|摘要: ||本研究旨在探討台灣大學生以电子郵件做書面請求語之語用能力研究。受試者分為二組，分別為中高階英語程度，及中低階英語程度之英文系學生。並針對不同困擾程度(levels of imposition)之請求情境，以电子郵件之形式，對系上教授提出書面請求。因此在二項變數下，包括「高、中、低困擾程度」(high/medium/low imposition levels)及受試者英語程度 (linguistic proficiency)，來探討對書面請求語中使用的請求策略(request strategy)，內、外部修飾語 (internal/ external modifications)，及信息排序(information sequencing)之使用，是否有所影響。為進一步暸解受試者使用這些禮貌用語(politeness features)之原由，及寫电子郵件請求語所遭遇之因難，本研究則以問卷及面談方式，來探求其解答。總計受試者二組共60人，电子郵件共180封，在質化與量化並重方式分析下，研究結果顯示，中高、中低階英語程度之受試者，皆傾向於使用「直接策略」(direct strategy)及較多的外部修飾語，來對高困擾程度(high imposition)之情境，提出請求。並且二組受試者會因不同困擾程度之請求情境，使用不同組合的外部修飾語。顯示不同困擾程度之請求情境，對受試者的禮貌用語有所影響。而中高階英語程度之受試者，在內、外部修飾語所使用的數量、頻率及組合變化方面，明顯高於中低階受試者，顯示禮貌用語有其發展排序(developmental sequences)。此外，從受試者所使用之請求策略及禮貌用語，顯示出語用轉移之現象，此語用轉移(pragmatic transfer)對請求者造成的感受影響(perlocutionary effect)，及受試者寫电子郵件請求語所遭遇之因難，以及本研究結果對英語語用教學的應用，本文亦有深入探討。|
This study aims to explore Taiwanese EFL learners’ pragmatic competence in the production of formal written request via email to faculty in the institutional setting. It sets to find out the politeness strategies adopted by Taiwanese university students when they make email requests in English to faculty (i.e., the Chair of the English Department and the English professors), including their choice of linguistic forms of requestive head acts, the internal and external modifications, and the information sequencing of their email messages. To find out how levels of imposition would affect the use of politeness strategies, different email tasks with varied imposition levels were designed to examine if and how students’ use of request strategies and politeness features would vary in accordance with different email tasks. Students of two linguistic levels (i.e., lower-intermediate, higher-intermediate) were included and the differences in their realization patterns of politeness strategies would allow insights for the developmental aspect of pragmatic acquisition. To understand why these EFL students chose certain politeness strategies, a retrospective questionnaire and a semi-structured interview were conducted to investigate the factors which influenced their choice of linguistic politeness strategies and the difficulties they encountered in the process of composing these email requests.
In total, sixty Taiwanese university students, from two universities in Northern Taiwan participated in the current study and 180 request emails were composed for qualitative and qualitative investigation. By applying Blum-Kulka, House and Kasper’s (1989) CCSARP speech act analysis framework, the results revealed that students of both levels adopted more direct strategies as main requestive head acts for clarity and used the most numbers of supportive moves prior to the request to mitigate the illocutionary force in the highest imposition request. Different combinations of supportive moves were also adopted for different request tasks by the two groups, indicating students’ awareness of different imposition levels inherited in different request tasks designed. In addition, the higher-intermediate proficiency group displayed more resources in creating more polite email messages to professors by using more internal and external modifiers for their request than their less proficient counterparts. The developmental sequences in the use of politeness features can thus be identified accordingly. However, certain syntactic and lexical downgraders never appeared in the higher level group’s email messages, pointing toward their unfamiliarity with these devices and thus suggesting the need for explicit teaching of these elements in the language classroom. From the preferred use of direct strategies, supportive moves, as well as a pre-posed request sequences, L1 pragmatic transfer can be clearly observed in the email messages of both groups. The possible perlocutionary effect of this transfer was analyzed and the pedagogical implications and suggestions aiming at solving students’ difficulties encountered were suggested in the study.