sociopragmatic Competence and the L2 Self: Discursive Choices in Advanced L2 French Narratives

Open Access
Author:
Malone, Mary Kathryn
Graduate Program:
Applied Linguistics
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
October 05, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Celeste S Kinginger, Dissertation Advisor
  • Celeste S Kinginger, Committee Chair
  • Robert William Schrauf, Committee Member
  • James Lantolf, Committee Member
  • Meredith Christine Doran, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Sociopragmatics
  • L2 Self
  • Advanced L2
  • L2 French
Abstract:
Second language identity involves not just the social profile of the learner, but his position within the L2 community, whether a pedagogical, social, or professional context. Confounded by the attribution of otherwise inexplicable variation in L2 French sociolinguistic studies to stylistic choice¸ this study set out to examine narrative performance of very advanced L2 French learners and its intrinsic connection to second language identity. Grounding notions of L2 development and competence in cognitive sociolinguistics and sociocultural theory, the analysis brings together the historical development of L2 resources and realized language repertoire within personal narratives of three very advanced L2 French speakers. Using two hours of elicited oral narratives per participant, a language history, a metalinguistic interview and a discourse completion task, the analysis first catalogues sociopragmatic repertoire, then connects the instances of sociopragmatic features to contexts of use. The final stage situates these feature-context pairings within the speaker’s own socio-cultural history to reveal agentive instantiation of second language identity. That identity is the positioning of self in a given socio-cultural discursive moment dovetails with the developmental perspective of sociocultural theory and schematization of cognitive sociolinguistics. The language resources a learner uses represent at once the social and historical context of development, as well as the immediate, local positioning within the discourse. Identity can then be accessed through contextualized discourse analysis triangulated with language histories and development.