LINGUIST List 10.1656

Mon Nov 1 1999

Qs: Markedness Hypothesis/L2, Politeness Principle

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  1. Abdulaziz Al-Najmi, Markedness Hypothesis in Arabic/English
  2.>, Politeness Principle and Co-operative Principle

Message 1: Markedness Hypothesis in Arabic/English

Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 00:02:08 +0300
From: Abdulaziz Al-Najmi <>
Subject: Markedness Hypothesis in Arabic/English

 I'm currently working on a paper on markedness and I would like your help.
The question is as follows:
 Are markedness construct hypotheses valid in explaining transfer syntactic
errors committed by beginning adult Arab learners?

 The problem concerns the determination of markedness values that can be
assigned for the following syntactic features in both Arabic and English.
This is to be able to check on the markedness hypotheses that learners tend
to transfer the unmarked features from their native language to their
interlanguage where they resist transferring marked ones.

Syntactic structures:
 1. The existence of the auxiliary in the verb phrase, most remarkably the
present progressive. English possesses auxiliary whereas Arabic does not.
Arabic learners omit either the auxiliary or the "ing" participle that goes
with it. For example:*He writing / *He is write. So, which is marked on this
phenomena, Arabic or English? And how?
2. The copula: English has copula , Arabic does not. Again which is marked
and which is unmarked? And how? (Arabic learners omit the copula in their
construction of English sentences. For example: John good.)
3. The genitive: in English it comes before the noun while in Arabic it
comes after the noun. Arabic learners place the genitive after the noun:
House John small. Based on frequency across languages or any other criteria,
which construction is considered marked and which unmarked?
4. Adjective: in English it proceeds the noun whereas in Arabic it follows
the noun.
5. Redundant subjects: Arab learners show tendency to retain the pronoun. In
other words, they apply the pronoun and the noun in the same sentence. For
example: John he is good / He John is good. How could we tell whether this
structure is marked or unmarked and on what criteria?
In short, what criterion can be used to decide the markedness status of the
structures referred to above in both Arabic and English.
Best regards,
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Message 2: Politeness Principle and Co-operative Principle

Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 22:26:38 -0400 (EDT)
From:> <>
Subject: Politeness Principle and Co-operative Principle

Dear Sir,
I am a Chinese university teacher, during my graduate study I found
great interest in the study of the co-operative principle and the
politeness principle. later in my teaching I found that the
pragmatical principles are of a theoretical guidance of language
teaching. I want to further develop this point, but the references I
could find here in my place are rather limited, could you please send
me some information about what you have collected on this point or let
me know where I can get enough references?

	the two main points I have are:
	1.the relationship between the two principles are dialectical;
	2.the appropriate employment of the two principles could strengthen the
		power of communication;
	3.the summaris of communication could enrich the contents of the principles.
thank you very much.
Zhang Yan
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