Title page for etd-0724106-152132


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URN etd-0724106-152132
Author Miao-tzu Chen
Author's Email Address miaotzu_chen@yahoo.com.tw
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Department Foreign Language and Literature
Year 2005
Semester 2
Degree Master
Type of Document
Language English
Title AN INTERLANGUAGE STUDY OF THE SPEECH ACT OF DISAGREEMENT MADE BY CHINESE EFL SPEAKERS IN TAIWAN
Date of Defense 2006-06-20
Page Count 198
Keyword
  • disagreement
  • transfer
  • strategy
  • interlanguage pragmatics
  • Abstract The speech act of disagreement has been one of the speech acts that receive the least attention in the field of interlanguage pragmatics, in terms of both linguistic and non-linguistic realization of disagreement strategies. The present study was aimed to investigate how Chinese EFL learners perform the speech act of disagreement in English by comparing SRQ and DCT data from four groups of speakers, including 60 native speakers of Chinese, 60 native speakers of English, 30 EFL-low proficiency speakers, and 30 EFL-high proficiency speakers. The speakers’ language performance in variation with several contextual factors, such as formality of context, social distance, social status, speaker gender, interlocutor gender and topic, was also examined. The data on linguistic strategies showed that the Chinese speakers avoided disagreement more often while the English speakers frequently used direct disagreement characterized by various and original positive remarks as softening devices. It was also found that the perception data, from the SRQ and the opt-out reasons, suggests rich ‘sociopragmatic judgments and motivating factors that have explanatory power in describing products of pragmalinguistic decisions’ (Bonikowska, 1988: 173). Therefore, as evidenced by the perception data and supported by sociological theories, the individualistic culture’s emphasis on ‘I’ consciousness might have promoted the English speakers’ bald verbal expressions while the collectivistic culture’s priority of ‘we’ concept and face concern have explained the Chinese speakers’ harmony orientation in disagreement. Moreover, cultural difference in distinction between in-group and out-group signified differences in language performance when the speakers were disagreeing with the interlocutor at the longest distance, that is, the stranger or the clerk. As for the interlanguage, the EFL-low speakers behaved closer to the Chinese native speakers in using such strategies as ‘avoidance’ and ‘contradiction’. The EFL-high speakers overperformed ‘challenge to the interlocutor’ when disagreeing with the close friend in order to demonstrate their English proficiency. In addition, both the EFL groups performed non target-like linguistic features partly due to pragmatic transfer from Chinese. In the future, more interlanguage research could elicit the speakers’ perception of the speech act under study, which would supply abundant evidence of cross-cultural differences in social values and other motivating factors that could help interpret the EFL learners’ realization of speech acts.
    Advisory Committee
  • Feng-fu Tsao - chair
  • Syu-ing Shyu - co-chair
  • Yuh-huey Lin - advisor
  • Files
  • etd-0724106-152132.pdf
  • indicate access worldwide
    Date of Submission 2006-07-24

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