Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 6, 2017

A pragmatic analysis of L2 Spanish requests: Acquisition in three situational contexts during short-term study abroad

Lori Czerwionka and Alejandro Cuza
From the journal Intercultural Pragmatics

Abstract

This study examines pragmatic acquisition of requests for English-speaking learners of Spanish. This research expands upon previous work by investigating the acquisition of second language requests during a short-term immersion program (6 weeks) in Madrid, Spain and in three situational contexts: food and drink, general merchandise, and familial. Data were collected using an experimental computerized oral discourse completion task. Requests made by learners (501 requests) and native speakers (224 requests) were compared considering personal deictic orientation and directness of the requests. For learners, shifts from speaker-oriented to hearer-oriented requests indicated greater pragmatic development in food and drink and familial contexts. Results are discussed considering pragmatic developmental stages and differential results in the three contexts.

References

Alcón-Soler, Eva. 2015. Pragmatic learning and study abroad: Effects of instruction and length of stay. System 48. 62–74.10.1016/j.system.2014.09.005Search in Google Scholar

Allen, Heather Willis & Beatrice Dupuy. 2013. Study abroad, foreign language use, and the communities standard. Foreign Language Annals 45(4). 468–493.10.1111/j.1944-9720.2013.01209.xSearch in Google Scholar

Bach, Kenneth. 2003. Speech acts and pragmatics. In Michael Devitt & Richard Hanley (eds.), Blackwell guide to the philosophy of language, 147–167. Oxford: Blackwell.10.1002/9780470757031.ch8Search in Google Scholar

Ballesteros Martín, Fransisco José. 2001. La cortesía española frente a la cortesía inglesa. Estudio pragmalingüístico de las exhortaciones impositivas. Estudios ingleses de la Universidad Complutense 9. 171–207.Search in Google Scholar

Ballesteros Martín, Fransisco José. 2002. Mecanismos de atenuación en español e inglés: Implicaciones pragmáticas en la cortesía. Círculo de lingüística aplicada a la comunicación 11. https://dialnet.unirioja.es/ejemplar/56534 (accessed 8 April 2008).Search in Google Scholar

Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen. 1999. Exploring the interlanguage of interlanguage pragmatics: A research agenda for acquisitional pragmatics. Language Learning 49(4). 677–713.10.1111/0023-8333.00105Search in Google Scholar

Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen. 2006. On the role of formulas in the acquisition of L2 pragmatics. In Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig, J. César Félix-Brasdefer & Alwiya Omar (eds.), Pragmatics and Language Learning (11), 1–28. National Foreign Language Resource Center. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai’i PressSearch in Google Scholar

Barron, Anne. 2003. Acquisition in interlanguage pragmatics: Learning how to do things with words in a study abroad context. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.108Search in Google Scholar

Barron, Anne. 2005. Variational pragmatics in the foreign language classroom. System 33. 519–536.10.1016/j.system.2005.06.009Search in Google Scholar

Bataller, Rebeca. 2008. Pragmatic development in the study abroad setting: Requesting a service in Spanish. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

Bataller, Rebeca. 2010. Making a request for a service in Spanish: Pragmatic development in the study abroad setting. Foreign Language Annals 43(1). 159–174.10.1111/j.1944-9720.2010.01065.xSearch in Google Scholar

Bataller, Rebeca & Rachel Shively. 2011. Role plays and naturalistic data in pragmatics research: Service encounters during study abroad. Journal of Linguistics and Language Teaching 2(1). 15–50.Search in Google Scholar

Blum-Kulka, Shoshana. 1989. Playing it safe: The role of conventionality in indirectness. In Shoshana Blum-Kulka, Juliane House & Gabriele Kasper (eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies, 37–70. Norwood: Ablex.Search in Google Scholar

Blum-Kulka, Shoshana, Juliane House & Gabriele Kasper. 1989. Investigating cross-cultural pragmatics: An introductory overview. In Shoshana Blum-Kulka, Juliane House & Gabriele Kasper (eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies, 1–34. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Search in Google Scholar

