Hauptseminar: Cross-Cultural Pragmatics

Fridays, 14:00 – 16:00 s.t. in room U1.69, building 23.21
May 15 – July 3, 1998

Instructor

Prof. Dr. Richard F. Young
Email: rfyoung at wisc dot edu
Web: http://www.wisc.edu/english/rfyoung
Office hours: 13:00 – 15:00 Thursdays in room 01.70 building 23.21
Phone: 811-3066

Texts

Gass, S. M., & Neu, J. (Eds.). (1996). Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W. (1995). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

Seminar description

Pragmatics is the study of language as action and of the social contexts in which linguistic action takes place. Cross-cultural pragmatics is the study of linguistic action carried out by language users from different ethnolinguistic backgrounds.

In this seminar, we will begin by discussing two theoretical approaches to pragmatics: speech act theory and politeness theory. Following this introduction, we will examine in detail research on the production and interpretation of speech acts across cultures.

Seminar requirements

For a kleine Schein

One group seminar presentation of one or more articles from the readings.

Regular attendance and participation in seminar discussions.

For a groe Schein

The requirements for a kleine Schein plus one 20-30 page paper to be handed in before September 30, 1998.

Course outline

Date Topic Readings from Textbooks Additional Readings
May 15 Introduction    
May 22 Speech act theory Scollon & Scollon Chapter 2 Austin (1962)
Searle (1979)
Levinson (1992)
May 29 Politeness theory Scollon & Scollon Chapter 3 Brown & Levinson (1987)
Fraser (1990)
Goffman (1967)
June 5 Conversational inference Scollon & Scollon Chapter 4 Grice (1969)
Horn (1988)
Sperber & Wilson (1995)
June 12 Topic and face Scollon & Scollon Chapter 5 Cai (In press)
Young (1994)
June 19 Research methods in interlanguage pragmatics Chapters by Cohen, Houck & Gass, and Beebe & Cummins in Gass & Neu Bardovi-Harlig & Hartford (1993)
Blum-Kulka, House & Kasper (1989)
Kasper & Dahl (1991)
Wolfson, Marmor & Jones (1989)
June 26 Expressing solidarity in a second language Chapters by Ebsworth, Bodman & Carpenter; Nelson, El Bakary & Al Batal; Geis & Harlow; and Maeshiba, Yoshinaga, Kasper & Ross in Gass & Neu  
July 3 Performing face-threatening acts in a second language Chapters by Murphy & Neu; Boxer; Goldschmidt; and Koike in Gass & Neu  

Readings

Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bardovi-Harlig, K., & Hartford, B. S. (1993). Refining the DCT: Comparing open questionnaires and dialogue completion tasks. Pragmatics and Language Learning Monograph Series, 4, 143-165.

Beebe, L. M., & Cummings, M. C. (1995). Natural speech act data versus questionnaire data: How data collection method affects speech act performance. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 65-86). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G. (1989). The CCSARP coding manual. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. House, & G. Kasper (Eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies (pp. 273-294). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Boxer, D. (1995). Ethnographic interviewing as a research tool in speech act analysis: The case of complaints. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 65-86). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Cai, G. (In press). Texts in context: Understanding Chinese students' English compositions. In C. R. Cooper & L. Odell (Eds.), Evaluating writing (2nd ed., ). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Cohen, A. (1995). Investigating the production of speech act sets. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 21-43). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Ebsworth, M. E., Bodman, J. W., & Carpenter, M. (1995). Cross-cultural realization of greetings in American English. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 89-107). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Fraser, B. (1990). Perspectives on politeness. Journal of Pragmatics, 14, 219-236.

Geis, M. L., & Harlow, L. L. (1995). Politeness strategies in French and English. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 129-153). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Goffman, E. (1967). The nature of deference and demeanor. In E. Goffman (Ed.), Interaction ritual: Essays in face-to-face behavior (pp. 47-95). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Goldschmidt, M. (1995). From the addressee's perspective: Imposition in favor-asking. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 241-256). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Grice, H. P. (1989). Logic and conversation. In H. P. Grice (Ed.), Studies in the way of words (pp. 3-143). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Horn, L. R. (1988). Pragmatic theory. In F. J. Newmeyer (Ed.), Linguistics: The Cambridge survey (Vol. 1, Linguistic theory: Foundations, pp. 113-145). Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

Houck, N., & Gass, S. M. (1995). Non-native refusals: A methodological perspective. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 45-64). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Kasper, G., & Dahl, M. (1991). Research methods in interlanguage pragmatics. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 13, 215-247.

Koike, D. A. (1995). Transfer of pragmatic competence and suggestions in Spanish foreign language learning. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 257-281). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Levinson, S. C. (1992). Activity types and language. In P. Drew & J. Heritage (Eds.), Talk at work: Interaction in institutional settings (pp. 66-100). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Maeshiba, N., Yoshinaga, N., Kasper, G., & Ross, S. (1995). Transfer and proficiency in interlanguage apologizing. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 155-187). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Murphy, B., & Neu, J. (1995). My grade's too low: The speech act set of complaining. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 191-216). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nelson, G. L., El Bakary, W., & Al Batal, M. (1995). Egyptian and American compliments: Focus on second language learners. In S. M. Gass & J. Neu (Eds.), Speech acts across cultures: Challenges to communication in a second language (pp. 109-128). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Searle, J. R. (1979). Expression and meaning: Studies in the theory of speech acts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sperber, D., & Wilson, D. (1995). Relevance: Communication and cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Wolfson, N., Marmor, T., & Jones, S. (1989). Problems in the comparison of speech acts across cultures. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. House, & G. Kasper (Eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies (pp. 174-196). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Young, L. W. L. (1994). Crosstalk and culture in Sino-American communication. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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