The Goal Of Communication In Language Learning English Language Essay

The chief end of linguistic communication acquisition is communicating. Cross-cultural communicating sometimes breaks down in real-life conversations, and the jobs that occur are non ever due to the non-native talker ‘s mistakes in sentence structure, pronunciation, but besides due to their matter-of-fact incompetency. When middlemans lack matter-of-fact competency, it can frequently take to matter-of-fact failure. In other words, they lack the necessary cognition to conform to all regulations and norms of the mark linguistic communication and to pass on efficaciously in that linguistic communication.

The present paper trades with matter-of-fact failure, the phenomenon in pragmatics for which many different footings have been used by linguistics. Debatable talk, miscommunication, communicating dislocation, troubled discourse, matter-of-fact mistakes – all these footings refer to critical minutes of talk exchange.

Each conversation implies that there middlemans who cooperate under a rule of cooperation and by the regulations of colloquial axioms. However, when middlemans do non portion the same cultural background and matter-of-fact land regulations, these differences between them may easy take to a break-down in communicating.

The present paper explores some possible causes of miscommunication within the frames of pragmatics. It deals chiefly with communicative competency and matter-of-fact transportation in cross-cultural communicating. Surveies about communicative competency and linguistic communication transportation are of great significance for the research and account of the happening of matter-of-fact failure. Linguists such as Thomas, Kasper, Dash, and many others have done of import work in this field of linguistics and they have greatly contributed to the development of the range of pragmatics on the whole.

2. Pragmaticss

Pragmaticss is the survey of linguistic communication which deals with the significance of lingual vocalizations. It is the survey of communicative action which includes non merely speech Acts of the Apostless but besides engagement in discourse and interaction.

2.1. Specifying Pragmaticss

Many conflicting definitions of pragmatics have arisen in the class of the survey of that field of linguistics, and David Crystal notes that no consistent matter-of-fact theory has yet been achieved. Nevertheless, many utile and refined definitions of pragmatics have been provided, and one of it was produced by Crystal himself. In his Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, Crystals states that pragmatics is

[ aˆ¦ ] the survey of linguistic communication from the point of position of users, particularly of the picks they make, the restraints they encounter in utilizing linguistic communication in societal interaction and the effects their usage of linguistic communication has on other participants in an act of communicating. ( Crystal 2005: 364 )

With this definition Crystal proposes that pragmatics is the survey of linguistic communication usage in the sociocultural context. Similar to that is one of the several definitions proposed by Steven Levinson, where he says that “ [ P ] ragmatics is the survey of the ability of linguistic communication users to partner off sentences with the contexts in which they would be appropriate ” ( Levinson, 1983: 24 ) .

Kasper ( 1997 ) defines pragmatics as the field of cognition which enables talkers to utilize linguistic communication suitably in order to accomplish common comprehension.

One of the most of import subscribers in the field of linguistics, Geoffrey Leech, argues that semantics and pragmatics have one thing in common, viz. , they are both concerned with significance. However, the manner they deal with significance is different. Taking the user of the linguistic communication into history is of great importance while seeking to understand the difference between the two neighbouring Fieldss of linguistics.

In his work on pragmatics, Levinson ( 1983 ) gives a figure of definitions of pragmatics followed by his remarks on the strengths and failings of each of them. In connexion to that, he tries to clear up the differentiation between semantics and pragmatics, so he suggests a proposal which states that “ [ aˆ¦ ] semantics should be concerned with intending out of context, or non-context-dependent significance, and pragmatics with significance in context ” ( Levinson 1983: 20 ) .

Leech ( 1983 ) introduces his thought of complementarism between semantics and pragmatics. He distinguishes between three possible ways of depicting the relationship: semanticism ( pragmatics inside semantics ) , pragmaticism ( semantics inside pragmatics ) and complementarism ( pragmatics and semantics complementing each other ) .

Sentence-meaning vs. Utterance-meaning

In the theory of linguistics, the differentiation between sentence-meaning and utterance-meaning is really common. To separate between sentence-meaning and utterance-meaning, it is necessary to divide sentences from vocalizations.

