Non-native speakers’ speech act modification effects on their perception.
Due to the English language becoming the global lingua franca, its usage worldwide and its adoption by companies as a main language, the number of non-native speakers of English is growing rapidly. Previous studies have shown that non-native speakers might possess lesser language skills than native speakers and this in turn might influence perception towards the non-native speakers and might result in pragmatic failure. Such deviations from the norm, such as distinct accents, spelling or grammar mistakes, or underuse of politeness strategies in speech act production, might negatively affect how a non-native speaker is regarded. Building on the knowledge from extant studies on speech acts and email communication, by means of an experiment the present study examined whether non-native speech variations in apology production have an influence on how non-native email writers are perceived by non-native speakers as opposed to native English writers. The results of the study showed that non-native evaluators did not judge non-native email writers differently than they judged native writers, due to the deviations from the native norm. The findings suggest that non-native speakers might not be affected by non-native speech deviations in apology production in email communication and that non-native deviations might not always result in pragmatic failure.
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