L2 use of pragmatic markers in peer talk: Mandarin utterance-final particles

Wenhao Diao, Chen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This mixed-methods study investigates how Mandarin L1 and L2 speakers use final-utterance particles to negotiate difference and affect. Utilizing a corpus consisting of spontaneous conversations between American study abroad students and their Chinese peers in shared dorm rooms, the focus here is a set of utterance-final pragmatic particles that are multifunctional in Mandarin spoken discourse. This study combines a corpus-based approach with qualitative discourse analysis to reveal differences between L1 and L2 speakers in terms of frequency and pragmatic functions in the discourse context. The findings show that utterance-final pragmatic particles were among the most silent lexical differences between L1 and L2 speakers. Significant differences between the two groups are found in the use of every particle. Qualitative results reveal how L1 speakers use the particles to negotiate intercultural differences and manage interpersonal relationship, while L2 learners' use of them was limited in terms of variety and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1293-1322
Number of pages30
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • Mandarin as a second language
  • corpus
  • pragmatic marker
  • study abroad
  • utterance-final particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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