A sentence is a grammatical unit of linguistic communication, and its building should hold with the regulations of grammar. An vocalization can be defined as a unit of communicating which has certain communicative maps. During communicating vocalizations have in most instances the same signifier as grammatically grammatical sentences. Equally far as significance is concerned, the significance of a sentence is isolated from the context, whereas vocalization significance is related to the context under which a communicating takes topographic point. Utterance significance is in many state of affairss based on the sentence significance. However, it contains more information than the sentence significance because the vocalization significance is considered to be the coupling of the sentence significance and the context.

In relation to this, Levinson ( 1983: 21 ) refers to pragmatics as “ the survey of dealingss between linguistic communication and context that are basic to an history of linguistic communication apprehension ” . He explains that in order to understand an vocalization it is non plenty to cognize the significance of the words uttered. Understanding an vocalization besides involves doing illations which is of import for associating of what is said to what is reciprocally assumed or what has been mentioned before.

2.3. Context

Context plays an of import function in the survey of significances in pragmatics. Without context, it is about impossible to find the significance that the talker intends to convey.

There are assorted readings of context by different linguists. John Lyons discusses context in relation to knowledge, so he states that in order for a individual to able to judge the rightness of an vocalization, she/he must possess certain cognition. Lyons ( 1979 ) lists six types of cognition:

Each of the participants must cognize his function and position.

The participants must cognize where they are in infinite and clip.

The participants must be able to categorise the state of affairs in footings of its grade of formality.

The participants must cognize what medium is appropriate to the state of affairs.

The participants must cognize how to do their vocalizations appropriate to the subject-matter and the importance of subject-matter as a determiner in the choice of one idiom or one linguistic communication instead than another.

The participants must cognize how to do their vocalization appropriate to the state or sphere to which the state of affairs belongs.

Thomas and Leech ( 1990: 101 ) give the undermentioned definition of context:

[ aˆ¦ ] the sphere of pragmatics is to be identified with a SPEECH SITUATION including non merely the vocalization ( what is said ) , the vocalizer ( talker ) and utteree ( addressee ) , but the shared cognition of these interactants both peculiar ( about the immediate state of affairs ) and general. This shared cognition is frequently referred to as the CONTEXT of the vocalization.

Within pragmatics intending is described with relation to the address Acts of the Apostless made by the talker and therefore in relation to the listener. This point of position is represented by John Austin and John Searle. The undermentioned chapter in this paper illustrates some of Austin ‘s thoughts on the subject.

2.4. John Austin

J.L.Austin, J.R.Searle and H.P.Grice are three philosophers whose work has greatly contributed to the development of lingual pragmatics. They were interested in the usage of words in communicating and in the manner linguistic communication conveys intending. Austin ‘s series of talks delivered at Harward University, which were subsequently published in a book How to Make Thingss with Words ( 1962 ) , had a important influence on the survey of linguistic communication and significance. He was the first one to analyze speech Acts of the Apostless, covering with the differentiation between constatives and performatives, and doing a categorization of locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary Acts of the Apostless.

Austin had pointed out that non all sentences could be true or false. Such sentences for which truth conditions are non relevant are a particular category of vocalizations, and he called them performatives. To separate them from the constatives, he explains that performatives do non depict actions but have to make with executing them. To exemplify his point, Austin gives the undermentioned illustration of a performative:

‘I do. ‘ ( expressed during the nuptials ceremonial )

For the given vocalization it can non be said whether it is true or false, and neither that it describes what person is making. The significance of such a sentence has to be identified with the public presentation of an action ( here ‘marrying ‘ ) .

Taking his thoughts of address Acts of the Apostless further, Austin introduces another of import differentiation. He claimed that an vocalization could at the same clip be associated with three sorts of action:

( 1 ) locutionary act ( or saying ) : the act of expressing some look with a peculiar sense and mention.

( E.g. He said to me ‘Shoot her! ‘ significance by ‘shoot ‘ shoot and by ‘her ‘ her. )

( 2 ) illocutionary act ( or illocution ) : the act performed in, or by virtuousness of, the public presentation of the saying,

( E.g. he urged, or requested, or invited me to hit her. ) – such that we may state that what was said had the force of that illocution ( e.g. of a petition, or an invitation ) .

