Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, JAL Vol 4, No 3 (2007)

Using speech frames to research interlanguage pragmatics: Facework strategies in L2 German argument

Doris Dippold
Issued Date: 14 Sep 2015


This paper approaches L2 German argumentative discourse data from Goffman’s notions of face and frames. Face as the social identities and qualities speakers want to have upheld is seen to be associated with frames, i.e. the way speakers frame and interpret an event. Comparing three examples from a cross sectional dataset of discussions on issues surrounding university life, the paper shows that, in each of these cases, speakers applied different frames to the task, resulting in different patterns of turn-taking and modalization. These differences can be explained with the varying degrees of exposure to the target language in classroom and out-of-classroom situations as well as the educational environment in which the data were collected. The paper ends with a number of proposals for research in the field of interlanguage pragmatics, suggesting that politeness and speech act perspectives are insufficient to grasp learners’ real pragmatic intent. Instead, the question of how tasks and situations are interpreted by learners needs to be at the forefront of inquiry, with methods for data collection and analysis aligned properly.

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DOI: 10.1558/japl.v4i3.285


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