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中文論文名稱 台灣大學生以電子郵件做書面請求語之語用能力研究
英文論文名稱 Exploring Taiwanese EFL Learners Pragmatic Competence in the Production of Formal Written Request via E-mail
校院名稱 淡江大學
系所名稱(中) 英文學系博士班
系所名稱(英) Department of English
學年度 99
學期 2
出版年 100
研究生中文姓名 曾嘉悌
研究生英文姓名 Chia-Ti Tseng
學號 896110185
學位類別 博士
語文別 英文
口試日期 2011-06-22
論文頁數 201頁
口試委員 指導教授-黄月貴
委員-余明忠
委員-周敏潔
委員-王藹玲
委員-卜溫仁
中文關鍵字 語用能力  書面請求  困擾程度  請求策略  內、外部修飾語  信息排序  禮貌用語  發展排序  語用轉移  感受影響 
英文關鍵字 pragmatic competence  formal written request  levels of imposition  request strategies  internal/ external modification  information sequencing  politeness strategies  developmental sequences  L1 pragmatic transfer  perlocutionary effect 
學科別分類
中文摘要 本研究旨在探討台灣大學生以电子郵件做書面請求語之語用能力研究。受試者分為二組,分別為中高階英語程度,及中低階英語程度之英文系學生。並針對不同困擾程度(levels of imposition)之請求情境,以电子郵件之形式,對系上教授提出書面請求。因此在二項變數下,包括「高、中、低困擾程度」(high/medium/low imposition levels)及受試者英語程度 (linguistic proficiency),來探討對書面請求語中使用的請求策略(request strategy),內、外部修飾語 (internal/ external modifications),及信息排序(information sequencing)之使用,是否有所影響。為進一步暸解受試者使用這些禮貌用語(politeness features)之原由,及寫电子郵件請求語所遭遇之因難,本研究則以問卷及面談方式,來探求其解答。總計受試者二組共60人,电子郵件共180封,在質化與量化並重方式分析下,研究結果顯示,中高、中低階英語程度之受試者,皆傾向於使用「直接策略」(direct strategy)及較多的外部修飾語,來對高困擾程度(high imposition)之情境,提出請求。並且二組受試者會因不同困擾程度之請求情境,使用不同組合的外部修飾語。顯示不同困擾程度之請求情境,對受試者的禮貌用語有所影響。而中高階英語程度之受試者,在內、外部修飾語所使用的數量、頻率及組合變化方面,明顯高於中低階受試者,顯示禮貌用語有其發展排序(developmental sequences)。此外,從受試者所使用之請求策略及禮貌用語,顯示出語用轉移之現象,此語用轉移(pragmatic transfer)對請求者造成的感受影響(perlocutionary effect),及受試者寫电子郵件請求語所遭遇之因難,以及本研究結果對英語語用教學的應用,本文亦有深入探討。
英文摘要 This study aims to explore Taiwanese EFL learners’ pragmatic competence in the production of formal written request via email to faculty in the institutional setting. It sets to find out the politeness strategies adopted by Taiwanese university students when they make email requests in English to faculty (i.e., the Chair of the English Department and the English professors), including their choice of linguistic forms of requestive head acts, the internal and external modifications, and the information sequencing of their email messages. To find out how levels of imposition would affect the use of politeness strategies, different email tasks with varied imposition levels were designed to examine if and how students’ use of request strategies and politeness features would vary in accordance with different email tasks. Students of two linguistic levels (i.e., lower-intermediate, higher-intermediate) were included and the differences in their realization patterns of politeness strategies would allow insights for the developmental aspect of pragmatic acquisition. To understand why these EFL students chose certain politeness strategies, a retrospective questionnaire and a semi-structured interview were conducted to investigate the factors which influenced their choice of linguistic politeness strategies and the difficulties they encountered in the process of composing these email requests.
In total, sixty Taiwanese university students, from two universities in Northern Taiwan participated in the current study and 180 request emails were composed for qualitative and qualitative investigation. By applying Blum-Kulka, House and Kasper’s (1989) CCSARP speech act analysis framework, the results revealed that students of both levels adopted more direct strategies as main requestive head acts for clarity and used the most numbers of supportive moves prior to the request to mitigate the illocutionary force in the highest imposition request. Different combinations of supportive moves were also adopted for different request tasks by the two groups, indicating students’ awareness of different imposition levels inherited in different request tasks designed. In addition, the higher-intermediate proficiency group displayed more resources in creating more polite email messages to professors by using more internal and external modifiers for their request than their less proficient counterparts. The developmental sequences in the use of politeness features can thus be identified accordingly. However, certain syntactic and lexical downgraders never appeared in the higher level group’s email messages, pointing toward their unfamiliarity with these devices and thus suggesting the need for explicit teaching of these elements in the language classroom. From the preferred use of direct strategies, supportive moves, as well as a pre-posed request sequences, L1 pragmatic transfer can be clearly observed in the email messages of both groups. The possible perlocutionary effect of this transfer was analyzed and the pedagogical implications and suggestions aiming at solving students’ difficulties encountered were suggested in the study.
論文目次 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………………i
Chinese Abstract……………………………………………………………………...ii
English Abstract……………………………………………………………………....iii
Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………..v
List of Tables………………………………………………………………………….ix
List of Figures……………………………………………………………...…………xi

