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Argumentative Discourse in L2 German: A Sociocognitive Perspective on the Development of Facework Strategies

Dippold, D (2011) Argumentative Discourse in L2 German: A Sociocognitive Perspective on the Development of Facework Strategies Modern Language Journal, 95 (2). 171 - 187. ISSN 1540-4781

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Abstract

This study contributes to the growing field of research on interlanguage pragmatic development with a study on the development of argumentative discourse ability by second-language learners of German. I will be focusing on facework—that is, the use of verbal strategies that allow the speaker to have his or her social identities, particular personal qualities, and attributes validated by others. The study approaches the data, which were gathered from learners of German at 3 levels of proficiency, from the perspective of sequential and preference organisation. The analysis shows that argumentative sequences develop from a simple 2- or 3-turn structure, which consists of merely 1 “core” adjacency pair (assessment/opinion–agreement/disagreement), to being extended by postsequences and insertion sequences. It is only for learners of higher proficiency, however, that these extensions serve to further the argument rather than merely building on agreement. When disagreeing, learners increasingly use agreement turns to sharpen forthcoming disagreement or use their interlocutors’ turns to serve that purpose. These developments are then explained from a sociocognitive perspective. I will argue that developments are due to learners overcoming processing constraints as proficiency progresses as well as their changing frames of reference for the task.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > English and Languages > Languages and Translation
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2011 13:32
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:43
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/7043

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