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In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts
In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts
The present volume, edited by Patricia Salazar-Campillo and Victòria Codina-Espurz, is a timely contribution to the field of interlanguage pragmatics. The nine chapters presented here expand the scope of research to date by including different contexts (i.e., formal instruction, stay-abroad, and online) and age groups which have received less attention (for example, young learners and adolescents). Whereas the speech act of requesting is the one that has been most explored in the field of interlanguage pragmatics, as attested by several chapters in the present volume, disagreements and directives are also tackled. This book embraces research addressing both elicited and naturally-occurring data in studies which deal with pragmatic use, development, and awareness.
In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts

Abstract

In the university context, much of the communication between students and professors takes place via emails. Despite the fact that there is a power asymmetry in this relationship, on many occasions professors receive requestive emails which may sound too direct or informal. In this study, Codina-Espurz and Salazar-Campillo explore whether there is a relationship between the language in which the emails were written (Spanish, Catalan and English) and the degree of (in)directness by examining the request strategy and the internal modification employed to soften the imposition of the request. Their findings reveal that, irrespective of the language employed, there was a preference for direct strategies, especially for the use of direct questions which, in some cases, were introduced by a preparator. Conventionally-indirect strategies were used to a lesser extent, and they included mainly query preparatory strategies of possibility. The overuse of direct questions may be due, as pointed out by the authors, to the type of request expressed in the emails, as they were mainly for information. As for the internal modification used, the emails included mainly syntactic modifiers or a combination of syntactic and lexical to show politeness. The authors claim that the apparent directness of the emails may be counterbalanced by the employment of internal modification to reach a certain level of politeness.

In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts
In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts
In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts
In: Investigating the Learning of Pragmatics across Ages and Contexts