Title: 'Well it's not very ideal...' The pragmatic marker 'well' in learner English
Authors: Buysse, Lieven # ×
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Series Title: Intercultural Pragmatics vol:12 issue:1 pages:59-89
Abstract: The pragmatic marker 'well' has received a lot of attention in studies on native speaker discourse and has served as an interesting testing ground for theories accounting for the multifunctionality of pragmatic markers. In the rapidly expanding body of research on pragmatic markers in learner English 'well' has also claimed a prominent position, but so far no comparison has been made of how learners of varying mother tongue backgrounds use 'well'. This article offers a Contrastive Interlanguage Analysis (cf. Granger 1996) in scrutinising 'well' as a pragmatic marker in the Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Chinese components of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI) and comparing these results with Aijmer’s (2011) findings for the Swedish component of LINDSEI and a comparable native speaker corpus. 'Well' is shown to be more prevalent overall in each of the learner corpora than in the native corpus, except for the Chinese (in which well displays a marginal incidence). This overall discrepancy between the learners and native speakers only holds for the speech management functions of 'well'; its attitudinal functions are significantly less common in the learners’ discourse than in the native speakers’. The observed differences are attributed to a complex interplay of factors, involving a.o. the learners’ limited inventory of pragmatic markers, their extensive exposure to 'well', L1 interference, and the speech context.
ISSN: 1612-295X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Multimodality, Interaction and Discourse, Campus Brussels
Linguistics Research Unit - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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