الثلاثاء، 5 أبريل 2016

The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English

The Pragmalinguistic Competence in Requests: A Comparison between One Native and Two Non-native Speakers of English: Speech acts are a very important part of pragmatics in any language. There are many types of acts (e.g., request, complain, question, etc.) associated with the speaker’s utterances. Searle (1972) calls production of linguistic communication ‘a speech act’ (137). The present study examines how two Arab learners of English at two levels of proficiency modify requests compared to a native speaker. The performances by the three informants were compared in terms of internal modification (lexical and phrasal downgraders) and external modification (supportive moves) used. The data were collected by means of a Discourse Completion Test (DCT). Overall, the results revealed that although the advanced-level learner outperformed the intermediate-level learner in using lexical and syntactic mitigators, both learners underuse internal and external modifiers compared to the native speaker. This study addressed three questions that are associated with three directional hypotheses: Hypothesis 1, intermediate or advanced learners of a second language underuse internal modifiers compared to L2 native speakers. Hypothesis 2, advanced learners could vary the syntactic form of the request while the intermediate learners relied heavily on modals and the politeness marker 'please'. Hypothesis 3, second language learners have been said to display verbose pragmatic behavior by producing frequent and lengthy supportive moves (Hassel, 2001).

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