Pragmatic Perspectives on Understanding Strangers

Some Methodological Issues

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Abstract

The present paper approaches the theme of “understanding strangers” through discussing some of the methodological issues in interlanguage pragmatics (ILP), with special reference to Hungarian-English Interlanguage (IL) requests. Written discourse completion tasks (WDCT) were used to collect data from 20 English major university students. The CCSARP Project’s 9-scale request strategies table proposed by Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper (1989) was incorporated into the research, the proposed categories were extended by labels relating to mixed strategies and responses where no answers were provided. The structure of the paper is as follows: after a brief overview of the literature in the field of ILP with a special focus on WDCT, the validity of the methodology is highlighted through the discussion of issues relating to labelling/coding categories as well as interannotator (dis)agreements. By analysing and comparing utterances on the basis of our annotation output and validating the results with the aid of ReCal, we have confirmed that WDCT is a reliable and valid tool for testing ILP competence in speech acts performance.

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Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica

The Journal of Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania

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