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Kasper and Blum-Kulka (1993 : 7) commented on the relatively few target languages that had been studied in interlanguage research (let alone contrastive interlanguage research) by this time — English with German, Hebrew, Norwegian, Spanish, and Japanese.The spread of languages has since greatly increased.Her rejection of the universality of speech acts has prompted her to develop her natural semantic metalanguage into cultural scripts.
As it is very difficult to clearly differentiate which contrasts originate with language and which ones originate with culture, Agar’s (1994) term ‘languaculture’ is appealing.
Agar (1994 : 60, 122) argues that culture needs to be hooked onto language. the communicative intent, function and effects of an utterance.
However, that this is not the case is evident from the CCSARP data itself (Rintell and Mitchell 1989) as well as from other studies (e.g. An early contrastive development was the study of interlanguage English academic discourse by Kaplan (1972).
Based on the essays of foreign students in America, this stimulated an ongoing tradition on contrastive rhetoric focussing on the organization of written discourse which has implications for teaching as well as for linguistic typology (see 5.3).
Discourse is an integral aspect of language but also that aspect that is mostclosely related to cultural values.
This article presents contrastive studies indiscourse, how they have been conducted and possible problems in some of thedata collection techniques.
It is argued that a discourse typology of languagescan be developed alongside grammatical typology.
Among the applications ofcontrastive discourse are cross-cultural understanding and language teaching.
The same set of terms is used to explicate and compare similar speech acts which are distinctive in each language, without resorting to stereotypes such as the directness-indirectness scale, for example : Thank (English) (a) I know : you did something good for me (b) I feel something good towards you because of this Kansha suru (Japanese) (a) I know : You did something good for me (b) I say : I feel something good towards you because of this (b’) I know : I couldn’t do something good like this for you (b’’) I feel something bad because of this (c) I say this because I think I should say it.
(Wierzbicka 1991 : 157) Contrastive discourse studies in the generic sense began after the early extravagant claims on behalf of contrastive studies (in teaching and learning) had been discredited.