Politeness in Intercultural Communication: Some Insights into the Pragmatics of English as an International Language

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/238633
Title:
Politeness in Intercultural Communication: Some Insights into the Pragmatics of English as an International Language
Author:
Kuchuk, Alexandra
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Taking a social constructionist perspective, this dissertation explores politeness-as-practice (Eelen, 2001) of L2 English speakers in intercultural communication encounters. The study is situated within the English as an International Language (EIL) paradigm which suggests that pragmatic norms in interaction between EIL speakers are dynamic and flexible, and therefore, instead of measuring EIL speakers' success in interaction against a "native-speaker" norm, the research should focus on how speakers themselves define and (co-)construct pragmatic norms and successful interaction (e.g., House, 2003a; McKay, 2009). The view of politeness taken in this study is based on postmodern approaches to politeness, which submit that politeness is dynamic and that the politeness meanings of particular strategies, utterances, and linguistic forms are assigned to them by participants within an interaction. Data were collected through background questionnaires, written questionnaires in the form of critical incidents, and semi-structured informal interviews. The data were analyzed qualitatively, relying primarily on discourse analysis complemented by the theories of "third place", facework, and politeness. The results of this study offer insights into the nature of pragmatic competence in EIL, the processes of the development of such competence, and challenges that L2 English speakers face in this process. Specifically, this study investigates how L2 speakers of English conceptualize politeness, the hybrid and dynamic nature of their pragmatic competence in general and politeness-in-practice in particular, and the interrelationship between politeness and other factors that determine the speakers' pragmatic choices in situations that have potential for misunderstanding, conflict, and face loss. This dissertation contributes to the theory and research in the fields of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), EIL, Intercultural Communication, Interlanguage Pragmatics and Politeness by providing insights into the pragmatic competence and politeness of L2 English speakers. This work deepens the body of scholarship in these fields in that it provides the speakers' own perspectives on the processes of their pragmatic competence development and their concepts of politeness. It is also hoped that insights provided by this study will benefit English language teachers who aim to develop intercultural communicative competence in their classrooms.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Politeness; Pragmatic Competence; Pragmatics; Second Language Acquisition; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching; English as an International Language; Intercultural Communication
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Gilmore, Perry

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titlePoliteness in Intercultural Communication: Some Insights into the Pragmatics of English as an International Languageen_US
dc.creatorKuchuk, Alexandraen_US
dc.contributor.authorKuchuk, Alexandraen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractTaking a social constructionist perspective, this dissertation explores politeness-as-practice (Eelen, 2001) of L2 English speakers in intercultural communication encounters. The study is situated within the English as an International Language (EIL) paradigm which suggests that pragmatic norms in interaction between EIL speakers are dynamic and flexible, and therefore, instead of measuring EIL speakers' success in interaction against a "native-speaker" norm, the research should focus on how speakers themselves define and (co-)construct pragmatic norms and successful interaction (e.g., House, 2003a; McKay, 2009). The view of politeness taken in this study is based on postmodern approaches to politeness, which submit that politeness is dynamic and that the politeness meanings of particular strategies, utterances, and linguistic forms are assigned to them by participants within an interaction. Data were collected through background questionnaires, written questionnaires in the form of critical incidents, and semi-structured informal interviews. The data were analyzed qualitatively, relying primarily on discourse analysis complemented by the theories of "third place", facework, and politeness. The results of this study offer insights into the nature of pragmatic competence in EIL, the processes of the development of such competence, and challenges that L2 English speakers face in this process. Specifically, this study investigates how L2 speakers of English conceptualize politeness, the hybrid and dynamic nature of their pragmatic competence in general and politeness-in-practice in particular, and the interrelationship between politeness and other factors that determine the speakers' pragmatic choices in situations that have potential for misunderstanding, conflict, and face loss. This dissertation contributes to the theory and research in the fields of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), EIL, Intercultural Communication, Interlanguage Pragmatics and Politeness by providing insights into the pragmatic competence and politeness of L2 English speakers. This work deepens the body of scholarship in these fields in that it provides the speakers' own perspectives on the processes of their pragmatic competence development and their concepts of politeness. It is also hoped that insights provided by this study will benefit English language teachers who aim to develop intercultural communicative competence in their classrooms.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectPolitenessen_US
dc.subjectPragmatic Competenceen_US
dc.subjectPragmaticsen_US
dc.subjectSecond Language Acquisitionen_US
dc.subjectSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
dc.subjectEnglish as an International Languageen_US
dc.subjectIntercultural Communicationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGilmore, Perryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWaugh, Lindaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReinhardt, Jonathonen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGilmore, Perryen_US
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