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Non-Native Speakers Verbosity in Speech Act Performance

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2011, 12(4), pp.1-22
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching

SUH JAE SUK 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper was to examine one pragmatic aspect of speech act performance, talkativeness of learner language. To this end, a study was conducted in which data were gathered via discourse completion test, and Korean learners of English and native speakers of English were asked to perform the speech act of requests in various situations. The analysis of data showed that indeed, ESL learners tended to make their requests lengthier by making frequent use of supportive moves of external modification across situations than EFL learners and native speakers.EFL learners realized simple, brief requests due mainly to their limited proficiency of L2. It was also found that native speakers were active in internal modification of their request strategies by using downgraders throughout situations, and thus produced more words inside request strategy than two learner groups. The native speakers’ frequent use of downgraders contributed greatly to an appropriate expression of politeness in each situation while the learners’ under-use of downgraders led them to sound direct and impolite across situations. Based on the results of the study, it was suggested that since learner verbosity weakens the illocutionary force of an act by providing more information than needed, and is seen as one type of pragmatic error, learners should be taught to be sensitive to their talking-much behavior in L2 speech act performance.

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