ERIC Number: ED341275
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
The Problem of Norm in the Study of Cross-Cultural Discourse.
Experiences with the data, analysis, and results in the Finnish Contrastive Discourse Analysis Project (1985-1988) at the University of Oulu are reported. The purpose of the project was to describe the conversational skills of advanced Finnish speakers of English, and especially to determine the level of their social competence or their ability to use certain discourse strategies and/or politeness strategies. The most difficult aspect of the project was to determine the extent to which the differences in the language of advanced Finnish speakers of English were due to deficiencies in their linguistic skills and the degree to which they arose from different assumptions on the nature of conversational interaction in English and Finnish cultures. It was concluded that both framing and symbolizing strategies must be compared before definitive answers can be found regarding the level of social competence of the Finnish students. Some of the features of the interlanguage conversational style were found to result from cultural differences and culture-specific norms, but others were traced to deficiencies in the linguistic or structural skills of the students, particularly in the idiomatic control of the target language. Further research on the topic continues in the University of Oulu's Lexis in Discourse Project. Contains 9 references. (LB)
Descriptors: Communication Skills, Contrastive Linguistics, Conversational Language Courses, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Finnish, Foreign Countries, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Competence, Language Usage, Norms, Oral Language, Second Language Learning, Uncommonly Taught Languages
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Communication and Discourse across Cultures and Languages. AFinLa Yearbook 1991; see FL 020 041.