Chapter 1: Introduction……………………………………………….. 1

1.1 Background and Motivation……………………………………………………….1
1.2 Purpose of the Study……………………………………………………………....4
1.3 Research Questions…………………………………………………………..……8
1.4 Definition of Terms………………………………………………………………..9
1.5 Limitations of the study………………………………………………………......12
1.6 Significance of the Study…………………………………………………………13
1.7 Organization of the Dissertation……………………………………………….....14

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature……………...……………..16

2.1 Pragmatics and Pragmatic Competence………….………………………………16
2.2 Cross-Cultural Pragmatics……………………………………………………….19
2.3 Interlanguage Pragmatics………………………………………………………...20
2.4 Pragmatic Transfer……………………………………………………………….23
2.5 Speech Act of Request………………………………………………………...…27
2.6 Request and Politeness: Features contributing to politeness in Requests………..29
2.7 Empirical Studies on Request……………………………………………………32
2.8 Research Studies on Request Speech Acts in Email………..……………………40

Chapter 3: Methodology………………………………………………47

3.1 Participants……………………………………………………………………….47
3.2 Instruments……………………………………………………………………….48
3.2.1. Background questionnaire………………………………………………..48
3.2.2 Experimental writing tasks: the design of three writing topics for the email requests……………………………………………...……………………49
3.2.3 Retrospective open-ended questionnaire and semi-structured interview
…………………………………………………………………………………....52
3.3 Data Collection ………………………………………………………………….53
3.3.1 Higher-intermediate linguistic level students…………………………….53
3.3.2 Lower intermediate linguistic level students……………………………..54
3.4 Coding Scheme and Data Analysis………………………………………………56
3.4.1 Data coding……………………………………………………………….56
3.4.2 Data analysis………………………………………………………………60
3.5 Reliability of the Data Coding…………………………………………………...62
3.6 A Pilot Test……………………………………………………………………….63

