On the role of formulas in the acquisition of L2 pragmatics
On the role of formulas in the acquisition of L2 pragmatics Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig Indiana University Pragmatics and Language Learning Functions of formulas
Communicative strategy, allows early communication (Rehbein, 1987; Weinert, 1995); elicits further input (Wong-Fillmore, 1976; Krashen, Dulay, & Burt, 1982) Production strategy; fluency in production and faster processing (Weinert, 1995) Speaker can be confident that act performed
will be understood by the interlocutor in the intended way (Wildner-Bassett, 1994) Speaker saves planning time that can be used where it is needed more (Peters, 1983) Makes language learner appear nativelike (Yorio, 1989) Pragmatics has become a major field of study in its own right, in linguistics, and now in language learning and teaching. Pragmatic competence has come to be
viewed as an essential part of learners competence. The formulaic nature of many pragmalinguistic rules has necessarily contributed to bringing the study of prefabs to the fore (Granger,1998, p. 145) Does chunk learning (formulaic speech) play a role in acquisition of L2 pragmatics? (Kasper & Schmidt, 1996, p. 163) There appears to be an important role for
prefabricated speech in pragmatic development. As formulae and routines often consist of lexicalized sentence stems (Pawley & Syder, 1983) with open slots, learners can decompose them and extend their use productively, as in Wess extension of permission requests.... Routine formulae constitute a substantial part of adult NS pragmatic competence, and learners need to acquire a sizable repertoire of routines in order to cope efficiently with recurrent and expanding social situations and discourse
requirements (Coulmas, 1981). Therefore, how pragmatic routines are acquired has to be addressed as a research issue in its own right (Wildner-Bassett, 1984, 1994). Common terms for formulas in ILP formulas formulaic sequences chunks
prefabs (prefabricated speech) routines formulaic routines It should be here you go. I often hear this, but I dont know what it means. (Roever, 2005, retrospective task) Developmental formulas
Routines are whole utterances that are unusually error-free and show no transitional stages of development or systematic order of acquisition. They are learned as unanalyzed wholes, much as one learners a single word (Krashen, Dulay, & Burt, 1982, pp. 232-233) Target formulas Routine formulae are highly conventionalized prepatterned expressions whose occurrence is tied to more or less standardized communication
situationsConversational routines are tacit agreements, which the members of a community presume to be shared by every reasonable comember. In embodying social knowledge they are essential in the handling of day-to-day transactions (Coulmas, 1981, pp. 2-4) Semantic Formulas Components of a speech act set, e.g., for an apology Im really sorry [head act], its all my fault [statement of responsibility], Ill buy you a
new one [redress], it wont happen again [promise of forbearance] Common characteristics A formula is a sequence, continuous or discontinuous, of words or other meaning elements, which is, or appears to be, prefabricated, that is, stored and retrieved whole from memory at the time of use, rather than being subject to generation or analysis by the language grammar (Wray,
2000, p. 465) What role do formulas play in the acquisition of L2 pragmatics? Characteristics of developmental formulas 1. at least two morphemes in length 2. phonologically coherent; fluently articulated, nonhesitant; 3. unrelated to productive patterns in speech;
4. greater complexity than learners output; 5. used repeatedly and always in the same form; 6. may be inappropriate or otherwise idiosyncratic. (Myles, Hooper, & Mitchell, 1998, p. 325) Analysis of formulas Formula > low-scope pattern > construction (Ellis, 2002) Grammar and formulas
Grammar catches up to formulas (R. Ellis, 1984; Krashen & Scarcella, 1978) Formulas inspire grammar (Hakuta, 1974; Nattinger & De Carrico, 1992)
Formulas Grammar Formulas Grammar What do we know about developmental sequences in the second language acquisition of pragmatics? Wes (Schmidt, 1983)
Formulaic and creative utterances 1. Shall we go 2. Sitting? (shall we sit down? or would you like to sit down?) 3. Please next month send orders more quick. 4. Shall we maybe go out coffee now, or you want later? Inversion in grammar and formulas 5. Ah, you has keys?