( 3 ) perlocutionary act ( or perlocution ) ; the act performed by agencies of what is said:

( E.g. He persuaded me to hit her ) .

( Thomas and Leech, 1990: 95 )

The locutionary act is the act of stating something and significance it, so it belongs to the field of semantics. The perlocutionary act does non cover with the significance of an vocalization but with the consequence it has. Furthermore, its force depends non merely on the expressed words but besides on factors such as societal, physical and psychological ( Thomas and Leech, 1990 ) . Austin was concerned with the illocutionary act. He describes it as something that is done with the act of bring forthing an vocalization. In other words, it is the inquiry of how an vocalization should be understood, whether as a suggestion or a warning. So, Austin referred to speech Acts of the Apostless as holding illocutionary force.

Besides J. Austin, H. P. Grice was another great philosopher who contributed a batch to the account of communicative activities by agencies of linguistic communication. He advanced the theory of concerted rule about which there will be more words in the chapter that follows.

3. Concerted Principle – H. P. Grice

Communication requires talkers to collaborate, and therefore in a reciprocally determined and accepted context. When talkers communicate, they are expected to obey a set of norms and rules. The Concerted Principle has been developed by the plants of the philosopher H. Paul Grice ( 1975 ) . Grice is concerned with the procedures of bring forthing significance and apprehension intended significance. The rule provinces: “ Make your part such as is required, at the phase at which it occurs, by the recognized intent or way of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. ” The Cooperative Principle can be expanded into four axioms:

The axiom of Quality:

Try to do your part 1 that is true, specifically:

make non state what you believe to be false ;

make non state that for which you lack equal grounds.

The axiom of Measure:

Make your part every bit enlightening as is required for the current intents of the exchange ;

Do non do your part more enlightening than is required.

The axiom of Relation:

Make your part relevant.

The axiom of Manner:

Be limpid, and specifically:

avoid obscureness

avoid ambiguity

be brief

be orderly.

We use these axioms in mundane conversation, and we need them in order to pass on and avoid communicating dislocation. When we say an vocalization, or hear it, we assume that it is true and relevant, following the regulations of cooperation. However, non ever do vocalizations conform to these axioms. Sometimes the talker produces an vocalization which, on the surface, does non look to be appropriate, but it still contains a significance that has to be inferred. In Grice ‘s footings, the talker has ‘flouted ‘ a axiom, and what is created as a consequence is called a colloquial implicature.

Grice ‘s Concerted Principle is merely a description of the manner people construct and convey significances. However, he does non presume that people are necessarily relevant, true and enlightening in what they say. In add-on, Grice explains in what ways talkers do non follow the axioms and the rule. Hence, a participant in a conversation may “ softly violate ” a axiom, he may “ choose out from the operation both of the axiom and the Concerted Principle ” , or he may intentionally “ flout ” a axiom ( Grice, 1991: 30 ) . The last case of non conforming to the axioms allows Grice to present the construct of a colloquial implicature.

4. Communicative Competence

Canale and Swain ( 1980 ) define communicative competency as consisting of at least three competences: grammatical, sociolinguistic, and strategic competency.

Grammatical competency includes cognition of lexical points and of regulations of morphology, sentence structure, sentence-grammar semantics, and phonemics. Sociolinguistic competency consists of two sets of regulations – sociocultural regulations and discourse regulations. The first of the two refer to the rightness of an vocalization in a specific societal context, and the latter regulations refer to the cognition of regulations regulating coherence and coherency. Strategic competency consists of verbal and non-verbal communicating schemes that may be used by a talker or listener in order to counterbalance a deficiency in cognition.

More recent research on communicative competency was done by Bachman ( 1990 ) who suggested the division of linguistic communication cognition into organisational and matter-of-fact competency. He argues that matter-of-fact competency is comprised of illocutionary competency and sociolinguistic competency, and gives the undermentioned definitions:

While illocutionary competency enables us to utilize linguistic communication to show a broad scope of maps, and to construe the illocutionary force of vocalizations or discourse, the rightness of these maps and how they are performed varies from one linguistic communication usage context to the following [ aˆ¦ ] .