Chapter 4: Results……………………………………………………..66

4.1 Quantitative Findings related to the First Research Question…………………....66
4.1.1 Directness levels in students’ email messages across request types………66
4.1.2 Politeness features in the higher level students’ email requests…………..71
(1) Internal modifications………………………………………………….71
(2) External modifications…………………………………………………74
4.2 Quantitative Findings Related to the Second Research Question………………..79
4.2.1 Directness levels in students’ email messages across request types………79
4.2.2 Politeness features in the higher level students’ email request……………83
(1) Internal modifications …………………………………………………83
(2) External modifications…………………………………………………87
4.3 Quantitative Findings related to the Third Research Question…………………..92
4.3.1 Comparison of the directness levels in the realization of request strategies
……………………………………………………………………………92
4.3.2 Comparison of politeness features used…………………………………..93
(1) Internal modifications………………………………………………….93
(2) External modifications…………………………………………………96
4.4 Qualitative Results……………………………………………………………...100
4.4.1 Requestive acts: main request strategies………………………………...101
(1) High imposition request: request for bending rules…………………..101
(2) Medium imposition request: request for feedback…………………...102
(3) Low imposition request: request for appointment……………………103
4.4.2 Internal modifications: the use of syntactic and lexical downgraders…..105
4.4.3 External modification: the use of supportive moves…………………….107
4.4.4 Opening/ Closing………………………………………………………...116
4.5 Findings Related to the Fourth Research Question……………………………..117
4.5.1 Factors which influence students’ choice of linguistic politeness strategies in emails…………………………………………………….……….117
(1) Situational factor: imposition level of the request……………………118
(2) Medium factor: email vs. conventional letter………...………………120
(3) Linguistic proficiency………………………………………………...120
(4) Transfer of L1 pragmatic knowledge…………………………………121
4.5.2 Difficulties encountered in composing email request…………………...122


Chapter 5: Discussion………………………………………………...124

5.1. Discussion of Findings for the First Research Question……………………….124
5.1.1 Directness level in request strategies…………………………………….124
5.1.2 Politeness features……………………………………………………….127
(1) Internal modification: syntactic and lexical downgraders……………127
(2) External modification: supportive moves…………………………….129
5.1.3 Summary for research question one……………………………………..131
5.2. Discussion of Findings for the Second Research Question…………………….132
5.2.1 Directness level in request strategies…………………………………….133
5.2.2 Politeness features……………………………………………………….135
(1) Internal modification: syntactic and lexical downgraders……………135
(2) External modification: supportive moves…………………………….137
5.2.3 Summary for research question two……………………………………..138
5.3. Discussion of Findings for the Third Research Question………………………140
5.3.1 Comparison of the directness levels in the realization of request strategies
…………………………………………………………………………..140
5.3.2 Comparison of politeness features used by the two groups……………..143
(1) Internal modifications: syntactic and lexical downgraders…………..143
(2) External modifications: supportive moves…………………………...150
(3) Opening/ Closing……………………………………………………..161
5.3.3 Summary for research question three……………………………………161
5.4. Discussion of Findings for the Fourth Research Question……………………..163
5.4.1 Factors which influence students’ choice of linguistic politeness strategies in emails………………………………………………………………...164
(1) Situational factor: imposition level of the request……………………164
(2) Medium factor: e-mail vs. conventional letter………………………..167
(3) Linguistic proficiency………………………………………………...168
(4) Transfer of L1 pragmatic knowledge………………………………...169
5.4.2 Difficulties encountered in composing email request…………………...171
5.4.3 Summary for research question four…………………………………….172


Chapter 6: Conclusion……………………………………………….173

6.1 Summary of the Main Findings………………………………………………....173
6.2 Theoretical Implications………………………………………………………...179
6.3 Pedagogical Implications……………………………………………………….180
6.4 Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research……………………………...185

References……………………………………………………………..188
Appendices
Appendix A: Consent Form for Participants………………………………………..196
Appendix B: Background Questionnaire…………………………………………...197
Appendix C: Experimental Writing Tasks…………………………………………..198
Appendix D: Appendix D: Post Questionnaire-Retrospective Open-ended Questions
………………………………………………………………………199
Appendix E: Data Coding Form…………………………………………………..201

