On the role of formulas in the
acquisition of L2 pragmatics
Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig
Indiana University
Pragmatics and Language Learning
Functions of formulas
•
•
•
•
•
Communicative strategy, allows early
communication (Rehbein, 1987; Weinert,
1995); elicits further input (Wong-Fillmore,
1976; Krashen, Dulay, & Burt, 1982)
Production strategy; fluency in production and
faster processing (Weinert, 1995)
Speaker can be confident that act performed
will be understood by the interlocutor in the
intended way (Wildner-Bassett, 1994)
Speaker saves planning time that can be used
where it is needed more (Peters, 1983)
Makes language learner appear nativelike
(Yorio, 1989)
“Pragmatics has become a major field of
study in its own right, in linguistics, and now
in language learning and teaching.
Pragmatic competence has come to be
viewed as an essential part of learners’
competence. The formulaic nature of many
pragmalinguistic rules has necessarily
contributed to bringing the study of prefabs
to the fore” (Granger,1998, p. 145)
Does chunk learning (formulaic speech)
play a role in acquisition of L2 pragmatics?
(Kasper & Schmidt, 1996, p. 163)
There appears to be an important role for
prefabricated speech in pragmatic development.
As formulae and routines often consist of
lexicalized sentence stems (Pawley & Syder,
1983) with open slots, learners can decompose
them and extend their use productively, as in
Wes’s extension of permission requests....
Routine formulae constitute a substantial part of
adult NS pragmatic competence, and learners
need to acquire a sizable repertoire of routines
in order to cope efficiently with recurrent and
expanding social situations and discourse
requirements (Coulmas, 1981). Therefore, how
pragmatic routines are acquired has to be
addressed as a research issue in its own right
(Wildner-Bassett, 1984, 1994).
Common terms for formulas in ILP
• formulas
• formulaic
sequences
• chunks
• prefabs
(prefabricated
speech)
• routines
• formulaic routines
“It should be here you go. I often hear this,
but I don’t know what it means.”
(Roever, 2005, retrospective task)
Developmental formulas
“Routines are whole utterances that are unusually
error-free and show no transitional stages of
development or systematic order of acquisition.
They are learned as unanalyzed wholes, much as
one learners a single word” (Krashen, Dulay, &
Burt, 1982, pp. 232-233)
Target formulas
Routine formulae are “highly conventionalized
prepatterned expressions whose occurrence is tied
to more or less standardized communication
situations…Conversational routines are tacit
agreements, which the members of a community
presume to be shared by every reasonable comember. In embodying social knowledge they are
essential in the handling of day-to-day
transactions” (Coulmas, 1981, pp. 2-4)
Semantic Formulas
Components of a speech act set, e.g., for
an apology
I’m really sorry [head act], it’s all my fault
[statement of responsibility], I’ll buy you a
new one [redress], it won’t happen again
[promise of forbearance]
Common characteristics
A formula is “a sequence, continuous or
discontinuous, of words or other meaning
elements, which is, or appears to be,
prefabricated, that is, stored and retrieved
whole from memory at the time of use,
rather than being subject to generation or
analysis by the language grammar” (Wray,
2000, p. 465)
What role do formulas play in the acquisition
of L2 pragmatics?
Characteristics of developmental
formulas
1. at least two morphemes in length
2. phonologically coherent; fluently articulated,
nonhesitant;
3. unrelated to productive patterns in speech;
4. greater complexity than learner’s output;
5. used repeatedly and always in the same form;
6. may be inappropriate or otherwise
idiosyncratic.
(Myles, Hooper, & Mitchell, 1998, p. 325)
Analysis of formulas
Formula > low-scope pattern > construction
(Ellis, 2002)
Grammar and formulas
Grammar catches
up to formulas (R.
Ellis, 1984;
Krashen &
Scarcella, 1978)
Formulas inspire
grammar (Hakuta,
1974; Nattinger &
De Carrico, 1992)
Formulas
Grammar ↑
Formulas ↓
Grammar
What do we know about developmental
sequences in the second language
acquisition of pragmatics?
Wes (Schmidt, 1983)
Formulaic and creative utterances
1. Shall we go
2. Sitting? (“shall we sit down?” or “would
you like to sit down?”)
