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Indirect reporting and pragmatically enriched context : A case study into Russian learners of English

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Abstract

This article examines the pragmatic comprehensibility of indirect reporting. The research problem is to determine how Russian EFL learners (linguists and non-linguists) are able to turn original utterances expressing the intentions of native speakers of American English in direct speech into indirect reports to a third party. Two major issues are analyzed: adequacy of semantic content and preservation of pragmatic enrichment. The study was carried out employing the framework of Kecskes’ Socio-Cognitive Approach (2008, 2010, 2014, 2017). Twelve stimulus-utterances belonging to three communicative types (statements, questions, commands/requests) were video-recorded. Qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed that the participants met with some difficulties preserving the speaker’s intention while interpreting attached pragmatic enrichment and perlocutionary effect. Both cohorts of Russian EFL learners were able to preserve the semantic content relatively efficiently, but encountered substantial difficulties inferring a complex pragmatic content.

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Keywords: communicative intention; illocutionary force; indirect report; pragmatic enrichment; propositional content

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2019

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