Pragmatic development during study abroad
L2 intensifiers in spoken Spanish
The current investigation examined the development of second language (L2) intensifier use in spoken Spanish over a 6-week immersion program in Madrid (n = 45). Native Spanish speakers from Madrid (n = 10) served as a comparison group to represent the local ambient input or sociopragmatic norm to which L2 learners were exposed. Data were extracted from semi-structured interviews. Results exposed different developmental trends over the program for intensifier frequency, intensifier lexical diversity, and intensifier collocations. While learners already had a strong sense of which intensifiers were most frequent in Spanish and how to use them in appropriate linguistic environments at the beginning of the program, the immersion program had positive impacts on the development of intensifier frequency and intensifier lexical diversity. The findings also highlighted different intensifier frequency developmental trends among learners, which collectively suggested that learners adjusted to the sociopragmatic norm of intensifier use in Madrid over the immersion experience.
Keywords: intensifier frequency, intensifier collocation, intensifier lexical diversity, second language (L2), L2 pragmatics, Spanish, study abroad, immersion
Published online: 10 December 2020
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