This study investigated the effects of different first language backgrounds on the performance of “requests” by two learner groups: 35 Chinese heritage language learners and 35 Chinese as foreign language learners from the same advanced Chinese courses. A mixed-methods approach was adopted. The heritage group outperformed their foreign language counterparts in terms of grammar and lexicon accuracy and in a few mitigating devices. In contrast, the foreign language group produced various forms of head acts that more closely approximated the production of Chinese native speakers. However, learner groups shared several characteristics: Underproduction of the modal verb neng, downtoners, understaters, and supportive moves, particularly in higher imposition situations, and overproduction of query preparatories and politeness expressions in lower imposition situations. The study revealed a large discrepancy between the learners’ and the NSs’ groups in pragmatically functional expressions. The learner groups under-produced these functional expressions that are less transparent in form-meaning/function connections.

本研究调查了不同母语背景的汉语二语学习者对言语行为 “请求”的习得情况。 35名华裔和35名非华裔高级汉语水平的学生参加了此调查。研究用了定量与质性的分析方法,结果表明这两组不同背景的学习者在语法和词汇的准确度、请求的直接性、对情感动词的选择方面存在着显著的不同。华裔背景学习者的语法和词汇使用的正确率显著高于非华裔背景者,而使用强制性语言的频率显著低于非华裔背景者。非华裔背景学习者所产出的请求语言形式明显多于华裔背景学习者,从而更接近本族语者所产出的不同的表达形式。两组学习者都呈现的共性包括:较少使用情态动词“能”,在请求难度大时较少使用委婉缓和词语、保守说法和请求辅助语;而在请求难度并不很大时,过多地使用疑问句和礼貌语言。两组二语学习者和本族语者的一个明显区别在于学习者的请求中缺少语用功能强的委婉缓和表达。这些表达在语言形式、意义与功能的映射方面不够透明但在请求中却是不可或缺的。