Reference: Activity 1

Communication strategies referring to entities

Read about types of communication strategies; then answer the questions below the table.

In the table below, you will find different examples of communication strategies: linguistic expressions that were used by the learners to refer to entities they did not know a word for.

  Name Task
1 Henry Jigsaw: line 8
H: las casas en uh, ventanas y una, una no sé, un...una--¿cómo se dice un...un fence?
R: Uh, cerca?
2 Raul and Henry Jigsaw: line 94-5
R: … Y a los lados de las ventanas, hay dos cosas negras.
H: Oh, como para uh condicionar el, la /ere/?
3 Henry Comparison: lines 59-61
H: Err condicionado, si, para cada cuarto en la, la casa, y parec-, es posible que en la
casa aqui es uh.. aire … f- condicionado para todo la casa.
R: Central?  Aire...
4 Henry Jigsaw: lines 44-45
H: no sé cómo se dice en inglés...una cosa en la casa para, para ver televisión en uh abajo de su casa…? Una…?
R: Oh, este...una antena.
5 Raúl Comparison: lines 12-13
R: ...todo eso parece un poco más manera del estilo, la mitad es /saiɾe/
  Y lo de abajo es… tabique.
6 Henry Comparison: line 21
H: mayor que la ciudad que ella vive en

In the box below, make a numbered list of each example, indicating:

  1. What communication strategy, or strategies, the learner used to get the intended meaning across.
  2. Whether you think the learner might have acquired some aspect of Spanish through using that strategy, and if so, what that was.

When you have finished typing your answer, click to compare your response with the Learner Language staff response.

1 Henry is trying to refer to a fence. He used an appeal for assistance, asking Raúl “cómo se dice fence?”.   This strategy seems to have led to acquisition, since Raúl gave him the word “cerca”, and Henry used it thereafter.

2 Raúl uses a communication strategy of approximation; he says “dos cosas negras” (two black things) when trying to refer to shutters. In the next line, Henry follows up with a communication strategy of circumlocution, suggesting a possible function of the “cosas negras”. These strategies are unsuccessful, in fact each learner is referring to a different entity.

3 Henry and Raúl are trying to decide whether both houses have air conditioning. Henry is using circumlocution to try to distinguish between window air conditioning units in one house and central air conditioning in the other. For the first he says “Err condicionado para cada cuarto en la casa”, and for the second “aire condicionado para todo la casa”. In line 61 Raúl suggests the word “Central,” which they both take up and use thereafter.

4 Henry uses the communication strategy of circumlocution to refer to an antenna. Using this strategy results in Raúl giving him the word ‘antena’, which Henry may learn.

5 Raúl is describing the modern style of his house and says “la mitad es /saiɾe/”. We didn’t understand what he was trying to say at first, but after several listens, we think it’s word coinage, a combination of the English word “siding” and Spanish pronunciation.

6 Henry uses literal translation, word for word from English:
Bigger than the  city   that  she lives in
Mayor que  la  ciudad que ella vive en
While preposition stranding (leaving the preposition at the end of the sentence) is grammatical in English, it is ungrammatical in Spanish.


CARLA Mailing List Signup Contact CARLA CARLA Events Donate to CARLA CARLA on Facebook CARLA on YouTube Twitter
Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) • 140 University International Center • 331 - 17th Ave SE • Minneapolis, MN 55414