6. When Tim is coming? 7. Do you have time? 8. Are you busy? Intersecting analyses Shall we go? Exceeds grammar (Developmental formula) Recurrent sequences, used in specific situations (Target formula)
Nonintersecting Analyses I think and maybe Use is accounted for by grammar (not a developmental formula) Recurrent sequences, used in specific situations (target formula) Target formulas From a sociolinguistic point of view, it is important to learn routines at any learning stage because they embody the societal
knowledge that members of a given community share routine formulas are thus essential in the verbal handling of everyday life (House, 1996, pp. 227-228) Target formulas Formulas may also be (7) situationally dependent and (8) community-wide in use (Myles, Hooper, & Mitchell, 1998, p. 325) (cf. semantic formulas in pragmatics)
Estimated NS formula use 20% formulaic use (Peters, 1983) Formulas Production 32% unplanned NS (English) speech (Foster, 2001) Formulas
Production 59% spoken English discourse (Erman & Warren, 2000) Formulas Production Target formulas in ILP Rate of use
Lower rate of use of formulas by learners than native speakers (Edmondson & House, 1991; Blum-Kulka & Olshtain, 1986; but see De Cock, 2000) Formulas show development (morphology, syntax, lexicon, suprasegmentals) Form emerges in stages Routine from the IL Appropriate use of formulas, accuracy
problems Right formula, wrong delivery Right formula, unnecessary particles (e.g. ne; L2 Japanese) Form emerges in stages (morphology, syntax, lexicon, suprasegmentals) Stages in the acquisition of yeah, but a. bare but (Example10)
b. unconventional (creative) agreement + but (Example 11) c. yeah, but also alternates with yeah, so, yeah, no (Examples 12-13) d. yeah, but as preferred disagreement marker (Example 14) (Bardovi-Harlig & Salsbury, 2004) Coinage of a formula from the IL System (Edmondson & House, 1991; Wildner-Bassett, 1994; Oppenheim, 2000;
De Cock, 2000; Rehbein, 1987; Yorio, 1989) L1-based usage IL-based usage (created using IL resources) Relied on idiosyncratic recurrent sequences, approximations of NS L1-based usage NNS Production (L1 Spanish) Silence! (Silencio!)
Congratulations (Felicidades) Pass (Pase) (Scarcella, 1979) NS production (L1 English) Shut up! Be quiet! Happy Birthday Come (on) in
IL-based usage 'I very appreciate' (Eisenstein & Bodman, 1986) Appropriate use of formulas with accuracy problems (Wildner-Bassett, 1994; Yorio, 1989) take advantages of are to blamed for a friend of her
Use of the right formula, but wrong delivery (Tateyama, 2001, L2 Japanese) too smooth where hesitancy is required not apologetic sounding (in apology usage) abrupt
intonation mechanical delivery (House, 1996) Use of the right formula, add unnecessary (untargetlike) particles (e.g. ne) (in the learning of Japanese, Tateyama, 2001) Form-meaning-use adjustments Overgeneralization: Over generalized use of formulas resulting in a loss of original function through overuse (Flix-Brasdefer,
2005; Kecskes, 2000, 2003; Tateyama, 2001; Wildner-Bassett, 1994) Same response in multiple situations (Kecskes, 2000) S1: Can I borrow your pen? S2: Would you like some candy? S3: Can I talk to you after class?
Sure, no problem Sure, no problem Sure, no problem Undergeneralization Lack of pragmatic realization in L2 repertoire (some formulas arent used where they are expected) (Wildner-Bassett, 1994; Tateyama, 2001; Edmondson & House, 1991; Kecskes, 2000)
Misuse L2 sequence is used with a different meaning (Scarcella, 1979; general formula research, De Cock, 2000) Excuse me Im sorry (Borkin & Reinhart, 1978) Targetlike use Appropriate use of well-formed routine
formulas Recognition of formulas If learners dont always produce (targetlike) formulas, do they recognize them? 17. Claudia calls her friend Dennis. Dennis isnt home but Claudia would like the person who answered the phone to tell Dennis something. What would Claudia probably say?
a. Can you write something? b. Can I give you information? c. Can you take a note? d. Can I leave a message? (Roever, 2005) 18. In a crowded subway, a woman steps on Jakes foot. She says Im sorry. What would Jake probably say? a.Thats okay. b.No bother.
c.Its nothing. d. Dont mention it. 19. Ted is inviting his friend to a little party hes having at his house tomorrow night. Ted: Im having a little party tomorrow night at my place. How would Ted probably go on? a. How would you like to come in? b. Do you think you could make it? c. How about youre there?
d. Why arent you showing up? 20. a.Bill, I do not think I can agree with you OK, shoot b. Frank, I think you really deserved that prize. Get out of here. c. Jim, do you think you can repair the coffee machine? Piece of cake.
(Kecskes, 2000, 2003) OK, shoot (= go ahead) Get out of here (= dont fool me) Piece of cake (= easy) (Kecskes, 2000, 2003) 21. Asked what TV broadcasters said. NS a. Stay tuned. Well be right back. b. Well have to take a break. Dont go away.
