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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Requesting Strategies and Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Greek and English Add Dissertation
Author: Maria Economidou-Kogetsidis Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Nottingham, School of English Studies
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Pragmatics;
Subject Language(s): English
Greek, Modern
Director(s): Ronald Carter

Abstract: The stimulus for this study derives from the observation that, despite their advanced language proficiency, Greek learners of English, similarly to other non-native speakers, employ requests in such a way that they often violate social appropriateness in the target culture. This study tests and confirms the hypothesis that Greek learners’ requests reveal a significant trend for a higher degree of requestive directness, as compared to British English native speakers' requests.

UK university/college students (Greek and British) were the target population. The main research instrument was a discourse-completion questionnaire. In addition, telephone observation data was gathered and interviews were carried out.

The study examined two possible interrelated causes, which may be responsible for the learners' requestive deviation: the possible pragmatic transfer from their native language and culture, and possible differences between the learners and the native speakers in their perception and assessment of social reality. Results suggested evidence of strong sociopragmatic and pragmalinguistic transfer. It is argued that the requestive deviation on the part of the learners is consistent with the ethos of directness, spontaneity and positive politeness orientation found to characterise the Greek society and language.

At the same time, the study indicated that there are significant cross-cultural differences between the Greek learners and the English native speakers in the relative weight of familiarity, social power and imposition in the majority of the social situations tested. It is maintained that differences in the subjects' situational assessment can be linked to differences in the subjects' linguistic choices.