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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Backchannel, Pragmatic tansfer, Borrowing, Consitutive nature of language


This study explores English language pragmatic phenomena in the Mandarin speech of a native Chinese language teacher as she interacts with American learners of Mandarin in a university classroom setting. I document and analyze her use of English backchannel 'mm hmm' in interactions that are otherwise in Mandarin, and I document and analyze the transfer of American interaction rituals and English syntax to her Mandarin language interactions with students. In this context, her patterns of communication both reflect and constitute cultural worlds. These pragmatic transfers to her Mandarin reflect her cultural and communicative assimilation to America, but they also serve to constitute pedagogical contexts that are familiar to American students and may facilitate their learning, and they serve to constitute a sojourner Chinese scholar identity for the teacher.


First Advisor

Benjamin Bailey

Second Advisor

Donal Carbaugh

Included in

Communication Commons