3. Please next month send orders more
quick.
4. Shall we maybe go out coffee now, or you
want later?
Inversion in grammar and formulas
5. Ah, you has keys?
6. When Tim is coming?
7. Do you have time?
8. Are you busy?
Intersecting analyses
“Shall we go?”
• Exceeds grammar (Developmental
formula)
• Recurrent sequences, used in specific
situations (Target formula)
Nonintersecting Analyses
“I think” and “maybe”
• Use is accounted for by grammar
(not a developmental formula)
• Recurrent sequences, used in specific
situations (target formula)
Target formulas
“From a sociolinguistic point of view, it is
important to learn routines at any learning
stage because they embody the societal
knowledge that members of a given
community share …routine formulas are
thus essential in the verbal handling of
everyday life” (House, 1996, pp. 227-228)
Target formulas
Formulas may also be
(7) situationally dependent and
(8) community-wide in use
(Myles, Hooper, & Mitchell, 1998, p. 325)
(cf. semantic formulas in pragmatics)
Estimated NS formula use
20% formulaic use (Peters, 1983)
Formulas
Production
32% unplanned NS (English) speech (Foster, 2001)
Formulas
Production
59% spoken English discourse (Erman & Warren, 2000)
Formulas
Production
Target formulas in ILP
Rate of use
Lower rate of use of formulas by learners
than native speakers (Edmondson & House,
1991; Blum-Kulka & Olshtain, 1986; but see
De Cock, 2000)
Formulas show development
(morphology, syntax, lexicon,
suprasegmentals)
• Form emerges in stages
• Routine from the IL
• Appropriate use of formulas, ‘accuracy
problems’
• Right formula, wrong delivery
• Right formula, unnecessary particles (e.g. ne; L2
Japanese)
• Form emerges in stages (morphology,
syntax, lexicon, suprasegmentals)
Stages in the acquisition of
“yeah, but”
a. bare “but” (Example10)
b. unconventional (creative) agreement +
“but” (Example 11)
c. “yeah, but” also alternates with “yeah,
so”, “yeah, no” (Examples 12-13)
d. “yeah, but” as preferred disagreement
marker (Example 14)
(Bardovi-Harlig & Salsbury, 2004)
Coinage of a formula from the IL
System (Edmondson & House, 1991;
Wildner-Bassett, 1994; Oppenheim, 2000;
De Cock, 2000; Rehbein, 1987; Yorio, 1989)
• L1-based usage
• IL-based usage (created using IL
resources)
• Relied on idiosyncratic recurrent
sequences, approximations of NS
L1-based usage
NNS Production
(L1 Spanish)
• Silence! (¡Silencio!)
• Congratulations
(Felicidades)
• Pass (Pase)
(Scarcella, 1979)
NS production
(L1 English)
Shut up! Be quiet!
Happy Birthday
Come (on) in
IL-based usage
• 'I very appreciate' (Eisenstein & Bodman,
1986)
Appropriate use of formulas with
‘accuracy problems’ (Wildner-Bassett,
1994; Yorio, 1989)
• take advantages of
• are to blamed for
• a friend of her
Use of the right formula, but wrong delivery
(Tateyama, 2001, L2 Japanese)
• too smooth where hesitancy is required
• not apologetic sounding (in apology
usage)
• abrupt
• intonation
• “mechanical” delivery (House, 1996)
 Use of the right formula, add unnecessary
(untargetlike) particles (e.g. ne) (in the
learning of Japanese, Tateyama, 2001)
Form-meaning-use adjustments
• Overgeneralization: Over generalized use
of formulas resulting in a loss of original
function through overuse (Félix-Brasdefer,
2005; Kecskes, 2000, 2003; Tateyama,
2001; Wildner-Bassett, 1994)
Same response in multiple situations
(Kecskes, 2000)
• S1: Can I borrow your
pen?
• S2: Would you like
some candy?
• S3: Can I talk to you
after class?
