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Contrastive Linguistics and Language Teaching: Terms of Address in French and Finnish Kontrastiivista kielentutkimusta Eva Havu

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Presentation on theme: "Contrastive Linguistics and Language Teaching: Terms of Address in French and Finnish Kontrastiivista kielentutkimusta Eva Havu"— Presentation transcript:

1 Contrastive Linguistics and Language Teaching: Terms of Address in French and Finnish Kontrastiivista kielentutkimusta Eva Havu Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-CIEH / Helsingin yliopisto

2 Contrastive Linguistics / Translation Studies  Eriksson 2004:  Contrastive Linguistics: ”langue” > comparison of words / constructions / pragmatic features...  Translation Studies: ”parole” > translation strategies, relation between source language and target language, accuracy...

3 Methodology  Cf. Chesterman (1998): Initial Data Comparability Criterion and Similarity Constraint Problem and Initial Identity Hypothesis Hypothesis Testing Revised Hypotheses

4 Methodology  Genericity in English and French: Beavers build dams The beaver builds dams A beaver builds dams Les castors construisent des barrages Le castor construit des barrages Un castor construit des barrages

5 Methodology  Hypothesis: E: 0-article= fr: definite article pl E: definite article sg.= fr: definite article sg E: indefinite art. sg= ra: indefinite art. sg  Verification: I love honey > * J’aime les miels > J’aime le miel  New hypothesis: ”mass nouns”: Engl: 0-article Fr: definite article sg

6 Use for Language Teaching? Sen jälkeen, hän pyysi minua lukemaan asiakirjoija että hän oli valmistellut työpöydälläni joka oli häntä vastapätä (Ensuite, elle m’invita à lire les documents qu’elle avait préparés sur mon bureau qui faisait face au sien; Amélie Nothomb: Stupeur et tremblements)  Että: fr que a. conjunction: että (Je veux/je suis content que tu viennes) b. relative pronoun: joka, jotka… (La personne que je vois..) c. interrogative pronoun: mitä, mikä (Que fais-tu?)  Joka: fr qui: a. relative pronoun (La personne qui arrive…) b. interrogative pronoun: kuka (Qui regardes-tu?)

7 Use for Language Teaching? ..valmistellut työpöydälläni >  Finnish: Local cases expressing state and direction: Matkustan Ranskaan / matkustan Ranskassa (I travel to France / I travel in France; Je voyage en France ?? > Je vais en France) Verbs demanding a certain case: Ostin kirjan kaupasta (”I bought the book from a shop”) (I bought the book in a shop; J’ai acheté le livre dans un magasin) Different verbs / constructions Pekka istuu sängyllä / Pekka istuutuu sängylle (Peter sits on the bed / Peter sits down on the bed; Pierre est assis sur le lit / Pierre s’asseoit sur le lit)  Valmistellut työpöydälleni? > asettanut valmiiksi työpöydälleni

8 Use for Language Teaching?  Herra Saito esitteli lyhyesti minua kokoukselle. Sen jälkeen, hän kysyi minulta pidinkö minä haasteita. Esittelen taloa / talon : aspect Assemblée Nationale = kansalliskokous / assemblée: läsnäolijat : vocabulary Pidän eläimiä / eläimistä : case > lexical change

9 Use for Language Teaching?  Can / should a teacher anticipate the problems?  Does a student memorize all that he has learned?  Problems / questions: language learning/ language acquisition right moment for constrastive approach? grammatical rules / sociolinguistic and pragmatical rules  Hän pyysi minua lukemaan asiakirjat, jotka..  Se pyysi mua lukeen ne asiakirjat, jotka..

10 Address: contrastive approach  Address:(Social Deixis: Address Terms as a Mirror of Societal Transformations (www.helsinki.fi/romaanisetkielet/projekti_eng/descript ion.htm)www.helsinki.fi/romaanisetkielet/projekti_eng/descript ion.htm tu parles / vous parlez (grammar, morphology) which form to use in what situation? When do you use an address noun? (sociolinguistics, pragmatics)  Both languages have two address pronouns Tu / sinä (T); vous / te (V) (solidarity – distance, Brown & Gilman 1960)  The systems are not identical tu>vous>vous sinä>sinä>te

11 Address: contrastive approach  Finnish: T much more common than in French, but not automatically a sign of less distance: different ways of using the « T » -form (Lappalainen 2006) Tuletko Tuletko sinä Tuuksä/tuutsä ? (est-ce que tu viens?) > vous is not always te

