Abstract or Introduction
In this small-scope study, a number of hesitation markers of Chinese learners of English were investigated. While other learner groups, such as French learners of English, have been investigated quite thoroughly, Chinese learners have as of yet not had much time in the spotlight. The research question is as follows: "How do Chinese learners of English use hesitation markers?"
When thinking about language and what constitutes it, hesitation markers may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Other linguistic factors, such as intensifiers (for example, 'very', 'really' which strengthen the meaning of a message), backchannels ('uh-huh' and other such words used in order to maintain a conversation), and errors (for example, the usage of 'false friends' or other mistakes made by the speaker) may seem a more important topic to investigate. In fact, "hesitation markers are often not admitted within the bounds of lexis and grammar - in authoritative reference works they can be summarily dismissed or all but ignored".
However, hesitation markers are in fact quite interesting to study, and what makes them so important is the correlation they have with fluency. Fluency is often named as the aim of a learner of any language - to appear as secure in a language as a native speaker. In general, it can be said that the more fluent a speaker is, the less hesitation they use since many linguistic insecurities fall away with more practice. No matter the specific speaker situation, hesitation markers play a big role in everyday conversations, and all of these factors constitute what makes them worth investigating.
- Quote paper
- Michelle Blum (Author), 2019, The Usage of Hesitation by Chinese Learners of English. A Corpus-Based Study, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1128282