Communicating through Vague Language A Comparative Study of L1 and L2 Speakers

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2015-09-23
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Vague language refers to expressions with unspecified meaning (for instance, 'I kind of want that job'), and is an important but often overlooked part of linguistic communication. This book is a comparative study of vague language based on naturally occurring data of a rare combination: L1 (American) and L2 (Chinese and Persian) speakers in academic settings. The findings indicate that L2 learners have diverse and culturally specific needs for vague language, and generally use vague words in a more concentrated fashion compared with L1s. The book explores the interconnection and continuum between the linguistic realizations of a vague term and the functions it serves, and how 'elasticity' underpins the frequency and functions of vague language. The implication is that vague language may be integrated into the curriculum of English language teaching as part of L2 speakers' communicative competence. This book will be of great interest to researchers in the fields of intercultural education and applied linguistics.

Author Biography

Peyman Sabet teaches ESL at Curtin University, Australia. He has taught sociolinguistics, and research methodology at Curtin University, and EFL, linguistics, and teaching/research methodology to undergraduate students of TEFL in Iran. His research interests include vague/elastic language and teacher education.

Grace Zhang is an Associate Professor at Curtin University, Australia. She has published extensively on vague/elastic language, including books and numerous journal articles. Her most recent book is Elastic Language: How and Why We Stretch Our Words.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Foundations
3. Methodology
4. Lexical Analysis of Vague Language
5. Pragmatic Functions of Vague Language
6. General Discussion
7. Conclusions and Implications

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