting the speech act behavior of Arabic speaking communities. This study aimed to examine the influence of gender differences and the Jordanian cultural norms on the use of speech acts in Facebook Status Updates (FSUs). A total of 1718 FSUs were collected over a period of 2 months. Then, they were categorized according to Searle’s speech acts taxonomy. Results showed that women made an average of 6 updates to their Facebook status, while men averaged four. In addition, the results revealed that females and males differ in their linguistic repertoires. Male participants were inclined to use more assertive speech acts, whereas females were more likely to use expressive speech acts. Islam and tribalism are factors that were found to play an important role in defining the cultural norms of the Jordanian speech community.
Ala’Eddin Abdullah Ahmed Banikalef
gender differences, Jordanian speech community, Searle’s taxonomy, Facebook status updates, netspeak language