Language and the Socio-Cultural Worlds of Those Who Use it: A Case of Vague Expressions

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

University of Isfahan

Abstract

 The present study is an attempt to investigate the use of vague expressions by intermediate EFL learners. More specifically, the current study focuses on the structures and functions of one of the most common categories of vague language, i.e. general extenders. The data include a 22-hour corpus of English-as-a-foreign-language conversations. A comparison is also made between this corpus and a 20-hour corpus of Persian conversations. The analyses show that the first language influences not only the structure but also the position of EFL general extenders. Additionally, the present study shows that some of the functions fulfilled by Persian general extenders can be transferred to EFL discourse. The current study can be interpreted as evidence suggesting that there is a complex intertwining between universal and language-specific features at least when one compares general extenders across languages.  

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