12 Address: contrastive approach  Havu 2005 (French and Finnish students’ use of address pronouns): Finns use tu / sinä much more often than Frenchmen Only towards unknown clearly elder people V as often as in France (problems: who is older ? > may be offensive) Unsecurity about the pronoun to choose > unpersonal address more common in Finnish than in French Actually V is again used for example by salespersons, but not always natural > variation between V and T (Olkaa hyvä (V) / Onko sinulla plussakorttia? (T)

13 Address: contrastive approach  Both languages have address nouns, but in everyday Finnish mostly used in directives (Hakulinen & alii 2004, Havu 2004) Hei Pekka, tuu tänne! / Pierre, viens ici!  In French address nouns often (but not always) accompany certain speech acts: Bonjour, Madame; Merci, Anne/ ??Päivää, rouva, ?Kiitos, Anne  Finns rarely use titles in everyday conversation (Yli-Vakkuri 1989; may have other connotations): Herra (monsieur), neiti (mademoiselle)  Both languages: address nouns in formal speech (herra kenraali / mon général)

14 Teaching address to Finnish French students  Dewaele & Planchenault (2006 : 165): students whose own language has two or more address pronouns find the French address system more difficult than students whose language has only one address pronoun (English; young Finns use practically only one pronoun (sinä)) > Are able to suspect sociolinguistic problems  Beginners find the French address system less difficult than those who are on an advanced level > Have not yet realized sociolinguistic differences

15 Teaching address to Finnish French students: problems  Differences: sinä does not always correspond to tu, vous not always to te  At school, only tu/ sinä is used Between pupils Between teachers and pupils  The natural use of vous does not appear  All dialogues in French are artificial  The only models of pronoun use and variation are the French texts (videos) in class  What models are given in text books?

16 French address in textbooks: pronouns  Short dialogues: address pronouns mostly used in three contexts Familiar contexts (between family members, friends: T) Dialogues between an adult and a young person (non reciprocal address: T / V) Service situations (shops..) (V) > The most common situations where address is used  But: no variation > the address does not change as in real life (meeting > getting acquainted > becoming good friends > falling in love > getting divorced...)  Responsability of the teacher : other situations, other pragmatical functions (time? competence?)

17 French address in text books: nouns  Address nouns appear in some typical pragmatic functions (speech acts) Greeting Thanking Directives (« emploi phatique ») Adversative expressions (mais chérie)  But: in French, don’t appear regularly: their use depends on the situation and onthe speech act Bonjour, madame. - Bonjour  Rare in everyday language (Kerbrat- Orecchioni 1992, Havu in press)

18 French address in text books: nouns  Text books: exaggerated use (to remind of their existence?) :  (1)(Shopkeeper and a young Finnish female student) S : Madame, c’est combien ? FS : 280 francs, mademoiselle. […] S : Voilà, Madame. Ce sont mes derniers sous... (Pont Astérisque, p. 18)  The basic use of address nouns and pronouns implicitely presented in text books > seldom explications

19 Do Finns learn the address models?  Project HY-Talk tm tm  45 French learners: 28 yläaste, aged (19 girls, 9 boys), 4-5 years of French studies 17 lukio, aged (11 girls, 6 boys), 7-10 years of French studies 5 different schools  Munkkiniemen yläaste, Saarnilaakson yläaste, Tapiolan yläaste  Helsingin Luonnontiedelukio, Munkkiniemen lukio

20 Do Finns learn the address models?  Test 1. interview with a native who uses the V-form 2. self-presentation « for a video to be sent to a French correspondent who is coming to Finland » (monologue) 3, 4, 5 : dialogues between the « Finn » and the « Frenchman » who has arrived  Preparation time: 15 minutes

21 Do Finns learn the address models?  Yläaste Have great difficulties in speaking and understanding French Grammatical problems: verb conjugation problematic  Quelle lange parle-vous ?  Nous faire de la cheval Address: pronoun T even with the adult  Quel âge tu as ? Exceptions: expressions learned with V: excusez- moi Address nouns: very rare, even in situations of greeting and thanking, when frequently used in text books

22 Do Finns learn the address models?  Lukio:  Speak and understand more fluently (not all!!)  Partly the same problems: Verb conjugation often problematic:  […] Quand tu aller en Finlande, tu peux faire le voile aussi Address pronoun generally T:  Pourquoi tu es en Finlande ? Address nouns rare, but:  Salut, Nico. Moi, je m’appelle X

23 Do Finns learn the address models?  Some learners having been to France or having (had) contacts with Frenchmen have (vaguely) realized that V is used even in other situations than in Finnish > use both pronouns, but don’t know the sociolinguistic rules Quelle langue tu parles et quel âge tu as […] Il y a trois chambres et une chambre est pour vous […] Je te promis que  Girl with French mother: V towards native speaker / T towards young « Frenchman »

