"Die wat Betekent Die?"
Asymmetrie in betekenisonderhandeling Tussen Moedertaalsprekers en Tweede-Taalsprekers
In conversations between native and nonnative speakers, problems in understanding may occur quite frequently. If one of the speakers tries to repair the trouble, negotiation of meaning will take place. This article describes the roles native and nonnative speakers of Dutch play in negotiating meaning in informal and institutional conversations and the influence of language proficiency and setting on the role distribution. Interaction data were used from a large longitudinal adult second language acquisition project (Perdue, 1993a/b). The relative distribution of the three main negotiation moves (trouble indicators, trouble clarifications and confirmation checks) showed that asymmetry occurs in both types of conversation at all three moments of measurement indicating that language proficiency is indeed a factor causing asymmetry (c.f. Deen, 1997). The nonnative speaker and the native speaker held complementary roles, the former mainly indicating trouble and the latter clarifying and checking. The influence of setting on the asymmetry was less clear because there was little difference between the two settings. The semi-authenticity of the data may partly explain this outcome. Furthermore, it could be shown that the use of confirmation checks by the native speaker could be an indicator of dominance but only when there is competition between the two speakers.
Published online: 24 March 2014