Causes of Pragmalinguistic Errors in University EFL Learners’ Writings

Nermin Hosny Yusuf


Language errors committed by EFL learners are not only restricted to syntactic or grammatical rules of a foreign language, but also are of a pragmatic nature in numerous cases. In particular, errors pertaining to pragmalinguistics are usually misinterpreted to the extent of a communication breakdown in various situations. Hence, this research is conducted to investigate the causes and frequencies of pragmalinguistic errors in EFL intermediate- and advanced-level students’ writings post analyzing the types of errors they commit. Accordingly, 92 essays of EFL university students have been analyzed with respect to pragmalinguistic types, causes and frequencies between low and high levels of language proficiency. The findings reveal that language transfer is the main cause of pragmalinguistic errors. It is also revealed that the same types of pragmalinguistic errors are made by both intermediate- and advanced-level students with comparable frequencies for some types but different frequencies for the others; yet, these differences did not reach a statistical significance.


pragmatics, pragmalinguistics, language transfer, L1 influence, syntactic transfer, sentence construction, lexical devices

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