ERIC Number: ED195173
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Learning to Say What You Mean in a Second Language; a Study of the Speech Act Performance of Learners of Hebrew as a Second Language.
Adult native speakers of Hebrew, English-speaking learners of Hebrew, and an additional group of native English speakers were administered a discourse-completion test. Results indicate that to some extent speech-act realization in interlanguage benefits from the activation of a non language-specific pragmatic competence. Conformity to the conventions of use in the native or target language was not necessarily in evidence, and subjects often realized a speech act in the target language by a strategy that differed from both conventions. Learners were shown to violate social norms in the target language by deviating from the preferred speech acts of native speakers, often by choosing less direct formulations. An analysis of deviations reveals that pragmatic competence and the level of linguistic competence interact with second language acquisition processes in determining speech-act realization in the interlanguage. This research supports the position that comparable speech act strategies across languages differ on several dimensions, such as speech act procedure, linguistic realization, potential pragmatic force, and social appropriateness rules. As a result, second language learners often fail to realize their communicative act in the target language both in terms of social appropriateness and pragmatic effectiveness. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Speech Acts
Note: Few handwritten corrections.