List of Tables

Table 2.1: CCSARP request coding scheme for head act…………………….………34
Table 3.1: The makeup of the scripts collected from two groups of students………..51
Table 3.2: Coding categories for request strategies in the current study……………..57
Table 3.3: Coding categories for syntactic and lexical modifiers in the current study
……………………………………………………………………………58
Table 3.4: Coding categories for supportive moves in the current study…………….59
Table 4.1: Comparison of frequency usages of main request strategies across request types by higher level group.……………………………………………...67
Table 4.2: Subcategories of direct strategies adopted by higher level group across request types………………….……………….……..…………………..70
Table 4.3: Comparison of frequency usage of internal modifications across request types by higher level group……………………………………………....72
Table 4.4: Syntactic downgraders used across request types by higher level group
……………………………………..……………………………………..73
Table 4.5: Lexical downgraders used across request types by higher level group
…………………………………………………………………………....74
Table 4.6: Comparison of frequency use of external modifications across request types by higher level group……………………………………………………..75
Table 4.7: Types of supportive moves used across request types by higher level group
…………………………………………………………………………....77
Table 4.8: Comparison of frequency usages of main request strategies across request types by lower level group……………………………………………….80
Table 4.9: Subcategories of direct strategies adopted by lower level group across request types……………………………………………………….……..82
Table 4.10: Comparison of frequency use of internal modifications across request types by lower level group……………………………………………...84
Table 4.11: Syntactic downgraders used across request types by lower level group
……………………………………………………………………………86
Table 4.12: Lexical downgraders used across request types by lower level group
……………………………………………………………………………87
Table 4.13: Comparison of frequency usages of external modifications across request types by lower level group……………………………………………...88
Table 4.14: Types of supportive moves used across request types by lower level group
…………………………………………………………………………..90
Table 4.15: Comparison of higher and lower level groups’ frequency usages of different request strategies in all request types…………………………93
Table 4.16: Comparison of higher and lower level groups’ frequency usages of different internal modifications in all request types…………………….94
Table 4.17: Syntactic downgraders used across request types……………………….95
Table 4.18: Lexical downgraders used across request types………………………....96
Table 4.19: Comparison of higher and lower level groups’ frequency usages of supportive moves in all request types…………………………………...97
Table 4.20: Supportive moves used across request types…………………………….98
Table 4.21: Examples of the realizations of main request strategies for requesting for bending rule by two groups……………………………………………101
Table 4.22: Examples of the realizations of main request strategies for requesting for feedback by two groups……………………………………………….103
Table 4.23: Examples of the realizations of main request strategies for requesting for appointment by two groups……………………………………………104
Table 4.24: Examples of syntactic downgraders used by two groups………………106
Table 4.25: Examples of lexical downgraders used by two groups………………...107
Table 4.26: Position of supportive moves by two groups…………………………..108
Table 4.27: Closing devices used by two groups of students……………………….117
Table 4.28: Difficulties encountered by higher level group of students…………….123
Table 4.29: Difficulties encountered by lower level group of students……………..123

List of Figures

Figure 4.1: Use of query preparatory across different request types by higher level group……………………………………………………………………...67
Figure 4.2: Directness levels by request types for higher level group……………….68
Figure 4.3: Subcategories of direct strategies adopted by higher level group across request types……………………………………….……………………..70
Figure 4.4: Use of syntactic downgraders across request types by higher level group
…………………………………………………………………………..72
Figure 4.5: Use of lexical downgraders across request types by higher level group
……………………………………………………………………………72
Figure 4.6: Use of supportive moves across request types by higher level group
……………………………………………………………………………75
Figure 4.7: Directness levels by request types for lower level group………………. 81
Figure 4.8: Subcategories of direct strategies adopted by lower level group across request types ……………………………………………………………..83
Figure 4.9: Use of syntactic downgraders across request types by lower level group
……………………………………………………………………………85
Figure 4.10: Use of lexical downgraders across request types by lower level group
……………………………………………………………………………85
Figure 4.11: Use of supportive moves across request types by lower level group
……………………………………………………………………………88
Figure 4.12: Supportive move position by higher level group……………………...108
Figure 4.13: Supportive move position by lower level group………………………109
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