Blum-Kulka, Shoshana & Elite Olshtain. 1986. Too many words: Length of utterance and pragmatic failure. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 8. 165–180.10.1017/S0272263100006069Search in Google Scholar

Bou Franch, Patricia & Nuria Lorenzo-Dus. 2008. Natural versus elicited data in cross-cultural speech act realisation: The case of requests in Peninsular Spanish and British English. Spanish in Context 5(2). 246–277.10.1075/sic.5.2.06lorSearch in Google Scholar

Brown, Penelope & Stephen Levinson. 1987. Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511813085Search in Google Scholar

Callahan, Laura. 2011. Workplace requests in Spanish and English: A case study of email communication between two supervisors and a subordinate. Southwest Journal of Linguistics 30(1). 27–57.Search in Google Scholar

Cenoz, Jasone & Jose F. Valencia 1996. Cross-Cultural Communication and Interlanguage Pragmatics: American vs. European Requests. In Lawrence R. Bouton (ed.), Pragmatics langauge learning (7), 47–53. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Division of English as an International Language.Search in Google Scholar

Churchill, Eton & Margaret A. DuFon. 2006. Evolving threads in study abroad research. In Margaret A. DuFon & Eton Churchill (eds.), Language learners in study abroad contexts, 1–27. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.10.21832/9781853598531Search in Google Scholar

Cohen, Andrew & Rachel Shively. 2007. Acquisition of requests and apologies in Spanish and French: Impact of study abroad and strategy-building intervention. Modern Language Journal 91. 189–121.10.1111/j.1540-4781.2007.00540.xSearch in Google Scholar

Cuza, Alejandro. 2013. Crosslinguistic influence at the syntax proper: Interrogative subject-verb inversion in heritage Spanish. The International Journal of Bilingualism 17. 71–96.10.1177/1367006911432619Search in Google Scholar

Czerwionka, Lori. 2010. Conflict resolution: Mexican and Spanish strategies of repair. In Dale Koike and Lydia Rodriguez-Alfano (eds.), Dialogue in Spanish: Studies in contexts and Functions, 189–220. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/ds.7.11czeSearch in Google Scholar

Czerwionka, Lori & Alejandro Cuza. 2017. Second language acquisition of Spanish service industry requests in an immersion context. Hispania 100(2). 239–260.10.1353/hpn.2017.0038Search in Google Scholar

Diana, Bravo (ed.). 2002. La Perspectiva no Etnocentrista de la Cortesía: Identidad Sociocultural de las Comunidades Hispanohablantes. (Actas del Primer Coloquio del Programa EDICE). Stockholm: Program EDICE, University of Stockholm.Search in Google Scholar

Ervin-Tripp, Susan. 1976. Is Sybil there? The structure of some American English directives. Language in Society 5(01). 25–66.10.1017/S0047404500006849Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2003. Validity in data collection methods in pragmatics research. In Paula Kempchinsky & Carlos E. Piñeros (eds.), Theory, practice, and acquisition. Papers from the 6th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium and the 5th Conference on the Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese, 239–257. Somerville: Cascadilla Press.Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2004. La mitigación en el discurso oral de mexicanos y aprendices de español como lengua extranjera. In Diana Bravo & Antonio Briz (eds.), Pragmática sociocultural: Estudios sobre el discurso en cortesía en español, 285–299. Spain: Ariel.Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2005. Indirectness and politeness in Mexican requests. In David. Eddington (ed.), Selected proceedings of the 7th hispanic linguistic symposium, 66–78. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2006. Linguistic politeness in Mexico: Refusal strategies among male speakers of Mexican Spanish. Journal of Pragmatics 38(12). 2158–2187.10.1016/j.pragma.2006.05.004Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2007. Pragmatic development in the Spanish as a FL classroom: A cross-sectional study of learner requests. Intercultural Pragmatics 4(2). 253–286.10.1515/IP.2007.013Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2009. Dispreferred responses in interlanguage pragmatics: Refusal sequences in learner-native speaker interactions. Applied Language Learning 19(1–2). 1–27.Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2010. Intra-lingual pragmatic variation in Mexico City and San Jose, Costa Rica: A focus on regional differences in female requests. Journal of Pragmatics 42(11). 2992–3011.10.1016/j.pragma.2010.04.015Search in Google Scholar

