A corpus-based analysis of the pragmatic marker 'like' in non-native conversation

Kusevska, Marija (2020) A corpus-based analysis of the pragmatic marker 'like' in non-native conversation. Journal of Languages for specific purposes (7). pp. 15-24. ISSN 2359-9103


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The study presented in this paper is a part of the research project “Developing cross-cultural and interlanguage pragmatics research and its practical implications” currently being implemented at Goce Delchev University in Shtip, Republic of North Macedonia. It investigates the use of the pragmatic marker like by Macedonian learners of English. The participants of this study were 76 students of English enrolled at the Department of English language at Goce Delchev University, Shtip. A research corpus of conversations produced by the participants was collected. The participants were asked to choose three of the following five topics and discuss them: problems with street dogs, living and working abroad, body piercing and tattoos, the healthy amount of time to spend with the person you’re dating, and talking on the phone while sharing time with friends. The time of the conversations mounted to 9.9 hours, or 66,696 words. The conversations were then transcribed and analysed. Additionally, attitudinal data were collected from 40 of the participants about their perception of like with respect to the age and gender of the speakers, formality of the situation, grammaticality, acceptability, distractiveness, and politeness of the utterances. They also rated users for fluency and their level of English. The findings of this investigation show that the pragmatic marker like is salient for the learners and that they use it in a similar way as native speakers. It also shows that its frequency correlates with language proficiency levels. However, there are other factors that influence its usage, such as learners’ perception of the marker, length of turns and personal features of the speakers. The present study makes an important contribution to interlanguage pragmatics. First, it investigates spoken language and reveals some aspects of learner communication that cannot be observed in class. Second, it shows that learning a foreign language is a complex process that involves not only instruction but all other resources that learners have access to through the Internet. Keywords: interlanguage; pragmatic markers; functions; frequency; language corpus.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Philology
Depositing User: Marija Kusevska
Date Deposited: 05 May 2020 07:18
Last Modified: 05 May 2020 07:18
URI: http://eprints.ugd.edu.mk/id/eprint/24025

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