Use of general extenders by German non-native speakers of English

Agnes Terraschke*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Based on a corpus of ca. 181/2 hours of dyadic interactions between nearstrangers, this paper investigates the use of general extenders (GEs) by native speakers of New Zealand English (NSNZE) and German (NSG) in terms of their forms and frequencies. The results are compared with the use of GEs produced by German non-native speakers of English (GNNSE). GEs are a group of pragmatic devices such as and things like that, or something, which have been associated with expressing epistemic modality and interpersonal politeness. The results of the study suggest that, while NSG use GEs more frequently than NSNZE, GE construction in English is more flexible than in German. Furthermore, GNNSE seem to transfer some NSG forms to English, creating nonnative-like structures. An increased awareness of the native norms in terms of construction and use of GEs might help non-native speakers facilitate communication in cross-cultural interactions and establish interpersonal rapport.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)141-160
    Number of pages20
    JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2007


    Dive into the research topics of 'Use of general extenders by German non-native speakers of English'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this