PROMISE AND THREAT IN ENGLISH AND ARABIC RELIGIOUS TEXTS: A PRAGMATIC TUDY

RIYADH TARIQ KADHIM AL-AMEEDI

AL-AMEED JOURNAL, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 9-104

1- The analysis shows that the SAs of promising and
threatening in both English and Arabic can be applied
to religious texts by analyzing their FCs. This means
that religious texts can be regarded as acts of communication.
2- It has been found that in most cases of English texts,
the performative verbs of promising are expressed implicitly
by the modal verbs ‘will’ and ‘shall’ as well as
the conditional form; while in Arabic texts promising
is expressed explicitly as well as implicitly by different
lexical, semantic, and pragmatic forms. Thus one can
conclude that the SA of promising is performed more
explicitly in Arabic texts than in English.
3- The study shows also that the SA of promising in Arabic
culture does not always imply a commitment to do
something to the H, as in English culture. Thus it can
be used for the purpose of terminating the conversation
between the participants, and to satisfy cultural
expectations or to save face.
4- As for the performative verb of threatening, the analysis
shows that in both languages threat is mainly expressed
implicitly by different syntactic and semantic
forms. This fact reveals that both languages have a
similar point of view as to the implicit nature of the A of
threatening.
5- The study finds out also that threat in both English and
Arabic cannot only be determined by the declarative
form since it can be expressed in more than one structure
such as imperative, prohibitive, and interrogative.
6- Concerning the tense of the performative verbs of
promising and threatening, English and Arabic are different
in using the performative verbs. The study reveals
that English performative verbs of these two acts
can be expressed only by using the present tense;
while Arabic tends to use the present or/and the past
tense. Moreover, Arabic can use some past verbs to
express a promise or a threat in given contexts.
7- The study has arrived at a significant conclusion that
both acts of promising and threatening have been
found to be closely related in both languages since the
A of threatening is derived from the same illocution,
i.e., promising. It is also concluded that both acts can
share some FCs and some syntactic forms. The differences
between the two languages behind using the
formula ‘I promise you’ to express a threat can be attributed
to the following points:
a-English tends to avoid using the formula ‘I threaten
you’ by a euphemistic formula ‘I promise you’ owing to the
fact that this formula of threatening is rarely accepted as
a performative and has a pragmatic restriction or an offensive
meaning in English culture.
b-Arabic tends to use the performative verb ‘ وعد ’ (promise)
to express a threat since it has the strongest degree
of commitment of the S, and to emphasize the degree of
punishment in a metaphorical way.