2013 | 22/2 | 100-111
Article title

Discourse Completion Task: Its Validity and Reliability in Research Projects on Speech Acts

Title variants
Languages of publication
The article examines the issue of the reliability and validity of the discourse completion task (DCT) in research projects on speech acts. It starts with a review of the main data collection methods in pragmatics. In the paper, the advantages and disadvantages of using a questionnaire for gathering data are discussed. Next, the studies comparing questionnaire data with natural spoken data are presented. The paper argues that relying on one data collection instrument, namely a DCT, does not yield reliable results; therefore the integration of authentic and controlled data is desirable. It is concluded that the study of a particular speech act cannot be carried out without some reliance on naturally occurring data.
  • Wyższa Szkoła Pedagogiczna, Warszawa
  • Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen. 1999. “Researching method”. In: Lawrence F. Bouton (ed.), 237–264.
  • Barron, Anne. 2003 Acquisition in Interlanguage Pragmatics: learning how to do things with words in a study abroad context. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Beebe, Leslie M., and Martha C. Cummings. 1996. “Natural speech act data versus written questionnaire data: how data collection method affects speech act performance”. In: Susan M. Gass, and Joyce Neu (eds.), 65–86.
  • Blum-Kulka, Shoshana, and Elite Olshtain. 1984. “Requests and apologies: a cross-cultural study of speech act realization patterns (CCSARP)”. Applied Linguistics 5(3): 196–213.
  • Bouton, Lawrence F. (ed.). 1999. Pragmatics and language learning 9. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Brown, James D. 2001. “Pragmatics tests: different purposes, different tests”. In: Kenneth R. Rose, and Gabriele Kasper (eds.), 301–325.
  • Clark, Herbert H., and Adrian Bangerter. 2004. “Changing ideas about reference”. In: Ira A. Noveck, and Dan Sperber (eds.), 25–49.
  • Eisenstein, Miriam, and Jean Bodman. 1993. “Expressing gratitude in American English”. In: Gabriele Kasper, and Shoshana Blum-Kulka (eds.), 64–81.
  • Gass, Susan M., and Joyce Neu (eds.). 1996. Speech act across cultures: challenges to communication in a second language. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Geluykens, Ronald, and Bettina Kraft. 2008. “The use(fullness) of corpus research in cross-cultural pragmatics”. In: Jesus Romero-Trillo (ed.), 93–117.
  • Golato, Andrea. 2003. “Studying compliment responses: a comparison of DCTs and recordings of naturally occurring talk”. Applied Linguistics 24(1): 90–121.
  • Hartford, Beverly S., and Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig. 1992. “Experimental and observational data in the study of interlanguage pragmatics”. Pragmatics and Language Learning Monograph Series 3: 33–52.
  • Hinkel, Eli. 1997. “Appropriateness of advice: DCT and multiple choice data”. Applied Linguistics 18: 1–26.
  • Houck, Noel, and Susan M. Gass. 1996. “Non-native refusals: a methodological perspective”. In: Susan M. Gass, and Joyce Neu (eds.), 45–64.
  • Jucker, Andreas. H. 2009. “Speech act research between armchair, field and laboratory. The case of compliments”. Journal of Pragmatics 41: 1611–1635.
  • Kasper, Gabriele. 2000. “Data collection in pragmatics research”. In: Helen Spencer-Oatey (ed.), 316–341.
  • Kasper, Gabriele. 2008. “Data collection in pragmatics research”. In: Helen Spencer-Oatey (ed.), 279–303.
  • Kasper, Gabriele, and Merete Dahl. 1991. “Research methods in interlanguage pragmatics”. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 13: 215–247.
  • Kasper, Gabriele, and Shoshana Blum-Kulka (eds.). 1993. Interlanguage pragmatics. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Keeves, John P. (ed.). 1988. Educational research, methodology, and measurement. Oxford: Pergamon.
  • Labov, William. 1972. Sociolinguistic patterns. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Nelson, Gayle L., Joan Carson, Mahmoud Al Batal, Waguida El Bakary. 2002. “Cross-cultural pragmatics: strategy use in Egyptian Arabic and American English refusals”. Applied Linguistics 23(2): 163–189.
  • Noveck, Ira A., and Dan Sperber (eds.). 2004. Experimental pragmatics. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Nurani, Lusia M. 2009. “Methodological issue in pragmatic research: is Discourse Completion Test a reliable data collection instrument?”. Jurnal Sosioteknologi Edisi 17 Tahun 8: 667–678.
  • Ogiermann, Eva. 2009. On apologising in negative and positive politeness cultures. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Romero-Trillo, Jesus (ed.). 2008. Pragmatics and Corpus Linguistics. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Rose, Kenneth R., and Gabriele Kasper (eds.). 2001. Pragmatics in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Schauer, Gila A., and Svenja Adolphs. 2006. “Expressions of gratitude in corpus and DCT data: Vocabulary, formulaic sequences, and pedagogy”. System 34: 119–134.
  • Spencer-Oatey, Helen (ed.). 2000. Culturally speaking. Managing rapport through talk across cultures. London, New York: Continuum.
  • Spencer-Oatey, Helen (ed.). 2008 Culturally speaking: culture, communication and politeness theory. 2nd ed. London, New York: Continuum.
  • Wolf, R. M. 1988. “Questionnaires”. In: John P. Keeves (ed.), 478–482.
  • Yuan, Yi. 2001. “An inquiry into empirical pragmatics data-gathering methods: Written DCTs, oral DCTs, field notes, and natural conversations”. Journal of Pragmatics 33: 271–292.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.