Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-109X
  • E-ISSN: 2589-1103
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Discourse Completion Tasks (DCTs) have been one of the most popular tools in pragmatics research. Yet, many have criticized DCTs for their lack of authenticity (e.g., Culpeper, Mackey, & Taguchi, 2018Nguyen, 2019). We propose that corpora can serve as resources in designing and evaluating DCTs. We created a DCT using advice-seeking prompts from the Q+A corpus (Baker & Egbert, 2016). Then, we administered the DCT to 33 participants. We evaluated the DCT by (1) comparing the linguistic form and the semantic content of the participants’ DCT responses (i.e., advice-giving expressions) with authentic data from the corpus; and (2) interviewing the participants about the instrument quality. Chi-square tests between DCT data and corpus data revealed no significant differences in advice-giving expressions in terms of both the overall level of directness ( [2,  = 660] = 6.94,  = .03,  = .10) and linguistic realization ( [8,  = 660] = 17.75,  = .02,  = .16), and showed a significant difference but small effect size in terms of semantic content ( [6,  = 512] = 30.35,  < .01,  = .24). Taken together with the interview data, our findings indicate that corpora are useful in designing DCTs.


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