The Transfer of Native Language Speech Behavior into a Second Language: A Basis for Cultural Stereotypes?
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The Transfer of Native Language Speech Behavior into a Second Language: A Basis for Cultural Stereotypes?

  • Author(s): DeCapua, Andrea
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper examines the phenomenon of pragmatic transfer as a possible basis for cultural stereotypes. In this study data from L2 German learners of English are compared with data from native speakers of American English. The results suggest that the German English L2 speakers produced responses more in keeping with German rules of speaking and conventions of use than with American ones. L2 learners from a particular culture tend to follow the (often tacit) sociocultural norms of their LI, thus behaving more similarly to each other than to LI native speakers. However, in communicative situations with native speakers, these L2 learners are judged by the norms of the target language culture, not by the norms of their LL Target language native speakers rarely attribute misunderstandings or misinterpretations of illocutionary force and intent to L2 learners' adherence to different rules of speaking. This paper posits that recurrent transfer of different rules of speaking by L2 language groups may play a role in the formation of cultural stereotypes.

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