• Sure, no problem
• Sure, no problem
• Sure, no problem
Undergeneralization
Lack of pragmatic realization in L2 repertoire
(some formulas aren’t used where they are
expected) (Wildner-Bassett, 1994;
Tateyama, 2001; Edmondson & House,
1991; Kecskes, 2000)
Misuse
L2 sequence is used with a different
meaning (Scarcella, 1979; general formula
research, De Cock, 2000)
Excuse me
I’m sorry
(Borkin & Reinhart, 1978)
Targetlike use
Appropriate use of well-formed routine
formulas
Recognition of formulas
If learners don’t always produce (targetlike)
formulas, do they recognize them?
17. Claudia calls her friend Dennis. Dennis
isn’t home but Claudia would like the
person who answered the phone to tell
Dennis something.
What would Claudia probably say?
a. “Can you write something?”
b. “Can I give you information?”
c. “Can you take a note?”
d. “Can I leave a message?”
(Roever, 2005)
18. In a crowded subway, a woman steps
on Jake’s foot. She says “I’m sorry.”
What would Jake probably say?
a.“That’s okay.”
b.“No bother.”
c.“It’s nothing.”
d. “Don’t mention it.”
19. Ted is inviting his friend to a little party
he’s having at his house tomorrow night.
Ted: I’m having a little party tomorrow night
at my place.
How would Ted probably go on?
a. “How would you like to come in?”
b. “Do you think you could make it?”
c. “How about you’re there?”
d. “Why aren’t you showing up?”
20.
a.−Bill, I do not think I can agree with you
−OK, shoot
b. −Frank, I think you really deserved that
prize.
−Get out of here.
c. −Jim, do you think you can repair the
coffee machine?
−Piece of cake.
(Kecskes, 2000, 2003)
OK, shoot (= go ahead)
Get out of here (= don’t fool me)
Piece of cake (= easy)
(Kecskes, 2000, 2003)
21. Asked what TV broadcasters said.
NS
a. “Stay tuned. We’ll be right back.”
b. “We’ll have to take a break. Don’t go away.”
c. “Stick around.”
Learners
d. “Keep your channel.”
e. “When we come back we will an action.”
(Kecskes, 2000, 2003)
Excuse me (Recognition)
% Learners reporting
recognition
% Learners reporting
recognition
Excuse me (Recognition)
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
4
10
0
5
6
7
Level
4
5
6
Level
7
DCT item
4. You go to the bookstore between classes for
some pens and paper, but you can’t find what
you want. You need help, but the studentemployees are having a friendly conversation
with each other. You have a test in your next
class, so you can’t wait until they finish.
You say:
______________________________________
______________________________________
% production on DCT
Use of alerters (DCT #4)
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
I'm sorry to interrupt
you
Sorry
Excuse me + sorry
Excuse me
4
5
6
Level
7
Task 4: Modified VKS
(Paribahkt & Wesche, 1996)
4. Excuse me
a. I don't remember having heard this expression before.
b. I have heard this expression before, but I don't know
what it means.
c. I have heard this expression before, and I think it means
_____________________________________________
_________
d. I know this expression. It means
_____________________________________________
_________
e. I can use this expression in a conversation:
_____________________________________________
(If you do this section, please also do (d).
% Learner report recognition
VKS: Responses
xyzto “Excuse me”
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
c. I think
d. I know
e. Example
Sorry
Other
4
5
6
Level
7
Interpretation of “Excuse me”
As an alerter:
“if somebody is interrupted and you want to be
polite” (Learner 6.02)
“an expression before you are going to do
something unexpecting and botherable” (6.21)
Other
Most common alternative interpretation is “sorry.”
(26% of all learners)
Other interpretations (20% of all learners)
Excuse me
Learner 6.08
• Some kind of information that please
accept my interruption on conversation
or walking
• Excuse me. You are in my way now.
Learner 6.13
d. Please allow me to bother you.
e. Excuse me, but would you please shut up
here?
Uncomfortable formula use
NNS1: Hi Bettina I mean
NNS2: Hi Jan how are you doing?
NNS1: Okay I I am erm erm okay, yes I have
to say I am fine but erm I am not fine
NNS2: You are not fine?
NNS1: Actually no no
(House, 1996)
What do learners notice?
