25.3224, Calls: English, Pragmatics, Applied Linguistics, Language Acquisition/Belgium

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LINGUIST List: Vol-25-3224. Wed Aug 06 2014. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 25.3224, Calls: English, Pragmatics, Applied Linguistics, Language Acquisition/Belgium

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Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2014 23:45:24
From: Paulo Ott Tavares [pauloott at yahoo.com]
Subject: Use of Hedges in Academic Writing by EFL Learners

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Full Title: Use of Hedges in Academic Writing by EFL Learners 

Date: 26-Jul-2015 - 31-Jul-2015
Location: Antwerp, Belgium 
Contact Person: Paulo Ott Tavares
Meeting Email: pauloott at yahoo.com

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Pragmatics 

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Call Deadline: 30-Sep-2014 

Meeting Description:

English has been the language of worldwide communication for decades, and, in addition to English native speakers, millions of people study and/or use it all over the planet. Since its usage is so widespread, pragmatics comes into play, especially the concept of pragmatic competence. Bardovi-Harlig and Dornyei (1998) claim that “grammatical development does not guarantee a corresponding level of pragmatic development”, so it is important to analyze the extent to which learners are developing pragmatic competence as well as grammatical competence.

The study of learners’ pragmatic development falls into the field of interlanguage pragmatics, which can be defined as “the study of nonnative speakers’ comprehension, production, and acquisition of linguistic action in L2” (Kasper, 2012). One feature of pragmatic competence that can be investigated under interlanguage pragmatics is the use of hedges by non-native speakers of English, especially in terms of academic writing. Lakoff (1973) describes the term as “words whose job is to make things fuzzier or less fuzzy” and Fraser (2010) defines hedging as “a rhetorical strategy that attenuates either the full semantic value of a particular expression or the full force of a speech act”. Hinkel (2005) states that “few studies have addressed specifically how trained NNS writers employ hedges and intensifiers in their written academic texts, although such an analysis can be useful in developing curricula for L2 writing instruction.”

It is also important to highlight the importance of the analysis of academic writing. When comparing native and learner corpora of academic writing it is possible to notice some features in the phraseology of learners of English as a Foreign Language that evidently show their non-nativeness. According to De Cock (2003), EFL learners have been shown to overuse a limited number of frequent English collocations and prefabs but to underuse a whole set of native-like phraseological units. Many studies also point out that there is a potential influence of the learner’s native language in academic writing. 

Therefore, the aim of the panel is to bring together studies in the development of pragmatic competence and interlanguage pragmatics, focused on the use of hedges in academic writing by non-native speakers of English through the use of learner corpora of academic writing.

Call for Papers:

In order to advance a discussion of the use of hedges in academic writing by EFL learners, we invite oral presentation proposals on theoretical studies or researches with learner corpora to promote a better understanding of the development of pragmatic competence by non-native speakers of English, especially in terms of academic writing and the use of hedging strategies.

Abstracts should be at least 250 and at most 500 words and should be sent to pauloott at yahoo.com. The deadline for abstract submissions is September 30, 2014.

Please note that all presenters at the International Pragmatics Conference must be IPRA members.







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