Sociolinguistic competency is the sensitiveness to, or control of the conventions of linguistic communication usage that are determined by the characteristics of the specific linguistic communication usage context ; it enables us to execute linguistic communication maps in ways that are appropriate to that context. ( Bachman 1990: 94 )

Figure 1 illustrates the constituents of linguistic communication competency from Bachman ‘s point of position. However, he points out that this diagram should be seen merely as a ocular metaphor and non as a theoretical theoretical account.

linguistic communication


organisational competency matter-of-fact competency

grammatical textual illocutionary sociolinguistic

competency competency competency competency

Voc. Morph. Synt. Phon/Graph. Cohes. Rhet.Org. Ideat. Manip. Heur. Imag. Sensit. Sensit. Sensit. Cult.Refs. & A ;

Funcs. Funcs. Funcs. Funcs. toDial. toReg. toNat. Fig.ofSpeech

Figure 1 Components of Language Competence

The constituents appear as separate and independent but it is the existent interaction between them that characterizes communicative linguistic communication usage.

5. Matter-of-fact Failure

In their work on miscommunication, Coupland, Wieman and Giles ( 1991: 3 ) give an observation about communicating in which they province that “ [ aˆ¦ ] linguistic communication usage and communicating are [ aˆ¦ ] pervasively and even per se flawed, partial, and debatable. [ aˆ¦ ] communicating is itself miscommunicative [ aˆ¦ ] ” .

The construct of matter-of-fact failure was foremost introduced by Jenny Thomas who defined the term as “ the inability to understand what is meant by what is said ” ( Thomas in Bolton & A ; Kachru 2006: 22 ) .

Matter-of-fact failure does non hold to make with public presentation mistakes in footings of morphology, phonemics, sentence structure or semantics, but it deals with errors which fail to carry through communicating because of incompatible looks or inappropriate manner. Although expressed sentences are grammatically right, they may be considered as go againsting the societal norms and rightness.

In her work on cross-cultural matter-of-fact failure, Thomas considers non merely nativeA­-non-native communicating, but any communicating between two people who do non portion a common lingual or cultural background. Even though pragmatics has really small to make with grammar, Thomas suggests that matter-of-fact failure is easy to get the better of by learning matter-of-fact competency as portion of the grammar.

5.1. Pragmalinguistic and Sociopragmatic Failure

Harmonizing to Thomas ( in Bolton & A ; Kachru 2006: 32 ) , there are two types of matter-of-fact failure, viz. pragmalinguistic failure and sociolinguistic failure. She gives the undermentioned definitions:

Pragmalinguistic failure [ aˆ¦ ] occurs when the matter-of-fact force mapped by S onto a given vocalization is consistently different from the force most often assigned to it by native talkers of the mark linguistic communication, or when speech act schemes are unsuitably transferred from L1 to L2.

Sociopragmatic failure [ aˆ¦ ] refers to the societal conditions placed on linguistic communication in usage [ aˆ¦ ] while pragmalinguistic failure is fundamentally a lingual job, caused by differences in the lingual encryption of matter-of-fact force, sociopragmatic failure stems from cross-culturally different perceptual experiences of what constitutes appropriate lingual behavior.

The differentiation between these two types of mistakes is of import in order to demo the resistance between the norms and beliefs related to the linguistic communication and those related to the society. Harmonizing to Thomas, pragmalinguistic failures are likely to happen when talkers unsuitably transfer speech act schemes from their female parent lingua to the mark linguistic communication. In this manner they create a different matter-of-fact force so in their first linguistic communication, which can frequently take to an mistake. In add-on, pragmalinguistic failures may happen when talkers unsuitably transfer constructions which are semantically/syntactically tantamount. As an illustration of such linguistic communication usage, Thomas gives an illustration of the transference of Russian term ‘koneA?no ‘ ( ‘of class ‘ ) alternatively of ‘da ‘ ( ‘yes ‘ ) to show an affirmative:

A: Is it a good eating house?

Bacillus: Of class. [ Gloss ( for Russian S ) : Yes, ( so ) it is. ( For English H ) : What a stupid inquiry! ]

( Thomas in Bolton & A ; Kachru 2006: 36 )

In English ‘of class ‘ frequently implies that something is obvious, so in this sort of state of affairs it can sound impolite and contemptuous since it is used as an reply to a ‘genuine ‘ inquiry.

