Length of residence and intensity of interaction: Modification in Greek L2 requests

Spyridoula Bella


This paper investigates the external and internal modification devices used by native speakers and advanced learners of Greek, when making requests in formal and informal situations. The data are drawn from a discourse completion test completed by native speakers and learners of two different groups: one with extended length of residence in Greece but limited opportunities for interaction with native speakers and one with more frequent opportunities for interaction but limited length of residence in the target community. On the basis of the results, it is argued that learners with more opportunities for interaction approximate more closely to the native norm with respect to external modification and some aspects of internal modification of requests. Yet, it is shown that other aspects of internal modification remain underdeveloped, irrespective of frequency of contact with native speakers. This highlights the need for pedagogical intervention in order for the learners’ pragmatic development to be promoted.

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