Perception and Use of Pragmatic Coding by Chinese Speakers of English at Home and Abroad

Date of Award

August 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Amanda Brown


Chinese, EFL, English, ESL, pedagogy, pragmatics

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


Prior research shows that the acquisition of English language pragmatic coding by native speakers of Chinese may sometimes be inconsistent compared to their acquisition of other aspects of English. Therefore, this thesis seeks to evaluate the results of English taught as a second language in an American study-abroad environment versus the results of English taught as a foreign language in a Chinese domestic-study environment. Specific comparisons involve the pragmatic coding used for politeness and formality and the pragmatic coding used to express identity, particularly as relates to gender. Both language perception and production are assessed. About politeness, results show an inconsistent perception and use of intonation, awareness of polite forms, and usage differences between the study-abroad and domestic environments. About gender coding, results show qualitative differences between the participants in the study-abroad and domestic environments.


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