Sociopragmatic failure, on the other manus, originates from different cross-cultural ratings of what is appropriate linguistic communication usage. It is the consequence of deficiency of consciousness of the norms and socio-cultural conventions of the mark linguistic communication. Thomas ( Bolton & A ; Kachru 2006: 38 ) explains that “ [ s ] ociopragmatic determinations are societal before they are lingual ” , and that is where the chief differentiation between pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic failure is.

Given that tabus are culture-specific, typical sociopragmatic failure is made when a foreign talker negotiations about something which is tabu in that state and allowed in his ain state. Further illustration of such an mistake is inquiring a alien in Great Britain about his income, faith, or political beliefs.

Thomas ( in Bolton and Kachru 2006: 41 ) argues that a matter-of-fact failure may happen if matter-of-fact rules such as niceness are in struggle with other values, such as truthfulness or earnestness. Those struggles occur if talkers are incognizant that

In different civilizations, different matter-of-fact ‘ground regulations ‘ may be invoked.

Relative values such as ‘politeness ‘ , ‘perspicuousness ‘ , may be ranked in a different order by different civilizations.

It is of import to indicate out that what Thomas calls ‘pragmatic land regulations ‘ are non the same in every state and every civilization, and people need to be taught that these regulations do non run in the same manner in all linguistic communications. She illustrates this with the look ‘We truly must acquire together sometime ‘ , which is considered merely a polite and nonmeaningful look by Americans, whereas non-Americans frequently understand it as a existent invitation holding its actual significance.

On the whole, it must be stated that the absolute differentiation between pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic failure can non be drawn because they both belong to the field of matter-of-fact failure, and they surely overlap to some grade.

Apart from these two classs of matter-of-fact failure, Philip Riley ( in Oleksy erectile dysfunction. 1989: 235-237 ) recognizes another two classs which he labels ‘inchoative ‘ and ‘non-verbal ‘ . He argues that even though these classs have received attending from linguists, they have non been accepted as separate classs of matter-of-fact failure.

5.2. Matter-of-fact Transportation

One of the grounds for miscommunication to take topographic point is negative matter-of-fact transportation in cross-cultural communicating. By transportation pragmaticians mean difference of linguistic communication usage due to native linguistic communication influence.

In their work on matter-of-fact transportation, A?egarac and Pennington ( in Spencer-Oatey, 2004: 166 ) offer a definition which says that “ [ P ] ragmatic transportation is the transportation of matter-of-fact cognition in state of affairss of intercultural communicating ” . They point to the impression of mental sets, which are mostly determined by culture-specific cognition. Therefore, when in a communicating interactants from different cultural backgrounds are incognizant of the differences in their several mental sets, misinterpretations are likely to happen.

There are two suggested degrees at which negative matter-of-fact transportation can happen. Kasper ( 1992 ) proposes these two facets on the footing of Leech ‘s differentiation between pragmalinguistics and sociopragmatics. Therefore, negative matter-of-fact transportation can take topographic point at the pragmalinguistic degree. Typical illustrations of pragmalinguistic transportation are actual interlingual renditions of looks that do non be in the mark linguistic communication, or the usage of excessively direct or indirect schemes which are common in the female parent lingua but can be perceived as inappropriate in the mark linguistic communication. When negative matter-of-fact transportation occurs on the sociopragmatic degree, this means that the matter-of-fact regulations of the mark linguistic communication are violated because the talker ‘s and hearer ‘s outlooks of the sociocultural context are different.

Harmonizing to Thomas ( Thomas in Bolton and Kachru 2006: 26 ) matter-of-fact failure occurs if:

H perceives the force of S ‘s vocalization as stronger or weaker than S intended s/he should comprehend it ;

H perceives as an order an vocalization which S intended s/he should comprehend as a petition ;

H perceives S ‘s vocalization as ambivalent where S intended no ambivalency ;

S expects H to be able to deduce the force of his/her vocalization, but is trusting on a system of cognition or beliefs which S and H do non, in fact, portion.