Félix-Brasdefer, J. César. 2015. The language of service encounters: A pragmatic-discursive approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9781139565431Search in Google Scholar

Fox, Barbara & Trine Heinemann. 2016. Rethinking format: An examination of requests. Language in Society 45(4). 499–531.10.1017/S0047404516000385Search in Google Scholar

Golato, Andrea. 2003. Studying compliment responses: A comparison of DCTs and recordings of naturally occurring talk. Applied Linguistics 24. 90–121.10.1093/applin/24.1.90Search in Google Scholar

González-Cruz, María Isabel. 2014. Request patterns by EFL Canarian Spanish students: Contrasting data by languages and research methods. Intercultural Pragmatics 11(4). 547–573.10.1515/ip-2014-0024Search in Google Scholar

Hernández, Todd A. 2016. Acquisition of L2 Spanish requests in short-term study abroad. Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education 1(2). 186–216.10.1075/sar.1.2.03herSearch in Google Scholar

Hernández-Flores, Nieves. 2004. Politeness as face enhancement. In Rosina Márquez Reiter & María E. Placencia (eds.), Current trends in the pragmatics of Spanish, 265–284. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.123.21herSearch in Google Scholar

Kasper, Gabriele & Kenneth R. Rose. 2002. Pragmatic development in a second language. Blackwell: Oxford.Search in Google Scholar

Kinginger, Celeste. 2008. Language learning in study abroad: Case studies of Americans in France. The Modern Language Journal 92(s1). 1–124.10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00821.xSearch in Google Scholar

Koike, Dale A. 1994. Negation in Spanish and English suggestions and requests: Mitigating effects?. Journal of Pragmatics 21(5). 513–526.10.1016/0378-2166(94)90027-2Search in Google Scholar

Lafford, Barbara A. 2006. The effects of study abroad vs. classroom contexts on Spanish SLA: Old assumptions, new insights and future research directions. In Carol A. Klee & Timothy L. Face (eds.). Selected proceedings of the 7th conference on the acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese as first and second languages, 1–25. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.Search in Google Scholar

Le Pair, Rob. 1996. Spanish request strategies: A cross-cultural analysis from an intercultural perspective. Language sciences 18(3). 651–670.10.1016/S0388-0001(96)00040-XSearch in Google Scholar

Leech, Geoffrey. 1983. Principles of pragmatics. London: Longman.Search in Google Scholar

Márquez Reiter, Rosina. 2000. Linguistic Politeness in Britain and Uruguay: A Contrastive Study of Requests and Apologies. Amsterdam: Benjamins.10.1075/pbns.83Search in Google Scholar

Márquez Reiter, Rosina. 2002. A contrastive study of conventional indirectness in Spanish: Evidence from Peninsular and Uruguayan Spanish. Pragmatics 12(2). 135–151.10.1075/prag.12.2.02marSearch in Google Scholar

Márquez Reiter, Rosina. 2005 “Complaint calls to a caregiver service company: The case of desahogo”. Intercultural Pragmatics 2(4). 481–513.10.1515/iprg.2005.2.4.481Search in Google Scholar

Márquez Reiter, Rosina, Isobel Rainey & Glenn Fulcher. 2005. A comparative study of certainty and conventional indirectness: Evidence from British English and Peninsular Spanish. Applied Linguistics 26(1). 1–31.10.1093/applin/amh018Search in Google Scholar

Márquez, Rosina. 1997. Politeness phenomena in British English and Uruguayan Spanish: The case of requests. A Journal of English and American Studies 18. 159–167.Search in Google Scholar

Marti, Leyla. 2006. Indirectness and politeness in Turkish–German bilingual and Turkish monolingual requests. Journal of Pragmatics 38(11). 1836–1869.10.1016/j.pragma.2005.05.009Search in Google Scholar