24 Do Finns learns the address models?  The address models given in textbooks are not reproduced > they are not acquired  Address mainly based on the Finnish model  Dewaele 2004 : 308 : “The developing pronoun system goes through stable states or ‘equilibrium points’ (categorical use of a variant) before varying freely without any apparent system and finally reaching a state where the variation becomes more native speaker-like”. The tested Finns have not yet reached the final state

25 How to teach address in a foreign language?  Dewaele & Planchenault 2006: the acquisition of sociolinguistic competences mainly depending on authentic interactions > nearly impossible at school  Possibilities: Telecollaborative learning via electronic interaction (Belz&Kinginger 2002) allows learners to interact and negotiate social meaning with native speakers native speakers could be asked to point out inappropriate use of address pronouns during exchanges.

26 How to teach address in a foreign language?  Could an explicit contrastive approach help?  Dewaele & Planchenault 2006, Lyster 1994: repetitive, explicit teaching and a functional- analytic strategy > good results Teacher: description and explanation of the system Discussion about pragmatic features: authentic documents, video  Possibility of dicussing less stereotyped interactions  Lyster 1996 : 178: “It may not be necessary for teachers to draw explicit attention to V as a marker of formality until L2 learners reach adolescence” (learners understand the idea of sociostylistic variation only then).

27 A contrastive approach in teaching address: necessary?  Following Lyster’s experience, the address systems could be compared and discussed at a suitable level: What is polite in French / Finnish? How would you address an unknown about 30-years old person in French / Finnish? etc.  But: is correct address necessary? Most of the elder tested learners would be able to have an interaction with a Frenchman – is it not enough?  Yet: wrong address can be very offensive, for example T towards a bank employer, secretary..  > The most important V-situations in French must be learned and acquired: T impossible towards elder unknown Frenchmen (especially occupying an official position) / V always correct

28 Contrastive approach in my own work  « Mikä merkitys ja millaisia painotusalueita kontrastiivisella tutkimuksella on omassa aineessasi / opetuskokonaisuudessasi a) perustutkinnon tasolla (esim. graduaiheet) ja b tohtorikoulutuksessa (väitöskirja-aiheet)? »  Always a contrastive approach in teaching Grammar / syntax Linguistics (examples)  A. Pro gradu: contrasive approach is not imposed - a part of the students choose it  B. Thesis: both doctoral students have a contrastive approach

29 Bibliography  Belz, J.A. & Kinginger, C. (2002) « The cross-linguistic development of address form use in telecollaborative language learning, Two case studies. Canadian Modern Language Review, 59 (2),  Brown, R. & A. Gilman (1960) : « The pronouns of power and solidarity », in : Fishman, J. A. (éd) : Readings in the sociology of language, Mouton & Co. Printers, Hague,  Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2004) « The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in French as a foreign language : an overview ». Journal of French Language Studies, 14,  Dewaele, J.-M. & Planchenault, G. (2006) « ‘Dites-moi tu ?!’ La perception de la difficulté du système des pronoms d’adresse français ». Faraco, Martine (éd.) La classe de langue. Théories, méthodes et pratiques. Publications de l’Université de Provence (langues et langage, 14), Aix-en- Provence.

30 Bibliography  Eriksson, O. (2004) « Entre traductologie et linguistique contrastive: la notion de ‘transposition ’ ». Härmä, J & Tuomarla, U. (éds) Actes du 6e Colloque franco-finlandais de linguistique contrastive,  Hakulinen, A. & alii (2004). Iso suomen kielioppi. Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura, Helsinki.  Havu Eva (2005b) “L’emploi des pronoms d’adresse en français : étude sociolinguistique et comparaison avec le finnois”. Taavitsainen, I. & alii (éds), Dimensions du dialogisme, Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki, Helsinki,  Havu, E. & Isosavi, J. (à paraître) « Les stratégies d’adresse dans différents types de texte ».  Kerbrat-Orecchioni, C. (1992) Les interactions verbales, tome II. Armand Colin Éditeur, Paris.  Lappalainen, H., « Mie vai mää, sinä tai te? », in Sorjonen, M.-L. & Raevaara, L. (éds), Arjen asiointia: keskusteluja Kelan tiskin äärellä, Helsinki, Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura,  Lyster, Roy (1996) « Question Forms, Conditionals, and Second-Person Pronouns Used by Adolescent Native Speakers across Two Levels of Formality in Written and Spoken French ». The Modern Language Journal 80,


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