Fillmore ( in Fisiak 1984: 129-130 ) gives illustrations of two anecdotes covering with the look “ I thought you ‘d ne’er inquire ” which he refers to as ‘the American English expression ‘ . The look is merely a everyday expression which, if non perceived that manner, may be taken as an abuse by the listener who does non portion the same cultural background as the talker. The first illustration is the anecdote when a European adult male asked an American adult female to dance, to what she replied in a playful mode “ I thought you ‘d ne’er inquire ” . The adult male was irritated by such an reply and he withdrew his invitation. The other anecdote is about a European hostess who offered an American invitee something to imbibe, to what he playfully replied “ I thought you ‘d ne’er inquire ” . The hostess perceived his answer as an abuse and the invitee was asked to go forth the party. What happened in these two illustrations is the incorrect apprehension of the force of the talkers ‘ vocalizations on portion of the listeners.

Teaching Matter-of-fact Competence

As has already been pointed out, inappropriate address may do a non-native talker to look accidentally ill-mannered and artless, even if she/he is really fluid in the 2nd linguistic communication. Hymes ( 1964 ) argues that even most advanced foreign linguistic communication talkers frequently lack the necessary cognition to right utilize the sociocultural regulations and norms of the mark linguistic communication. Since the regulations and norms differ from civilization to civilization, linguistic communication scholars have to get matter-of-fact competency in order to pass on efficaciously in their mark linguistic communication.

Harmonizing to many linguists, pragmatics has long been a ignored country in 2nd linguistic communication acquisition ( SLA ) research. Thomas ( in Bolton and Kachru 2006 ) argues that go forthing pragmatics aside in 2nd linguistic communication instruction is chiefly because matter-of-fact description has still non obtained the preciseness degree of grammar, depicting lingual competency, and because pragmatics is a delicate country and it is non still really clear how it can be taught.

Jung ( 2001 ) proposes the undermentioned five abilities as an reply to the inquiry what learners have to get in order to be pragmatically competent:

the ability to execute address Acts of the Apostless

the ability to convey and construe non-literal significances

the ability to execute niceness maps

the ability to execute discourse maps

the ability to utilize cultural cognition

Harmonizing to Judd ( 1999 ) , techniques for developing 2nd linguistic communication matter-of-fact competency can be divided into three following classs:

cognitive-awareness elevation activities, such as presentation, treatment, and pragmatic-consciousness-raising techniques ;

receptive-skills development by utilizing teacher generated stuffs or natural informations ;

productive-skills learning through function playing.

Arguing in favor of learning pupils to understand the manner matter-of-fact rules operate in other civilizations, Thomas ( in Bolton and Kachru, 2006: 29 ) provinces that

[ I ] T is non the duty of the linguistic communication instructor qua linguist to implement Anglo-Saxon criterions of behavior, lingual or otherwise. Rather, it is the instructor ‘s occupation to fit the pupil to show her/himself in precisely the manner s/he chooses to make – impolitely, tactfully, or in an intricately polite mode. What we want to forestall is her/his being unintentionally rude or subservient.

6. Decision

Matter-of-fact failures can be produced either deliberately or accidentally. This paper has looked into some cases of unwilled communicating dislocation and their possible causes. Cross-cultural communicating is frequently marked by pragmatically inappropriate looks which result from the talker ‘s deficiency of communicative competency. The term cross-cultural communicating is used here to mention to any verbal interaction between two people who do non portion the same cultural or lingual background.

Lack of matter-of-fact competency, every bit good as negative matter-of-fact transportation, has been considered the primary beginning of miscommunication in interactions. Different civilizations have different sets of lingual and societal regulations and norms, and if the talker does non possess the necessary cognition of them, he may non be able to show himself suitably, and may misinterpret the intended matter-of-fact force of an vocalization.

In order to avoid unpleasant state of affairss and unintended rude behavior, many linguists argue that it is of import to raise the matter-of-fact consciousness of pupils. Kasper and Thomas believe that the linguistic communication instructor has the duty to indicate out to possible effects of certain lingual behavior. Furthermore, they stress the importance of doing foreign linguistic communication talkers able to show themselves in the manner they want to, and that is why matter-of-fact competency is so important factor in intercultural communicating.

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