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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Query Details


Query Subject:   Cross-Cultural Pragmatics; LFG Parser
Author:   Fay Wouk
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   A few weeks ago I posted the following query (Linguist 15.329) about cross-cultural variation in vagueness vs specificity of accounts. I am interested in studies of the specificity or vagueness of accounts given in support of other speech acts, such as apologies, requests, or refusals. Bresnehan & Liao 1996 discuss this with respect to American vs Taiwanese refusal strategies, and reference work by Takahashi & Beebe. Is anyone aware of any other works that look at relative frequency of specific vs vague accounts/explanations? I received two responses. Dr Simon Gieve suggested that one of the following papers might be relevant Le Pair, R. (1996) Spanish request strategies: a cross-cultural analysis from an intercultural perspective. In: Jaszczolt, K. and Turner, K., (Eds.) Contrastive Semantics and Pragmatics: Vol 2 - Discourse Strategies, pp. 651-670. Oxford: Elsevier] Mir, M. (1992) Do we all apologise the same? An empirical study on the act of apologising by Spanish speakers learning English. In: Bouton, L.F. and Kachru, Y., (Eds.) Pragmatics and language learning, pp. 12 13 15 Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois] Reiter, R.M. (1997) Sensitising Spanish learners of English to cultural differences: the case of politeness. In: Putz, M., (Ed.) pp. 143-156. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang ] Walters, J. (1979) Strategies for requesting in Spanish and English - structural similarities and pragmatic differences. Language Learning 9, 277-294. C?sar F?lix-Brasdefer referred me to his 2002 dissertation from the University of Minnesota, Refusals in Spanish and English: A Cross-Cultural Study of Politeness Strategies among Speakers of Mexican Spanish, American English, and American Learners of Spanish as a Foreign Language. I am grateful for these two responses, but would still like to hear from anyone else who knows of additional references. If I receive more responses, I will post another summary.
LL Issue: 15.329
Date posted: 29-Jan-2004



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