Discourse marking in spoken intercultural communication between British and Taiwanese adolescent learners

Yen-Liang Lin

Abstract

This study investigates and compares the use of discourse markers (DMs) by native speakers and learners of English based on a corpus of adolescent intercultural exchange students. Thestudy employs a discourse analytical approach, in whichFung and Carter’s (2007)multi-category framework is appliedwith a view to examiningDMs used bya group of Taiwanese and British adolescentsin an intercultural setting.The analytical frameworkcontains four main functional categories: Interpersonal, referential, structural and cognitive DMs. Each DM was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively in order to identifythe functions it serves in its original contextandtofurther reveal the different uses of DMs between Taiwanese and British participants. The findings demonstrate that the DMs used by both groups of participants serve the fourcentral functions,andin particularTaiwanese participants display a significant use of interpersonal (e.g., yeah, oh) and structural DMs (e.g., so, okay), while British participants have a significantly higher usage of referential (e.g., coz/because, and) and cognitive DMs (e.g., like, well). The results of this study have direct pedagogical implications that can enhance the teaching of English as a Foreign Language (EFL)to better prepare learners for real life communication scenarios.

Keywords:
Quick links
A browser-friendly version of this article is not yet available. View PDF
Adolphs, S., S. Atkins, and K. Harvey
(2007) Caught between professional requirements and interpersonal needs: Vague language in health care contexts. In J. Cutting (ed.), Vague language explored. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 62-78. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Adolphs, S
(2010) Using a corpus to study spoken language. In S. Hunston, and D. Oakey (eds.), Introducing Applied Linguistics: Concepts and Skills. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 180-187.Google Scholar
Aijmer, K
(2011)  Well I’m not sure I think… The use of well by non-native speakers. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 16.2: 231–254. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Anderson, G
(2000) Pragmatic markers and sociolinguistic variation. Amsterdam: John BenjaminsPublishing Company. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Biber, D
(1995) Dimensions of register variation: A cross-linguistic comparison. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Biber, D., S. Johansson, G. Leech, S. Conrad, and E. Finegan
(1999) Longman grammar of spoken and written English. Harlow, England: Longman.Google Scholar
Bolden, G.B
(2009) Implementing incipient actions: The discourse marker ‘so’ in English conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 41: 974–998. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Carter, R., and M. McCarthy
(2006) Cambridge grammar of English: A comprehensive guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
(2015) Spoken grammar: Where are we and where are we going? Applied Linguistics 36.1:1-12. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Carter, R
(2008) Right, well, OK, so, it’s like, you know, isn’t it, I suppose: Spoken words, written words and why speaking is different. In C. Hudson (ed.), The sound and the silence: Key perspectives on speaking and listening and skills for life. Coventry: Quality Improvement Agency, pp. 11-23.Google Scholar
Carter, R., R. Hughes, and M. McCarthy
(2011) Telling tails: Grammar, the spoken language and materials development. In B. Tomlinson (ed.), Materials development in language teaching (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 78-100.Google Scholar
Cutting, J
(2011) Spoken discourse. In K. Hyland, and B. Paltridge (eds.), Continuum companion to discourse analysis. London and New York: Continuum, pp. 155-170.Google Scholar
Dunning, T
(1993) Accurate methods for the statistics of surprise and coincidence. Computational Linguistic 19.1:61-74.Google Scholar
Evison, J
(2008) Turn-openers in academic talk: An exploration of discourse responsibility (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Nottingham, UK.Google Scholar
Evison, J., M. McCarthy, and A. O’Keeffe
(2007) Looking out for love and all the rest of it: Vague category markers as shared social space. In J. Cutting (ed.), Vague Language Explored. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 138-157. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Fox Tree, J.E., and J.C. Schrock
(2002) Basic meanings of you know and I mean . Journal of Pragmatics 34: 727–747. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Fraser, B
(1999) What are discourse markers? Journal of Pragmatics 31: 931–952. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Fuller, J.M
(2003) Use of the discourse marker like in interviews. Journal of sociolinguistics 7: 365–377. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Gilmore, A
(2004) A comparison of textbook and authentic interactions. ELT Journal 58.4: 363-374. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Hellermann, J., and A. Vergun
(2007) Language which is not taught: The discourse marker use of beginning adult learners of English. Journal of Pragmatics 39: 157–179. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
House, J
(2009) Subjectivity in English as Lingua Franca discourse: The case of you know . InterculturalPragmatics 2:171–193.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Koester, A
(2010) Building small specialised corpora. In M. McCarthy, and A. O’Keeffe (eds.), The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics. London: Routledge, pp. 66-79. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Lin, Y.L
(2013) Vague language and interpersonal communication: An analysis of adolescent intercultural conversation. International Journal of Society, Culture & Language 1.1.2: 69-81.Google Scholar
(2014) Exploring recurrent multi-word sequences in EFL textbook dialogues and authentic discourse. English Teaching & Learning 38.2: 133-158.Google Scholar
McCarthy, M
(2006) Explorations in Corpus Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
McCarthy, M., C. Matthiessen, and D. Slade
(2010) What is discourse analysis? In N. Schmitt (ed.), An introduction to applied linguistics (2nd Edition). Oxon: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, pp. 53-69.Google Scholar
McEnery, T., R. Xiao, and Y. Tono
(2006) Corpus-based language studies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Miskovic-Lukovic, M
(2009) Is there a chance that I might kinda sort of take you out to dinner?: The role of the pragmatic particles kind of and sort of in utterance interpretation. Journal of Pragmatics 41:602–625. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Norrick, N.N
(2009) Interjections as pragmatic markers. Journal of Pragmatics 41: 866–891. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
O’Keeffe, A., and S. Adolphs
(2008) Using a corpus to look at variational pragmatics: Response tokens in British and Irish discourse. In K.P. Schneider, and A. Barron (eds.), Variational Pragmatics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 69-98. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
O’Keeffe, A., M. McCarthy, and R. Carter
(2007) From Corpus to Classroom: Language use and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Östman, J.O
(1981) You know: A discourse functional approach, Pragmatics and beyond II: 7. Amsterdam: John BenjaminsPublishing Company. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Schiffrin, D
(1987) Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Tagliamonte, S
(2005) So who? Like how? Just what? Discourse markers in the conversations of youngCanadians. Journal of Pragmatics 37:1896–1915. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Timmis, I
(2012) Spoken language research and ELT: Where are we now?. ELT Journal 66.4: 514-522. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Tsui, A.B.M
(1994) English Conversation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Underhill, R
(1988) Like is, like, focus. American Speech 63.3: 234–246. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Wierzbicka, A (1991) Cross-cultural pragmatics. The semantics of human interaction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.  BoP. CrossrefGoogle Scholar