This book presents a theoretical framework of Elicitation Questions. Elicitation questions are the most important aspect of second language learning ability. Understanding the purposes and the conditions in which questions work best will help one master their use. Questioning is not only one of the most important skills in language learning, but also one of the main objectives of learning English in our schools. Although there are a number of definitions, it seems that the term ‘question’ has never been clearly defined. With the changes occurring within the linguistic theories, the term has been characterized in different ways. ‘Questioning’ here refers to the act of asking or putting or using questions through which a good number of functions can be served. The manuscript examines a framework in discourse characterization both in English and Persian, and shed some light on the theoretical description of Elicitations in the two languages. The result has significant implications for those involving in pragmatics, discourse analysis, contrastive analysis, pedagogy and translation.
Chapter, 2.1 Introduction:
Pragmatics is a relatively new area of linguistics. Charles Morris (as cited in Levinson, 1983) distinguishes three distinct branches of semiotics, the general study of signs, as follows: 1) Syntax which studies the formal relation between signs, 2) Semantics which studies the relation between signs and their references and 3) Pragmatics which studies the relation between signs and their interpreters. Yule (1988) expresses that pragmatics examines the use of language in communication with respect to the relationships between sentences and the contexts in which they are used. Hatch (1992) maintains that since the speakers’ intent and sentence meanings are not always the same, an utterance cannot be completely context free in terms of meaning or function. Levinson (1983: 24) describes pragmatics as ‘…the study of the ability of the language users to pair sentences with the contexts in which they would be appropriate. Thomas (1995: 23) defines pragmatics as ‘…meaning in interaction, since this takes account of the different contributions of both speaker and hearer as well as that of utterance and context to the making of meaning.’
2.2, Speech Acts:
Communication is the intentional exchange of ideas, feeling, information, etc. between two or more persons. So communication consists of a series of communicative acts. These communicative or speech acts refer to the social functions performed by utterances such as offering, requesting, complimenting, etc. Austin (1962) makes a distinction between form and function. He clarifies that one form in a language may convey a very finite set of functions, and one function may be expressed through different forms. For instance, in saying ‘Can you pass the salt?’ while there is an inquiry about the ability of somebody to do something, the speaker requests for an action. Therefore, to produce correct sentences in a foreign language, learners should make themselves master of the knowledge of the speech functions. Austin (as mentioned in Thomas, 1995:51) introduces the term ‘speech act’ as ‘An utterance and the total situation in which the utterance is issued.’ Moreover, he recognizes three distinct components for a speech act ‘locutionary act’, which is the basic literal meaning or sense of the words; ‘illocutionary act’ or ‘force’, which is the communicative intention behind the words; and ‘perloeutionary act’, which is the effect(s) that speakers produce on the hearers. Austin (as cited in Coulthard, 1985:18) distinguishes locutionary from illocutionary acts and asserts that ‘…the interpretation of the locutionary act is concerned with meaning, the interpretation of the illocutionary act with force.’ And Hatch (1992) states that speech act analysis is concerned with the functional meaning of individual utterance. Searle (as quoted in Brown and Yule, 1993:232) makes a distinction between direct and indirect speech acts which is on the basis of ‘…the recognition of the intended perlocutionary effect of an utterance on a particular occasion.’ He also adds that indirect speech acts are ‘…cases in which one illocutionary act is performed indirectly by way of performing another.’‘Thus, indirect speech act refers to an utterance whose linguistic form does not directly reflect ist communicative purpose. Direct speech act, on the other hand, is performed as to the literal illocutionary content in the utterance.
2.3, Speech Events:
Hymes (as cited in Coulthard, 1985) declares that speech events are’ communicative and governed by rules and norms of the use of speech, which can be different in different communities. Since all genres have contexts to which they are fitted, the structure of speech event would be varied according to the genre they belong to. Coulthard (1985: 42) clarifies that ‘Speech events are the largest units for which one can discover linguistic structure and are not necessarily conterminous with the situation.’ For example, a conversation at a party in which several speech events occur simultaneously. He further claims that ‘…the relationship between speech events and speech acts is hierarchical’; an event may take place within a speech situation and consists of one or more speech acts. Hatch (1992: 152) maintains that ‘In sociolinguistics, speech event analysis would include a description of the speech setting, the participants and the structure of the event set in a template sequence.’ So speech setting refers to the time and space of the occurrence of speech events, participants consist of speaker who transmits a message and a listener who receives it, and an event.
Janin Jafari was born in Tehran, Iran. She is a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She completed a Master’s degree in TESOL at IAU in Shiraz, Iran, in 2000 and holds a BA in English translation from Persian to English and vice-versa. She has been teaching English as a full-time lecturer for 10 years in different branches of Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran. She also has published 2 peer-reviewed academic papers and co-authored a book in English Teaching. Her main research interests are English as a Lingua Franca, Pragmatics, Conversation Analysis, and Communication Strategies. Ms. Jafari is currently doing a PhD in English as a Lingua Franca at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
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- Verlag Anchor Academic Publishing
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- Veröffentlichung 01.02.2014
- ISBN 9783954896745