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Issues in Applied Linguistics

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The Role of Lexical Cohesive Devices in Triggering Negotiations for Meaning


The authors compare the frequency of negotiations for meaning in a natural spoken corpus to a variety of cohesive devices. The study demonstrates that a lack of cohesive devices in non-native speaker (NNS) discourse correlates to negotiations for meaning. The data comes from a year-long longitudinal study of six beginning NNSs and comprised 99 transcripts. The transcripts were coded for negotiations for meaning. Regression analyses suggested that causal cohesion and semantic co-referentiality were significantly related to the frequency of negotiations for meaning. Additionally, NNS discourse demonstrates a significant decrease in frequency of negotiations for meaning as a function of time. Taken together, these results suggest that negotiations for meaning are related to a lack of cohesive devices in NNS speech.

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