Variation in formality in request in English used by Czech university students



Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description This paper presents the findings of a study of the interlanguage pragmatic competence of Czech university students in making requests in English (L2). The aim of the study was to explore whether and to what extent the linguistic indicators of formality used in external and internal modifications of requests varies in different contexts of use. Data were elicited using an open-ended written discourse completion task (WDCT), all scenarios were designed with regard to the following variables: social distance and social status/power. The quantitative analysis showed that Czech learners tend to use grounders as external request modifications – when providing explanations, reasons or justifications for their requests, whereas the lexical downgrader please was employed most often as the internal request modification. The findings indicate that Czech learners of English as L2 are not aware of the need to adapt request modifications to the formality of the situation as they tend to employ a limited range of internal and external modifications irrespective of the formality or informality of the situation.
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