A Cross-Cultural Study on Responses to Disagreement: From the Perspective of EFL University Students in Taiwan
|上傳時間: ||2018-06-12 16:57:06 (UTC+8)|
|摘要: ||本文旨在探討台灣英文學習者在異議語回應時的語用表現。透過建立華語及英語母語人士語料庫，比較華語及英語母語人士異議語反應時的語用表現，並找出華語及英語為母語者的異議語反應語用基準線。再利用該基準線分別與台灣英文學習者的異議語反應語言行為策略進行比較，進一步分析不同語言能力、不同性別的學習者在地位相當(equal status)、低回應壓力(low imposition)的狀況下，於日常生活情境中，對在包括明確、緩和、及不明確等三型異議語的回應的語用表現。同時，此研究並針對不同性別的說話者回應不同性別受話者所提出的異議語反應策略進行分析。|
在考量不同程度異議語的變數時，儘管四組均傾向使用緩和型異議語，但在次策略選擇上卻有非常顯著的不同偏好行為。回應緩和型異議語時，四組均傾向使用「正向禮貌緩和型」策略，但隨著異議語強度增高，雖兩母語組不變，第二語言學習者組轉而傾向使用「負向禮貌緩和型」策略。然而，當異議語行為強度不明確時，四組均傾向使用「負向禮貌緩和型」策略。同時，研究結果亦顯示語言程度較低的第二語言學習者組傾向使用直接翻譯母語的語用方法，並且相較於英語為母語的使用者，他們的語用表現較為直白、且少修飾(fewer mitigations)；同時他們也較少使用語法修飾詞(fewer syntactic modifiers)來表達緩和的語用表現。隨著語言能力提升，第二語言學習者組在異議語表現上，有較高頻率類似英語為母語組的語用表現；質性分析結果發現，第二語言學習者組在緩和型異議語上傾向使用單詞及片語的外在修飾詞(external modifier)，而非使用英語為母語者常使用的內在修飾詞(internal modifier)。
This study investigated the interlanguage behavior of Chinese learners of American English by focusing on their responses to disagreement in a second language (L2). In this dissertation, the linguistic behavior of Taiwanese EFL (English as a foreign language) learners in Taiwan was compared with Taiwanese native speakers of Mandarin Chinese and native speakers of American English to examine the EFL learners’ performance of the speech act of disagreement response in equivalent contexts. In addition to cultural background and the proficiency level, two more independent variables, disagreement directness and gender, were also investigated to explore L2 university students’ responses to disagreement within equal status, low imposition everyday contexts.
Data for this study were collected through discourse completion task (DCT), which is a questionnaire research method to elicit target responses. Participants’ responses were classified into four main strategies, and repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted to identify the pragmatic differences that distinguished the behavior of two EFL learn groups from Taiwan, as well as two native groups, Chinese and English, from Taiwan and the American, respectively. Data were examined using a non-parametric method, the chi-square test.
The result indicated that across groups, participants tended to adopt mitigated disagreement strategies to respond to disagreement the most. When proficiency level of the learners is taken into concern, L2 intermediate participants were reported to use mitigated disagreement strategies the least, and with the increase of the proficiency level, L2 participants were detected to use mitigated disagreement strategies more. The two L2 groups were discovered to use explicit disagreement, avoidance, and agreement strategies more than the NS-E group, and the development pattern was detected in that the more proficient the learners were in the target language, the higher the chance they opted for the preferred mitigated strategies, and the less the chance of resorting to the other response strategies.
When responding to different levels of directness, different preferences to the response strategies were reported across groups. The four groups were reported to use mitigated disagreement strategies to different imposing force of disagreement. Differences, however, were discovered in the selection of strategies. When responding to mitigated disagreement, participants across four groups tended to adopt mitigated strategies with positive politeness. As the imposing force got stronger, the two native groups remained tending to use mitigated strategies with positive strategies, whereas the learners tended to adopt mitigated strategies with negative strategies. However, same implication could not be transferred when the imposing force was implicit. All of the four groups tended to adopt mitigated disagreement strategies with negative strategies when the imposing force was implicit.
The results also indicated that participants with lower proficiency tended to directly translate their L1 pragmatic norms and were more straightforward and lack of mitigations when disagreeing. Unlike the American participants, they rarely used syntactic modifier to mitigate their disagreement responses. With the increase of proficiency, the L2 participants used more mitigated disagreement strategies. The qualitative analysis, however, showed that compared to the American participants who employed more internal modifiers to mitigate, they adopted more external modifiers, in which lexical and phrasal modifiers precede or follow the actual disagreement.
Lastly, the effect of speakers’ gender as well as addressees’ gender was investigated. The results of our research indicated that women are less explicit when proffering disagreement to respond to disagreement. Women from different cultural backgrounds, however, differed in response strategies, which conformed to their cultural values and beliefs. The Chinese female were found to adopt explicit disagreement less, especially when the addressees were male. The American female participants used explicit disagreements slightly more when the addressee was male. The American male participants, on the contrary, adopted explicit disagreement observably to the female addressees. The Chinese male were more explicit when the addressee was female. Four groups of participants, irrespective to their gender, background, and proficiency level, all tended to use more mitigated disagreement strategies more to male addressees than to female addressees, more agreement strategies to female addressees than male. Moreover, the effect of proficiency level was found to place different levels of impact onto language learners across gender. The higher the proficiency level, the more likely they approximate the target-like speech act behavior. Consequently, we concluded that cultural background, proficiency level of the target language, disagreement directness and gender significantly influence disagreement response strategies.
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