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A Study of Requests by Two Native Speaker Groups: University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Graduate Students & the American Military Speech Community of Oahu

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Title: A Study of Requests by Two Native Speaker Groups: University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Graduate Students & the American Military Speech Community of Oahu
Authors: Hageman, Marybeth
Advisor: Kellerman, Eric
Bley-Vroman, Robert
Keywords: english language in usa
gender roles
dialects of english
Issue Date: 1994
Abstract: The fields of Linguistics and ESL frequently use English spoken by native speakers as the target language for ESL learners or for comparative studies with interlanguage. Is it possible to claim that one English native speaker group represents all native English speakers? This paper illustrates similarities and differences in the English of two American native speaker groups in Oahu and by the genders of both groups: the American military speech community and graduate students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I present the data of 20 men and 20 women from each native speaker group, with a total of 80 participants. A questionnaire collects native speaker perceptions of the appropriate level of directness of requests to be used in encounters with personnel of both genders who serve the public. The native speaker groups choose directness of requests equivalently, but the genders show some significant statistical differences in choices with women choosing more direct requests than men. Different situations and addressee genders also are factors in request directness choice. The findings indicate that it is important for researchers and teachers to pay attention to accuracy in representing native speaker language.
Pages/Duration: 46 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/38579
Appears in Collections:Occasional Papers



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