Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The use of pragmatic devices by German non-native speakers of English

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posted on 2021-11-13, 11:43 authored by Terraschke, Agnes

Mastering the pragmatic norms of another language is one of the greatest challenges to non-native speakers. One particularly difficult aspect of pragmatic conventions is the appropriate use of pragmatic devices such as like, you know, I think, and or something like that which have been found to serve a number of important textual and interactive functions in discourse. This study investigates the use of such devices by non-native speakers in cross-cultural conversations in terms of frequency and function in order to establish to what extent L2 usage differs from native speaker norms. In particular, the study examines the use of the English pragmatic devices like, eh and General Extenders (and things like that, or something like that) by German non-native speakers of English (GNNSE) in interactions with native speakers of New Zealand English (NSNZE). The results are compared with the use of these forms in native-native conversations in New Zealand English and the use of close equivalent forms in German by the same GNNSE. The analysis is based on a corpus of approximately 18 1⁄2 hours of dyadic conversation or about 224,338 words of transcription.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies


Holmes, Janet; Bauer, Laurie