A Comparative Study on the Use of the Discourse Marker “Well” by Chinese Learners of English and Native English Speakers

Min LI, Yan Xiao

Abstract


Discourse markers such as “I mean”, “you know”, “well”, etc. play a vital role in daily communication. Among those markers, “well” is found to be the most frequently used one in conversation. Though lots of research have been conducted on such theoretical plains as their definitions, functions, categorizations, few has been designed to investigate how L2 learners use these markers in conversation and in which way(s) they differ from native speakers. Taking these into consideration, the present paper is designed to reveal how Chinese learners of English use the discourse marker “well” and how the pragmatic functions of this marker are preferred in conversation. Results show that (1) Chinese learners of English significantly underuse the discourse marker “well” in conversation; and (2) in terms of its pragmatic functions, Chinese learners of English only prefer to use its delay marker function and initiation marker function.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijel.v2n5p65

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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