Noting as revealed by “checking” in second language interactions
A simple (yet organized) management strategy
This paper uses Language Management Theory (LMT) to explore situations in which non-native speakers of a language explicitly reveal that they have noted a potential linguistic deviation. This can be paraphrased as the concept of “checking”, identifiable through the use of question intonation for the trouble source item, phrases such as “is that right?”, or the offering of alternative words or forms. This process is explored in Czech conversations between native speakers and American missionaries. In the analysis, two major points are made: 1) There is a limit to the types of deviations which are noted in this way, as checking is mainly done in cases of potential lexical and morphological deviations, and 2) In order for this strategy to be realized, there must be an appropriate categorial context for its execution, particularly in regard to the categories that speakers assign (or do not assign) to one another situationally, such as “non-native speaker” or “language expert”. In this way, simple management can be directly connected to organized management in that missionaries learning a foreign language are instructed to utilize their interlocutors as “language experts”. The paper also considers methodological tools for LMT analysts to uncover the fact that noting has occurred.
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