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Under-explicit and minimally explicit reference: Evidence from a longitudinal case study


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This chapter reports on a 2 ½ year longitudinal case study of one Korean speaker of English, focusing on the development of her command of accessibility marking in referring to persons. The data are derived from informal, open interviews spanning the entire length of the participant’s enrolment in a Bachelor of Nursing programme in New Zealand. These interviews occurred every few weeks during semester (17 in total), and were typically between 45 minutes to one hour in length. The participant reported that she used these interviews as “a kind of reflective journal”, in which she discussed her classes, interactions with classmates, tutors and others, her assignments, and other experiences in New Zealand. The events she reported are rich in references to individuals.
Using a previously reported coding scheme (Ryan, 2015), these data were analysed in relation to pragmatic felicity, particularly concerning the felicity of accessibility marking for referents of varying cognitive status in contexts of topic or focus continuity or shift. These data [yet to be analysed] provide evidence of the developmental progression of the participant’s command of reference in English.
This chapter contributes substantially to the literature in several ways. In general, there has been a lack of longitudinal case studies of pragmatic development in any domain, including few – if any – previous longitudinal studies focusing on reference; the present analysis is therefore expected to reveal previously unreported details of the trajectory of pragmatic development in reference. The present study is also one of the few working with oral data that was generated in ways other than an elicited communication task. Finally, the study contributes to the somewhat still contentious issue of to what extent mainstream study in an English-speaking context leads to genuine language gains.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: English as a second language, teaching, education
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P 94.7 Interpersonal communication
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Languages
Depositing User: Jonathon Ryan
Date Deposited: 04 May 2020 03:08
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 08:49

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