ERIC Number: ED221064
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Foreigner Talk in the U.S. and Germany: Contrast and Comparison.
Foreigner talk (FT) has been characterized as speech "used by speakers of a language to outsiders who are felt to have limited command of a language or no knowledge of it," or "the variety of language that is regarded by a speech community as primarily appropriate for addressing foreigners." A study was carried out in Germany to discover by means of a comparison of English and German FT why FT in Germany appears obtrusive in contrast to FT in the United States where it does not stand out. Three data-collection procedures were used: (1) a self-analysis elicitation of 10 stimulus sentences translated from Ferguson's stimulus sentences in a similar project in the United States in English, (2) secret recordings of FT responses to requests for directions by two foreign students, and (3) openly recorded native-foreign interaction in a municipal office for foreigner matters. The differences in the processes involved in FT are variously reflected in the two languages. Simplification processes lead to language-specific variation. Clarification processes seem to be the same for both languages. Expressive/identifying processes are also the same, although it appears that the familiar pronoun "du" is used more frequently with those national groups perceived to be lower down on the status hierarchy scale. The 10 sentences used in the data collection are appended. (AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Foreigner Talk
Note: Condensed version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (56th, New York, NY, December, 1981).