c. Stick around. Learners d. Keep your channel. e. When we come back we will an action. (Kecskes, 2000, 2003) Excuse me (Recognition) % Learners reporting recognition
7 DCT item 4. You go to the bookstore between classes for some pens and paper, but you cant find what you want. You need help, but the studentemployees are having a friendly conversation with each other. You have a test in your next class, so you cant wait until they finish. You say: ______________________________________
______________________________________ % production on DCT Use of alerters (DCT #4) 100 90 80 70 60 50
40 30 20 10 0 I'm sorry to interrupt you Sorry Excuse me + sorry Excuse me
4 5 6 Level 7 Task 4: Modified VKS
(Paribahkt & Wesche, 1996) 4. Excuse me a. I don't remember having heard this expression before. b. I have heard this expression before, but I don't know what it means. c. I have heard this expression before, and I think it means _____________________________________________ _________ d. I know this expression. It means _____________________________________________ _________
e. I can use this expression in a conversation: _____________________________________________ (If you do this section, please also do (d). % Learner report recognition VKS: Responses xyzto Excuse me 100 90 80
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 c. I think d. I know
e. Example Sorry Other 4 5 6 Level
7 Interpretation of Excuse me As an alerter: if somebody is interrupted and you want to be polite (Learner 6.02) an expression before you are going to do something unexpecting and botherable (6.21) Other Most common alternative interpretation is sorry. (26% of all learners)
Other interpretations (20% of all learners) Excuse me Learner 6.08 Some kind of information that please accept my interruption on conversation or walking Excuse me. You are in my way now. Learner 6.13 d. Please allow me to bother you. e. Excuse me, but would you please shut up
here? Uncomfortable formula use NNS1: Hi Bettina I mean NNS2: Hi Jan how are you doing? NNS1: Okay I I am erm erm okay, yes I have to say I am fine but erm I am not fine NNS2: You are not fine? NNS1: Actually no no (House, 1996)
What do learners notice? 22. Learners attended to discourse markers (DMA) and idiomatic expressions (IDE) more than requests (Takahashi, 2005) DMA > IDE > REQ1 > REQ2 > N-IDE > REQ3 REQ1 REQ2 REQ3 I wonder + VP Is it possible + VP
If you could VP Summary of research 1. We know that the pragmatics literature has treated two types of formula in essentially an undifferentiated manner which has led to some lack of clarity. 2. We suspect individual variation (both types, developmental and target) 3. Formulas show developmental stages.
4. Less use of (targetlike) formulas by learners than by NS (cf. Oppenheim, 2000) 5. The effect of exposure is greater than proficiency (Edmondson & House, 1991; Roever, 2005) 6. Motivation may promote noticing (Takahashi, 2005; Drnyei et al 2004 ) Pushing research in this area ahead will involve new research designs (thats
another talk), but we can also learn more by changing our analysis of data yielded by our current elicitation tasks. Analysis Look for HRWC (highly recurrent word combinations), whether targetlike or not (De Cock, 2000) Emphasize individual response Analysis by group
Scenario Learner A Learner B Learner C NNS 1 2 3 Individual analysis Scenario 1 2 3 4
Learner A Learner B Learner C Research questions for furthering the agenda. Breaking down the big question:
Questions for further research For developmental formulas Are formulaic sequences in evidence in the interlanguage pragmatic expression of (low-level) learners? (Expect individual variation) Do formulas show breakdown and analysis by the grammar? Formula > low scope pattern > construction Do formulas seem to drive acquisition of grammar? Are formulas abandoned (in intermediate stages) as suggested by some authors?
Is there a U-shaped curve of formula use? Does formula use increase in advanced learners? Targetlike use How do learners learn/acquire formulas? (Is this an issue for ILP?) Are formulas learned whole? Are they constructed? (Fusion; Peters, 1983) Does storage and retrieval matter so much for the inquiry as whether conventional sequences are produced and
comprehended? Is grammar a factor in learning formulas? If so, what is the relation between specific grammatical competence and the use of social/pragmatic formulas? (consider, for example, I was wondering if, would you mind, would it be possible for you to Verb) What is the role of nontargetlike formulas? Targetlike use is only one facet of
formulaic language use. (Granger, 1998; Oppenheim, 2000; Rehbein, 1987; Scarcella, 1979; Yorio, 1989) What is the role of motivation? (Takahashi, 2005; Drnyei et al 2004) What is the role of individual variation? What role is played by other principles of second language acquisition, such as the one-to-one principle? What is the role of input (including
instruction)? What is the role of environment? Host? Foreign? Classroom? Recognition and production Do learners recognize TL formulaic sequences? Do learners recognize IL formulaic sequences? Can learners tell when frequent formulas are not being used appropriately?
How does recognition relate to production? (Kasper & Schmidt, 1996) Design Longitudinal Oral (function of formulas; task effect) Recognition tasks (include aural recognition) Inventory (pragmalinguistic resources) vs. Use (sociopragmatic realization) Vocabulary research
Formulas used by Roever (2005) Hello Nice to meet you Can I leave a message? No thanks, Im full Say that again, please Youre welcome
Can I get you anything else? Thats okay For here or to go? Here you go Excuse me, do you have the time? Do you think you could make it? VKS (Paribakht & Wesche, 1996)
word expression I. II. III. IV. V. I don't remember having seen this expression before. I have seen this expression before, but I don't know what it means.
I have seen this expression before, and I think it means_____. (synonym or translation) I know this expression. It means_____. (synonym or translation) I can use this expression in a sentence:_____. (If you do this section, please also do Section IV.) Analysis Look for HRWC (highly recurrent word combinations), whether targetlike or not
(De Cock, 2000) Emphasize individual response Analysis by group Scenario Learner A Learner B Learner C NNS 1 2 3 Individual analysis Scenario
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