Interlanguage Pragmatics and Email Communication
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The present study investigated learners’ interlanguage pragmatic development through analysis of ninety requestive emails written to a faculty member over a period of up to two years. Most previous studies on interlanguage pragmatics have been comparative. These studies focused on how nonnative speakers’ pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic competence differed from native speakers’ and compared learners with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds to native speakers. In addition, the few existing literature on developmental pragmatics have used elicited. Naturally occurring data, in the form of emails, offer a more valid reflection of learners’ pragmatic competence. This study adopted speech event analysis approach, which seeks to account for all parts of requestive emails and recognize the “work” each part does in the production of the speech event. Results indicated that although quantitative analysis did not indicate much pragmatic development, content analysis revealed learners’ development of pragmatic competence such as showing ability, clearer requests and relevant supportive moves and improvement from a reason then request to request then reason structure. This study elucidated the merits of analyzing natural data in interlanguage pragmatics as well as offered the benefit of recognizing email requests as a situated event.
Ko, Wei-Hong (2013). Interlanguage Pragmatics and Email Communication. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from