ERIC Number: ED169778
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Getting Your Speech Act Together: The Pragmatic Ability of Second Language Learners. Working Papers on Bilingualism, No. 17.
A role-playing procedure for elicitation of speech acts was designed to study aspects of the communicative competence of second language learners, namely, their language variation with respect to deference when the age and sex of the addressee are systematically manipulated. Sixteen Spanish-speaking adult learners of English as a second language participated in the study. The requests and suggestions evoked in the role-playing situations, in both the native and target languages, were rated by judges for deference. The resulting scores were analyzed to yield the effects of the sex of speaker and the age and sex of addressee on the level of deference conveyed in the utterances. It was found that in the requests, age was a significant factor in both languages, but sex of speaker and addressee were significant only in Spanish. For the suggestions, significant age and sex factors appeared only in the English corpus, while there were none in the Spanish one. The results are interpreted with attention to the notions of transfer of pragmatic strategies and the concurrent reformulation of deference requirements for the second language. (Author/AMH)
Descriptors: Adult Students, Bilingual Education, Bilingualism, Communicative Competence (Languages), Cultural Influences, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Language Instruction, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Styles, Language Usage, Language Variation, Postsecondary Education, Pragmatics, Second Language Learning, Social Influences, Social Relations, Sociolinguistics, Spanish Speaking, Speech Communication
Bilingual Education Project, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 252 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M58 1V6 (as long as supply lasts).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of the Secretary of State, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto. Bilingual Education Project.