Exploring Online Arabic Complaints in Hotel Reviews on TripAdvisor: A Discourse-Pragmatic Study

Gaida Saad Alqreeni, Mohammad Mahzari


Although much work has explored Arabic complaints in face-to-face (FTF) communication, the subject has received less scholarly attention in computer mediated communication (CMC). In response to the lack of studies on online Arabic complaints, the present study aimed to identify the types of speech acts employed in Arabic complaints on TripAdvisor, the specific topics evaluated in negative reviews, and the adjectives used to convey the reviewers’ evaluations. The study was conducted on hotels in Saudi Arabia, with a sample comprising 246 reviews of 35 hotels in Riyadh, Al-Khobar, and Jeddah. Only 5-star hotels were included. The data were collected manually and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using Microsoft Excel. The results showed that when writing negative reviews on TripAdvisor, Arabs used various speech acts to express their complaints; the most frequently used were retrospective speech acts that included mostly negative evaluations with some positive evaluations. Additionally, the topics most frequently evaluated negatively were services, interpersonal relations, and accommodation; such negative evaluations featured various adjectives with some adverbs to intensify the negative review. Regarding positive evaluations, location was the most frequent positively evaluated aspect, followed by services and accommodation. The results also demonstrated that Arabs rarely used opening and closing speech acts in their negative reviews on TripAdvisor. Finally, the study’s limitations and suggestions are discussed in this paper for the benefit of further research.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v13n1p167

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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