Relevance theory and redundancy phenomena in second language learners' written English discourse: An interlanguage pragmatics perspective

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/280519
Title:
Relevance theory and redundancy phenomena in second language learners' written English discourse: An interlanguage pragmatics perspective
Author:
Karasawa, Sachie
Issue Date:
2001
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:
The purpose of this study was to contribute to a better understanding of nonnative English speaking students' interlanguage pragmatics in written discourse. It examined whether the types of redundancy found in second language (L2) learners' written English discourse may be explained by a lack of pragmatic knowledge, and used the theoretical framework of Sperber and Wilson's (1986) Relevance Theory. The particular type of pragmatic knowledge examined was the appropriate use of contextual information assumed to be manifest between the writer (i.e. the student) and the reader (i.e. the instructor). The subjects were 40 nonnative (NNS) and 34 native (NS) English speaking college students enrolled in freshman composition courses. They wrote essays on two topics that were selected carefully to manipulate the degrees of mutually manifest contextual information. The introduction section of each essay was submitted to an initial quantitative analysis. The results indicated that: (1) The mean length of the NNS essays was greater than that of the NS essays on both topics, and the difference on topic one reached a statistically significant level (p < 0.05), (2) The difference between the mean length of the NS essays on topics one and two was statistically significant (topic one<topic two, p < 0.01) whereas the difference between the mean length of the NNS essays on topics one and two was not statistically significant, (3) There were more than twice as many instances of unnecessary types of redundancy in the NNS essays than in the NS essays, and (4) No statistically significant differences were found among the NNS essays in different L1 sub-groups, with relative terseness found in Hindi/Urdu dominant bilingual subjects in the Indian L1 sub-group as an exception. In addition to the initial analysis, this study also examined the relationships between holistically judged essay quality and (1) the length of introduction, (2) L2 learners' linguistic knowledge, and (3) L2 learners' length of stay in the U.S. It further compared the linguistic features of the NNS and NS essays in high, intermediate, and low score ranges.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Education, Language and Literature.; Language, Linguistics.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Wildner-Bassett, Mary E.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleRelevance theory and redundancy phenomena in second language learners' written English discourse: An interlanguage pragmatics perspectiveen_US
dc.creatorKarasawa, Sachieen_US
dc.contributor.authorKarasawa, Sachieen_US
dc.date.issued2001en_US
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.abstractThe purpose of this study was to contribute to a better understanding of nonnative English speaking students' interlanguage pragmatics in written discourse. It examined whether the types of redundancy found in second language (L2) learners' written English discourse may be explained by a lack of pragmatic knowledge, and used the theoretical framework of Sperber and Wilson's (1986) Relevance Theory. The particular type of pragmatic knowledge examined was the appropriate use of contextual information assumed to be manifest between the writer (i.e. the student) and the reader (i.e. the instructor). The subjects were 40 nonnative (NNS) and 34 native (NS) English speaking college students enrolled in freshman composition courses. They wrote essays on two topics that were selected carefully to manipulate the degrees of mutually manifest contextual information. The introduction section of each essay was submitted to an initial quantitative analysis. The results indicated that: (1) The mean length of the NNS essays was greater than that of the NS essays on both topics, and the difference on topic one reached a statistically significant level (p < 0.05), (2) The difference between the mean length of the NS essays on topics one and two was statistically significant (topic one<topic two, p < 0.01) whereas the difference between the mean length of the NNS essays on topics one and two was not statistically significant, (3) There were more than twice as many instances of unnecessary types of redundancy in the NNS essays than in the NS essays, and (4) No statistically significant differences were found among the NNS essays in different L1 sub-groups, with relative terseness found in Hindi/Urdu dominant bilingual subjects in the Indian L1 sub-group as an exception. In addition to the initial analysis, this study also examined the relationships between holistically judged essay quality and (1) the length of introduction, (2) L2 learners' linguistic knowledge, and (3) L2 learners' length of stay in the U.S. It further compared the linguistic features of the NNS and NS essays in high, intermediate, and low score ranges.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Language and Literature.en_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Linguistics.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition and Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWildner-Bassett, Mary E.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest3010266en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b41714982en_US
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