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ERIC Number: ED401758
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Investigating the Structure of Discourse Completion Tests.
Varghese, Manka; Billmyer, Kristine
Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, v12 n1 p39-58 Spr 1996
A study examined internal structure of the Discourse Completion Test (DCT), a technique used to elicit data in sociolinguistic research, and effects of systematic modification to its situational prompt on subject response. The DCT is a questionnaire containing situations, briefly described, designed to elicit a particular speech act. Subjects read each situation and respond in writing to a prompt. Three versions of a DCT designed to elicit requests were used: an original that included needed information on requestive goal, social distance, and social dominance; an elaborated version with additional information on interlocutor's gender, role relationship, length of acquaintance, interaction frequency, whether the relationship was optional, and a description of setting; and an elaborated version in which students were asked to reflect 30 seconds before responding. Subjects were 55 native speakers of American English, all university students. Data were analyzed for request strategies of the head act, internal modification of the head act, length of entire request act and internal and external modification, and external modification of the head act. No significant response differences were found in head acts across versions, but significant differences were found across versions on mean length of request act and external modifications. Contains 14 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A