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Overexplicit Referent Tracking in L2 English: Strategy, Avoidance, or Myth?


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The tendency of intermediate and advanced second language speakers to underuse pronouns and zero anaphora has been characterized as a developmental stage of overexplicitness, yet little consideration has been given to whether learners create sufficient contexts for their use. This study analyzed references across eight degrees of accessibility, revealing that this did not account for infrequent pronoun use by Chinese learners of English. Further analysis revealed that participants were seldom overexplicit when referring to highly accessible individuals, particularly those that represented continued topics, but were significantly more likely than native speakers to use lexical noun phrases elsewhere, particularly for main characters. This is discussed in relation to a possible role of overexplicitness as a clarity-based communication strategy.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: second language speakers, referent tracking, overexplicitness, Accessibility Theory, L2 pragmatics, developmental pragmatics, noun phrases
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Languages
Depositing User: Jonathon Ryan
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 00:56
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:42

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