The Nature and Conditions of Pragmatic and Discourse Transfer Investigated through Naturalized Role-play
Giao Quynh Tran
University of Melbourne
For decades, the first linguistic and cultural influence on second language performance (technically known as pragmatic and discourse transfer) in cross-cultural interaction has fascinated researchers because its nature and especially its conditions have never been fathomed out. The aims of this investigation are threefold. First, it examines the nature of pragmatic and discourse transfer in compliment responses by Vietnamese speakers of English as a second language in cross-cultural interaction with Australians. Second, the research project investigates the underexplored conditions of pragmatic and discourse transfer. In the quest for the nature and conditions of pragmatic and discourse transfer, research methodologies provoke much debate because they have different advantages and disadvantages, though the ultimate goal remains the controlled elicitation of data that is comparable to real-life production. The third aim of the present study is to propose and validate an innovative methodology of data collection in cross-cultural and interlanguage pragmatics research _ the Naturalized Role-play. This methodology is capable of realizing the highly desirable but virtually impossible goal of eliciting spontaneous data in controlled settings. Findings of this investigation indicated what was transferred and how pragmatic and discourse transfer patterned, upon which new hypotheses (e.g. the Compliment Response Continuum Hypothesis) were formulated.
The investigation also uncovered as yet unknown conditions of pragmatic and discourse transfer (e.g. awareness in language production) and their interaction. Moreover, the Naturalized Role-play proved to fulfil its aim and to be a pioneering creative solution to the controversial methodological problem. The study also presents implications of its findings for second language learners, teachers and native speakers of different languages in social interactions where cultures meet.
ISBN 9783895869983. Linguistics Edition 55. 358pp. 2006.