ERIC Number: ED370439
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Cross-Linguistic Influence in Indirectness: The Case of English Directives Performed by Native Japanese Speakers.
Takahashi, Satomi; DuFon, Margaret A.
This study examined the nature of language transfer and its role in second language acquisition. Nine Japanese female young adults residing in Honolulu, divided into through groups based on English language proficiency, took part in two role playing situations with an American native speaker of English. The subjects were to attempt to get a higher-status neighbor to comply with a request directive. Immediately following the role play, the subjects were interviewed, in Japanese, about the situations. The results were then compared to earlier data on Japanese and American directive speech. The results indicated that Japanese learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) tended to proceed from less direct to more direct levels in their directive choice. This is the opposite of the sequence of development in native English-speaking children, which proceeds from more direct to less direct. This finding suggests that other factors besides transfer appear to be influencing the directive choice. The study also found that the beginning group took longer to complete the task, and had more difficulty with it, than either the intermediate or advanced group of ESL learners. Three appendixes contain a taxonomy of directness and indirectness, copies of the role play situations in Japanese and English, and a student general background questionnaire. Contains 44 references. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Directive Speech