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“Hope This Helps!” An Analysis of Expressive Speech Acts in Online Task-Oriented Interaction by University Students

  • Marta Carretero
  • Carmen Maíz-Arévalo
  • M. Ángeles Martínez
Chapter
Part of the Yearbook of Corpus Linguistics and Pragmatics book series (YCLP, volume 2)

Abstract

This paper explores the presence of expressive speech acts in a corpus of e-forum history logs derived from the online collaborative writing activity of three groups of undergraduate and postgraduate students in a tertiary education setting. The macro category of Expressives has been less frequently studied than others such as Directives or Commissives, and even nowadays its in-depth study tends to concentrate on specific subtypes such as Compliments. In computer mediated exchanges, the implicit disembodiment must ensure an outstanding role for expressive uses of language, since non-verbal means are not available as in face-to-face conversation. The study includes a qualitative and quantitative analysis which covers the similarities and differences found across the subcorpora corresponding to each of the three groups of students involved, in terms of subtypes of Expressives and their linguistic realisations. The results suggest that Expressives play a crucial role as rapport building devices in the online interaction, smoothing and complementing transactional language. The analysis also suggests that the variables of linguistic proficiency, group size, age, multiculturality, and method of assessment may have a bearing on the form and use of Expressives in online written interaction in blended learning environments.

Keywords

Expressive speech acts Online collaborative learning E-forums Tertiary level Emoticons 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marta Carretero
    • 1
  • Carmen Maíz-Arévalo
    • 1
  • M. Ángeles Martínez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Filología Inglesa I, Facultad de Filología – Edificio AUniversidad Complutense – Ciudad UniversitariaMadridSpain

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