The syntax-pragmatics interface in L2 : aspects of information structure teaching and learning in a Saudi ESL context

Abduljawad, SAS ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8381-0794 2020, The syntax-pragmatics interface in L2 : aspects of information structure teaching and learning in a Saudi ESL context , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Despite advancements in teaching English as a second language (ESL) in Saudi Arabia, Saudi ESL learners’ language, even at advanced levels, deviates from that of native English speakers. While these ESL learners can often generate well-formed sentences, their output may not be fully comprehensible in context, as they often fail to package information appropriately or deviate significantly from native norms. While there are many reasons due to which contextual organisation of information can be problematic for second language (L2) learners, this thesis sheds light on the Syntax-Information Structure interface (i.e., the mapping of information structure categories and the various syntactic constructions that realise those categories) as a barrier in L2 acquisition and it explores the effect of explicit and implicit teaching in overcoming such shortfalls in an ESL Saudi context. The study strengthens the assumption that grammatical competence and pragmatic competence do not necessarily co-develop. Although some factors such as first language (L1) influence, typological universals and markedness can affect use of L2 pragmalinguistic structures (information structure), this study provides evidence that Saudi learners can acquire these structures through awareness. The findings highlight that teaching can play a major role in promoting learners’ awareness of the pragmalinguistic structures of a second language. While such awareness leads to stable knowledge, however, it is not without shortcomings, as it can give rise to overproduction. Keywords Information structure, syntax, pragmatics, second language learning

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Kechagias, A (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Funders: A
Depositing User: SAMAH ABDULHADI S Abduljawad
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 11:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:46
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/58661

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