Plurilingual orientations to perceived linguistic asymmetry in NS/NNS interactions: A conversation analytic study of native speaker repair strategies
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Existing research into plurilingual competence is primarily concerned with understanding speaker attitudes, language acquisition and developing measurement instruments such as the plurilingual and pluricultural competence (PPC) scale (Galante, 2020). Due to an absence of Conversation Analysis (CA) studies into the phenomenon of individual plurilingualism, little is known about its interactional consequences or its manifestation in conversational activities. This research explores the relationship between plurilingualism and conversational repair, an activity that can be enacted on one’s own talk (self-repair) or on the talk of another (other-repair). Schleghoff et al. (1977) note that the face-threatening nature of repair gives rise to a preference for self-repair in almost all contexts. However, Norrick (1991) finds that certain speaker dynamics – such as those in teacher/student or native/non-native speaker configurations – can disrupt this organization of repair. This study takes 11 conversations between native and non-native speakers of English as its CA corpus, where the 11 native speakers represent varied PPC scores. The study looks for evidence of repair preferences indexing speaker orientations to linguistic power asymmetries. Analysis reveals that both more and less plurilingual native speakers display a preference for self-repair in conversations with non-native speakers, although native speakers who score higher on the PPC scale tend to orient to the NNS status of their interlocutor and employ a pedagogical stance more readily than those who score lower on the PPC scale.