Discourse Markers in Cross-Cultural Conversation

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Ji-Young Jung


It is a great pleasure to offer this tribute to Professor Leslie M. Beebe and to help celebrate her vital contribution to the field of cross-cultural pragmatics (CCP). There is no denying that Professor Beebe stands as a distinguished scholar in the field. Anyone who wishes to conduct research on second language (L2) pragmatics would not be able to begin without learning of or citing her work. Among her contributions to the field, I would first like to ponder her groundbreaking call for serious attention to L2 pragmatics as early as the mid-1980s, a time when pragmatics was a neglected area in second language acquisition (SLA) research and L2 pedagogy. In a number of scholarly papers and at conferences, she suggested that “the social rules of speaking” are “basics, not frosting on the cake” (Beebe, 1995, p. 4). Professor Beebe is acknowledged among SLA researchers as one of the earliest linguists who was deeply concerned with cross-cultural misunderstandings (which often lead to unfortunate and offensive cultural stereotyping) resulting from a lack of pragmatic competence.

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