Request modification by Australian learners of Indonesian

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The study examines how Australian adult learners of Indonesian modify their requests. It uses interactive roleplay data. The learners use virtually no internal modifiers on two of three request types, apparently due to lack of knowledge of the most common L2 internal modifiers. They do use supportive moves, but are largely restricted to grounders, seeming not to know about the prefaces which Indonesians use to support their direct questions. The grounders which the learners produce are often strikingly lengthy. The study argues that the twin features of scant internal modification and abundant external modifiers are likely to characterise second language speech acts. The study challenges the theoretical claim that the task of acquiring new knowledge itself is a relatively small one for learners of L2 pragmatics.


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