22. Learners attended to discourse markers
(DMA) and idiomatic expressions (IDE)
more than requests (Takahashi, 2005)
DMA > IDE > REQ1 > REQ2 > N-IDE > REQ3
REQ1
REQ2
REQ3
I wonder + VP
Is it possible + VP
If you could VP
Summary of research
1. We know that the pragmatics literature
has treated two types of formula in
essentially an undifferentiated manner
which has led to some lack of clarity.
2. We suspect individual variation (both
types, developmental and target)
3. Formulas show developmental stages.
4. Less use of (targetlike) formulas by
learners than by NS (cf. Oppenheim,
2000)
5. The effect of exposure is greater than
proficiency (Edmondson & House, 1991;
Roever, 2005)
6. Motivation may promote noticing
(Takahashi, 2005; Dörnyei et al 2004 )
Pushing research in this area ahead will
involve new research designs (that’s
another talk), but we can also learn more
by changing our analysis of data yielded
by our current elicitation tasks.
Analysis
• Look for HRWC (highly recurrent word
combinations), whether targetlike or not
(De Cock, 2000)
• Emphasize individual response
Analysis by group
Scenario Learner A Learner B Learner C NNS
1
2
3
Individual analysis
Scenario
1
2
3
4
Learner A
Learner B
Learner C
Research questions for
furthering the agenda….
Breaking down the big question:
Questions for further research
For developmental formulas
• Are formulaic sequences in evidence in the
interlanguage pragmatic expression of (low-level)
learners? (Expect individual variation)
• Do formulas show breakdown and analysis by the
grammar?
Formula > low scope pattern > construction
• Do formulas seem to drive acquisition of grammar?
• Are formulas abandoned (in intermediate stages) as
suggested by some authors?
• Is there a U-shaped curve of formula use? Does formula
use increase in advanced learners?
Targetlike use
• How do learners learn/acquire formulas?
(Is this an issue for ILP?)
• Are formulas learned whole? Are they
constructed? (Fusion; Peters, 1983)
• Does storage and retrieval matter so much
for the inquiry as whether conventional
sequences are produced and
comprehended?
• Is grammar a factor in learning formulas?
If so, what is the relation between specific
grammatical competence and the use of
social/pragmatic formulas? (consider, for
example, I was wondering if, would you
mind, would it be possible for you to Verb)
• What is the role of nontargetlike formulas?
Targetlike use is only one facet of
formulaic language use. (Granger, 1998;
Oppenheim, 2000; Rehbein, 1987;
Scarcella, 1979; Yorio, 1989)
• What is the role of motivation? (Takahashi,
2005; Dörnyei et al 2004)
• What is the role of individual variation?
• What role is played by other principles of
second language acquisition, such as the
one-to-one principle?
• What is the role of input (including
instruction)?
• What is the role of environment? Host?
Foreign? Classroom?
Recognition and production
• Do learners recognize TL formulaic
sequences?
• Do learners recognize IL formulaic
sequences?
• Can learners tell when frequent formulas
are not being used appropriately?
• How does recognition relate to
production? (Kasper & Schmidt, 1996)
Design
• Longitudinal
• Oral (function of formulas; task effect)
• Recognition tasks (include aural
recognition)
• Inventory (pragmalinguistic resources) vs.
Use (sociopragmatic realization)
• Vocabulary research
Formulas used by Roever (2005)
• Hello
• Nice to meet you
• Can I leave a
message?
• No thanks, I’m full
• Say that again,
please
• You’re welcome
• Can I get you
anything else?
• That’s okay
• For here or to go?
• Here you go
• Excuse me, do you
have the time?
• Do you think you
could make it?
VKS (Paribakht & Wesche, 1996)
“word” → “expression”
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
I don't remember having seen this expression
before.
I have seen this expression before, but I don't
know what it means.
I have seen this expression before, and I
think it means_____. (synonym or translation)
I know this expression. It means_____.
(synonym or translation)
I can use this expression in a
sentence:_____. (If you do this section,
please also do Section IV.)
Analysis
• Look for HRWC (highly recurrent word
combinations), whether targetlike or not
(De Cock, 2000)
• Emphasize individual response
Analysis by group
Scenario Learner A Learner B Learner C NNS
1
2
3
Individual analysis
Scenario
1
2
3
4
Learner A
Learner B
Learner C
Descargar

On the role of formulas in the acquisition of L2 pragmatics