A Corpus-Based Study on the Use of Spoken Discourse Markers by Thai EFL Learners

Main Article Content

Zhaoyi Pan
Wirote Aroonmanakun

Abstract

This research investigated the use of English spoken discourse markers by Thai EFL learners in English conversation compared to native English speakers from two perspectives: frequency and pragmatic function. A total of 60 learners were involved in the research: 30 Thai B1-level learners and 30 Thai C1-level EFL learners. Spoken data was collected and transcribed into written form to build a learner corpus for analysis. The data analysis indicated underuse by Thai EFL learners of four spoken discourse markers – so, well, you know and I think. Moreover, Thai EFL learners we shown to use each spoken discourse marker differently in comparison to native English speakers. On the whole, interpersonal functions were less frequently a factor than textual functions, indicating a larger deficiency in performing interpersonal functions by Thai EFL learners. These results lead to the conclusion that Thai EFL learners lack pragmatic competence in oral communication in terms of performance (usage instance) discrepancy regarding spoken discourse markers compared to native English speakers.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Pan, Z., & Aroonmanakun, W. (2022). A Corpus-Based Study on the Use of Spoken Discourse Markers by Thai EFL Learners. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 15(2), 187–213. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/LEARN/article/view/259927
Section
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Zhaoyi Pan, English as an International Language Program, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Ph.D. candidate in the English as an International Language Program, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. His research interests are corpus linguistics and pragmatics.

Wirote Aroonmanakun, Department of Linguistics; Corpus Linguistics for Digital Humanities Research Unit, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Associate professor in the Department of Linguistics; Corpus Linguistics for Digital Humanities Research Unit, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University. His research interests are corpus linguistics and computational linguistics.

References

Adams, C. (2002). Practitioner review: The assessment of language pragmatics. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43, 973–987. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-7610.00226

Aijmer, K. (2004). Pragmatic markers in spoken interlanguage. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 3(1), 173-190.

Aijmer, K. (2011). Well I’m not sure I think...The use of well by non-native speakers. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 16(2), 231-254. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.16.2.04aij

Aijmer, K. (2016). Pragmatic markers as constructions. The case of anyway. In G. Kaltenbock, E. Keizer & A. Lohmann (Eds.), Outside the clause (pp. 29-57). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Anthony, L. (2019). AntConc (Version 3.5.8) [Computer Software]. http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software

Arya, T. (2020). Exploring discourse marker use in Thai university students’ conversations. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network Journal, 13(1), 247-267.

Asik, A. & Cephe, P. T. (2013). Discourse markers and spoken English: Nonnative use in the Turkish EFL setting. English Language Teaching, 6(12), 144-155.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n12p144

Bazzanella, C. (2006). Discourse markers in Italian: Towards a “Compositional” Meaning. Kerstin Fischer, 449-464.

Bignell, S. & Cain, K. (2007). Pragmatic aspects of communication and language comprehension in groups of children differentiated by teacher ratings of inattention and hyperactivity. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 25, 499-512.

Bolden, G. B. (2015). Discourse markers. In K. Tracy (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of language and social interaction (pp. 1-8). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Brinton, L. J. (2008). The comment clause in English: Syntactic origins and pragmatic development. Cambridge University Press.

Brinton, L. J. (2010). The development of I mean: Implications for the study of historical pragmatics. In S. M. Fitzmaurice & I. Taavitsainen (Eds.). Methods in historical pragmatics (pp. 37–80). Mouton de Gruyter.

Buysse, L. (2012). So as a multifunctional discourse marker in native and learner speech. Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 1764-1782.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.08.012

Chotiros, P. (1999). A comparative analysis of Thai and English contrastive discourse markers: With a discussion of the pedagogical implications [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Boston University.

CLARINO Bergen Centre. (1991). The Freiburg-LOB Corpus of British English (FLOB). Retrieved from http://clarino.uib.no/korpuskel/landing-page?identifier=flob&view=short

Council of Europe. (2001). Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment – Structured overview of all CEFR scales. Available at https://rm.coe.int/168045b15e.

Diskin, C. (2017). The use of the discourse-pragmatic marker “like” by native and non-native speakers of English in Ireland. Journal of Pragmatics, 120, 144-157.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.08.004

Fraser, B. (1988). Types of English discourse markers. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, 38(1), 19-33.

Fraser, B. (2011). The sequencing of contrastive discourse markers in English. Baltic Journal of English language, Literature and Culture, 1, 29-35.

Fung, L. & Carter, R. (2007). Discourse markers and spoken English: Native and learner use in pedagogical settings. Applied Linguistics, 28(3), 410-439. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amm030

Hardie, A. Welcome to the UCREL significance test system. UCREL Significance Test System. Retrieved March 1, 2022, from http://corpora.lancs.ac.uk/sigtest/

House, J. (2009). Subjectivity in English as lingua franca discourse: The case of you know. Intercultural Pragmatics, 6(2), 171–193.

https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2009.010

House, J. (2013). Developing pragmatic competence in English as a lingua franca: Using discourse markers to express (inter)subjectivity and connectivity. Journal of Pragmatics, 59, 57-67.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.03.001

Jangarun, K., & Luksaneeyanawin, S. (2016). Discourse connector usage in argumentative essays by American and Thai university students. Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 20(1), 95-112.

Kittopakrankit, K. (2018). A comparative study of discourse markers between Chinese and Thai languages. Chinese Studies Journal, 11(2), 66-101.

Müller, S. (2005). Discourse markers in native and non-native English discourse. John Benjamins Publishing Co.

Nookam, W. (2010). Thai EFL learners’ use of discourse markers in English conversation: A study of business English students at Didyasarin International College [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Prince of Songkla University.

Polat, B. (2011). Investigating acquisition of discourse markers through a developmental learner corpus. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(15), 3745-3756. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.09.009

Prommas, P. & Sinwongsuwat, K. (2011). A comparative study of discourse connectors used in argumentative compositions produced by Thai EFL learners and English-native speakers. The 3rd International Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences, 1-17.

Rayson, P., Berridge, D., & Francis, B. (2004, March 10-12). Extending the Cochran rule for the comparison of word frequencies between corpora. Le poids des mots: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Statistical analysis of textual data (JADT 2004), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

Sakita, T. I. (2013). Discourse markers as stance markers. Pragmatics Cognition, 21(1), 81-116. https://doi.org/10.1075/pc.21.1.04sak

Schiffrin, D. (1987). Discourse markers. Cambridge University Press.

Simma, P. (2014). Function of  (ซึ่ง) in discourse. Ramkhamhaeng University Journal Humanities Edition, 33(1), 1-22.

Sitthirak, C. (2013). A comparison between Thai university students and English speakers using contrastive discourse markers. Foreign Language Teaching and Learning (FLLT) Conference, 2(1), 875-886.

Stevenson, A. (2010). Oxford dictionary of English (3rd Edition). Oxford University Press.

Traugott, E. C. & Dasher, R. B. (2002). Regularity in semantic change. Cambridge University Press.

Trillo, J. R. (2002). The pragmatic fossilization of discourse markers in non-native speakers of English. Journal of Pragmatics, 34, 769-784.

https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00022-X

Wudthayagorn, J. (2018). Mapping the CU-TEP to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network Journal, 11(2), 163-180.

Wutthichamnong, W. (2016). Pragmatic functions of “Okay” in Thai Conversation. Journal of Community Development Research (Humanities and Social Sciences), 9(2), 115-127.