Matsumoto, Yoshiko. 1989. “Politeness and conversational universals: Observations from Japanese.” Multilingua 8(2–3). 207–221.10.1515/mult.1989.8.2-3.207Search in Google Scholar

Méndez Vallejo, D. Catalina 2013. Conversational and prosodic patterns in Spanish requests. International Journal of Language Studies 7(2).Search in Google Scholar

Misfeldt, Kim & John Plews. 2017. Re-Entry? No Entry? After Coming Home to Canada from Germany. 2017 Study abroad conference, Rice University, 10–12 February.Search in Google Scholar

Pinto, Derrin. 2005. The acquisition of requests by second language learners of Spanish. Spanish in Context 2(1). 1–27.10.1075/sic.2.1.01pinSearch in Google Scholar

Pinto, Derrin. 2010. La cortesía subtitulada. In F. Orletti & L. Mariottini (eds.), (Des)cortesía en español: Espacios teóricos y metodológicos para su estudio. Rome/Stockholm: Roma Tre-EDICE.Search in Google Scholar

Pinto, Derrin & Richard Raschio. 2007. A comparative study of requests in heritage speaker Spanish, L1 Spanish, and L1 English. International Journal of Bilingualism 11(2). 1315–155.10.1177/13670069070110020101Search in Google Scholar

Pizziconi, Barbara. 2003. “Re-examining politeness, face and the Japanese language.” Journal of Pragmatics 35(10–11). 1471–1506.10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00200-XSearch in Google Scholar

Placencia, María Elena. 1998. Pragmatic variation: Ecuadorian Spanish vs. Peninsular Spanish. Spanish Applied Linguistics 2(1). 71–106.Search in Google Scholar

Placencia, María Elena. 2005. Pragmatic variation in corner store interactions in Quito and Madrid. Hispania 88(3). 583–598.10.2307/20063161Search in Google Scholar

Ruzickova, Elena. 2007. Strong and mild requestive hints and positive-face redress in Cuban Spanish. Journal of pragmatics 39(6). 1170–1202.10.1016/j.pragma.2006.06.005Search in Google Scholar

Schauer, Gila A., 2008. Getting better in getting what you want: Language learners’ pragmatic development in requests during study abroad sojourns. In Martin Puetz & JoAnne Neff-Van Aertselaer (eds.). Developing contrastive pragmatics: Interlanguage and cross-cultural perspectives, 399–426. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Search in Google Scholar

Schauer, Giles. 2004. May you speak louder maybe? Interlanguage pragmatics development in requests. In Susan H. Foster-Cohen, Michael Sharwood Smith, Antonia Sorace & Mitsuhiko Ota (eds.), EUROSLA yearbook, 253–272. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.10.1075/eurosla.4.12schSearch in Google Scholar

Searle, John R. 1976. A classification of illocutionary acts. Language in Society 5(1). 1–23.10.1017/S0047404500006837Search in Google Scholar

Schneider, Klaus P. 2014. Pragmatic variation and cultural models. In Martin Pütz, Justyna A. Robinson, Monika Reif (eds.), Cognitive sociolinguistics: Social and cultural variation in cognition and language use, 107–132. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.10.1075/bct.59.05schSearch in Google Scholar

Shively, Rachel L. 2011. L2 pragmatic development in study abroad: A longitudinal study of Spanish service encounters. Journal of Pragmatics 43(6). 1818–1835.10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.030Search in Google Scholar

Shively, Rachel L. & Andrew D. Cohen. 2008. Development of Spanish requests and apologies during study abroad. Ikala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura 13(20). 57–118.Search in Google Scholar

Stapleton, Laura E. 2004. Variation in the performance of speech acts in peninsular Spanish: Apologies and requests. University of Mississippi dissertation.Search in Google Scholar

The Institute of International Education. n.d. Open doors report. http://www.iie.org/opendoors (accessed 10 January 2013)Search in Google Scholar

Watts, Richard J. 2003. Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511615184Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2017-9-6
Published in Print: 2017-9-26

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston