Discourse Analysis

Flashcards by tayla.williams, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by tayla.williams almost 7 years ago


Flashcards on Discourse Analysis , created by tayla.williams on 06/04/2014.

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Commutative Competence - this approach to language focuses on the use of language - aspect of our competence that enables use to convey and interpret messages and to negotiate meaning interpersonal within specific contexts - 'competence': speaker possessing a body of knowledge about a language - 'performance': ^ which is used in context, often imperfectly. - e.g. when a child learns his or her L1, its not simply a case of learning how to form grammatical sentences, but also appropriate sentences.
Four aspects of a speaker's communicative competence 1. whether something if formally POSSIBLE (is it grammatical?) 2. whether something is FEASIBLE 3. whether something is APPROPRIATE in relation to a context 4. whether something is in fact done, actually PERFORMED, and what its doing entails
Four components of Communicative Competence 1. Grammatical competence: relating to the rules of syntax, semantics and phonology within a sentence 2. Discourse competence: the ability we have to connect sentences in stretches of discourse and to form a meaningful whole out of a series of utterances 3. Sociolinguistic competence: relating to the appropriateness of the utterance in context 4. Strategic competence: relating to the strategies available to remedy breakdowns in communication
Genre - can be loosely defined as "text type" - applies to written and spoken language - we can discern more subtle kinds of genres: i.e. we can tell when people are having an argument, speaking to a child, or having an ordinary chat. - institutional (e.g. educational discourse/ legal language) and less formal types of speech = represent genres of spoken discourse - part of DA = finding out the features of each kind of speaking
Topic - emphasizes the cooperative nature of conversation - may loosely be described as what a conversation is about - some are relevant to particular convo's and not to others/ some are general (the weather is regarded as a 'safe' topic in many cultures') - there is a general rule not to tell people things they already know. - some topics are "tellable", others are not. 'newsworthiness' is an NB consideration. - Except for good friends/family we usually expect a reason behind deliberate contact
Context -looking at language in context can often tell us more than an analysis of its syntax, semantics and phonetics alone. - essential to interpret a piece of language - 'sentence' = an abstract string of words - 'utterance' = a sentence in use. - utterance is used in context - details of context = required in order for utterance to be appreciated - 'topic framework' = background info required to interpret texts correctly
Discourse Norms across Cultures - in interaction, individuals' perceptions of their own cultural identity in each situation + expectations regarding the appropriate behaviour of the people they are talking to = NB in the negotiation of successful interaction - cultures can be seen as groups which share norms that influence the behaviour and interpretation of the individuals that belong to them.
Cultural Contact - culture also allows that person to make sense of the behaviour of others from that same culture, including the way they speak - intercultural interaction = can be a problem - ^ an individual may speak in a way that is considered polite in their culture but may be considered rude in another culture - e.g. loudness = perfectly polite in Indian culture BUT considered hostile in Western cultures - this shows how destructive and inaccurate our interpretations can be if we interpret the behaviour of others in terms of our own culture
Multiculturalism - refers broadly to the situation where 2/more cultures are in contact with each other more/less indefinitely
Four Dimensions of National Culture 1. Power distance: the degree to which a society accepts the idea that power is to be distributed unequally. Societies accepting stratification - high PDI - e.g. high-PDI cultures kids are expected to obey their parents without question. low-PDI cultures encourage kids to seek reasons/justifications for their parents actions. 2. Individualism-Collectivism: the degree to which a society feels that individual's beliefs and actions should be independent of collective thought and action.
Communication Differences in South African Cultures: 1. when to talk - turn-taking in black African culture is affected by rank or status: age is an important stratifying device - status = NB in interaction in African culture (high PDI) - only the person with mire power/status may initiate a greeting in AC. - traditional and unequal gender relations = stringently defined within many black communities - openings and small talk = NB in AC more than amongst white people (tendency towards Collectivism) - interruption = much less frequent than in English
Communication Differences in South African Cultures: 2. Pacing and Pausing - speech networks negotiate a normal pace, usual length of intra-utterance pauses etc. - if differences of this nature = extreme = disrupt the smooth flow of conversation - interactional norms in AC: intervals between turns and the length of intra-utterance pauses allowed in one speakers turn without interruption = longer than Eng L1 speakers - e.g. perspective of AC norms : Eng L1 convo's = rushed/impolite, frequently interrupted perspective of Eng norms: slow/uncomfortable, intentionally interrupts due to longer intra-utterance pauses
Communication Differences in South African Cultures: 3. listenership - norm for L1 Eng speakers= listener to maintain eye contact - shows interest/trustworthiness - while speaker makes eye-contact at beginning/ends of utterances + frequent breaks in between. - amongst AC: listener avoids eye-contact as a signal of respect for the speaker - L1 Eng speakers use "yes" as a cue for current speaker to continue but AC may interpret as a per-closure to a completed point
Communication Differences in South African Cultures: 4. Paralinguistic features - stress, amplitude and tone - stress used by L1 Eng speakers = shows emphasis but not used for that purpose in AC - result: the latter may not realise which part of their utterance the L1 Eng is emphasizing - smooth speaker change/development of discussion = dependent of speakers understanding of the usage of cues: paralinguistic features, accent placing and tone grouping : result - convo disrupted by clashes in interpretation.
Speech Act Theory: Austins theory of performatives - Originally Austin made a contrast between performatives (utterances that do things) & constatives (assertions & statements). - he modified his theory and included in the class of performatives, those which are not obviously performatives: (a) explicit performatives: 'I pronounce you man and wife' (b) implicit performatives: "I'll visit you tonight" - the inclusion of the implicit performative allows us to include utterances like (b) on the basis of their underlying performative structure
Felicity Conditions - the conditions that must be in place and the criteria that must be satisfied for a speech act to achieve its purpose. - performatives has FC which had to be fulfilled in order for the utterance to work - e.g. "I pronounce you man and wife" : FC = authorization (priest) and willingness
Three acts performed at once in making an utterance (Austins claim) - Austin conclusion: all utterances perform actions having specific forces. - He claimed that in making an utterance we perform 3 acts at once: 1. locutionary act: the utterances of words and their dictionary senses and references 2. illocutionary act: what the speaker is doing with the words - promising/denying etc. by virtue of the force assigned to that string of words 3. prelocutionary at: the result of the utterance - intended or not - the effect on the audience.
Searle's theoretical adjustments - expanded the notion of FC to cover all speech acts not just the traditional performatives. - doesn't make the division between the locutionary act and illocutionary act. - sees the utterance as having 2 parts: preposition and a function indicating device which makes the illocutionary force. - e.g. "John will leave the room"/ "John, leave the room" = preposition is the same { leaving the room is attached to John} but the force is different in each case
Searle's 5 rules of promising - focused on explicit performatives - mainly promises . - formulated 5 rules for promising 1. Propositional content rule - one can only promise on behalf of oneself and only about future acts 2. Preparatory rules: promiser must believe the promisee and the promiser cannot promise to do something they wouldn't ordinarily do . 3. Sincerity Rule: the promiser must intend to perform the action. 4. Essential rule:the uttering of the words counts as the undertaking of an obligation to perform the action
Searle's 5 classes of speech acts 1. representatives: in which the speaker states his/her belief in some state of affairs (complain) 2. directives: all attempts to get the hearer to do something which the speaker wants him/her to do (command) 3. commissives: the speaker commits him/herself to some action (promise) 4. expressives: these speech acts try to express the speakers attitude towards a state of affairs (thanking) 5. declarations: acts which, by being uttered, change the world (the courtroom)
Indirect speech acts - Searle looked at six ways we can indirectly direct: 1. sentences concerning hearers ability (Can you pass the salt?) 2. sentences concerning hearers future action (Are you going to pass the salt?) 3. Sentences concerning speakers wish or want (I would like you to pass the salt.) 4. Sentences concerning hearers desires or willingness ( Would you mind passing the salt?) 5. Sentences concerning reasons for action ( I don't think you salted the potatoes.) 6. Sentences embedding either on of the above or an explicit performative (Can I ask you to pass the salt?)
Grice's cooperative Principle - describes how people interact with one another - presupposition that people want to cooperate when they exchange meaning - Coordination is regulated by maxims of conversation: (a) Quality: tell the truth (b) Quantity: give maximum info with minimum effort (c) Relation maximum: relevance and act accordingly (d) Manner Maxim: be clear and not obscure
Conventional Implicature - "It was raining so I took an umbrella" - 'so' - explicitly signaled that the fact contained in part 1 is responsible for the fact in part 2 - 'however' 'therefore' 'then' - ^ example of CI - implicature: something is implied - conventional: the meaning of the words is by agreement - CI : implications that we can draw from utterances because of the conventional rules of the language concerned
Conversational Implicature - relies on the conversational rules of the language - ^ maxims - A: 'I have run out of matches' B: 'There's a cafe around the corner' - ^ attempting to be truthful, clear, brief and relevant. - no mention of matches but we are able to make the connection, assuming relevance, that matches can be bought at the cafe. - background info = NB in the process of implicature - main maxim at work = relevance
Adjacency Pairs - all convo's consist of turns being taken and their are >2 turns in every convo. - some turns seem more closely related to each other than others - sequences which seem to belong together = AP
Features of AP - AP = basic structural units in conversation 1. always 2 utterances long 2. successive utterances produced by different speakers 3. ordered: first pair-part and second pair-part 4. first pair-part constrains second pair-part
Reciprocal AP - greetings - openings and closings of most convo's are reciprocal - if someone greets you, you are likely to respond with a roughly equivalent answer
Non-reciprocal AP (a) open-ended questions: generally any answer will do as long as it is relevant BUT second pair-part limits the scope of the content of the second pair-part = non-reciprocal (b) Yes/No questions - the choice of answers is more or less limited to either 'yes' or 'no' (c) first pair-parts which set up expectation of a second pair-part: challenges/offers/requests/complaints/invitations. An offer may be accepted or refused/ a complaint may result in an apology or justification
Preferred and dispreferred second pair-parts - AP can have more than one possible kind of second pair-part e.g. refusal/acceptance of an invitation - acceptance = preferred response refusal = dispreferred response - preferred second pair part = simpler whilst dispreferred involves more complex moves than just accepting
Features of a dispreferred response (a) delays: pause before delivery/use of preface (b) prefaces: use of markers of dispreferreds ('uh' 'well')/appreciations/use of apologies/use of qualifiers (softens refusal)/hesitation (c) accounts: formulated explanations for refusal (d) denial component: where you actually say 'no' - people go to extraordinary lengths to soften a dispreferred respomnse
Pre-sequences - people don't like to use a dispreferred second - pre-sequence: avoids forcing the other person to use a dispreferred second - they allow hearer to give an account as to why they aren't available/ can't help - both parties = safe face -e.g. L: 'Are you doing anything tonight?' M: 'No, I think I'm going to get an early night.'
Collapsed Sequences - Pre-sequences are easily recognised and sometimes the hearer may preempt the actual issuing the request by answering as if it had already been asked: N: 'Are you busy? I don't understand this' O: 'Come in. I'll explain it to you.' ^ = collapsed sequence of: N: '^' [O: 'No, I'm not busy.' N: 'Well, will you explain this to me, please?] O: '^'
Remember: { X: 'How are you?' Y: 'I'm fine. And you?' X: 'OK thanks.' } - ^ X first utterance = first pair-part, of the open-ended question, non-reciprocal AP type. - Second pair-part = first sentence of Y's utterance. - First- pair-part of AP2 = second sentence of Y's utterance
Openings - vital stage of any stretch of talk - Core sequence of an telephone convo's in WC: 1. Summons/answer sequence : summons (ringing) + answer's first utterance 2. identification/recognition sequence : Answerer recognizes callers voice or caller identifies themselves 3. greetings sequence: sometimes accomplished at the same time as ^ if people concerned know each others' voices well enough to identify each other from short greetings 4. initial inquiries sequence: speaker perform an exchange of "how are you's"
Story - Telling - people tell stories when they talk to each other - not necessarily "once upon a time" stories" but stories nonetheless - focus on 2 aspects: how people create an appropriate context to tell a story and different kinds of stories that people tell
Story Prefaces - in order to tell a story successfully, one must have an audience - people usually employ a particular kind of pre-sequence in order to gauge whether the listeners will accept the story - ^ = story preface - fits into a three part structure: 1. Teller : story preface 2. Recipient: Request to hear story 3. Teller: story - ^ attempt to find out if a particular story would be considered newsworthy at the time
Types of Stories: 1. Narrative - has a crisis - resolution to that crisis = main area of focus - between the 2 - the teller provides an evaluation of the situation - (abstract) orientation complication evaluation resolution (coda)
Types of Stories: 2. Anecdote - emphasis on a crisis of some sort - focus: reaction of people within the story's reaction, rather than its resolution - (abstract) orientation remarkable event reaction (coda)
Types of Stories: 3. Exemplum - clear message about how the world should/should not be - moral point - story is told to make this point - (abstract) orientation incident interpretation (coda)
Types of Stories: 4. Recount - not necessarily any kind of crisis - simple retelling of events as they happened with evaluation on the story running throughout - purpose: share info - (abstract) orientation record of events reorientation (coda)
Discourse Markers - elements in talk which don't behave in ways that are easily classified - e.g. 'and' can be used for other purposes than as a conjunction 'And is he accepting of this?" / 'now' can be used other than as an adverb 'Now then what's next?' - ^ meanings relate to direction of the discourse - direct the hearer as to how to process the info near them
Closing a conversation - last stage in most convo's - most important reason to properly close a convo ( and why it is difficult) is so that participants can easily engage in a further convo at some point in the future - also difficult because when a person stops talking they set up a TRP ( transition relevance point) - a point at which another speaker may start talking. - have to be closed with care : speakers need to negotiate the fact that this expectation of being allocated a turn will be suspended
When do closings happen? - convo's close when people no longer need/want/able to talk to each other - closing usually happens when a speaker produces a turn that has no topic continuation content and no topic initiation features and occurs after a turn which concludes a topic - ^ 'mm' 'okay'
How to close a conversation - elaborate affair - usually negotiated over four turns - last two = first and second terminal turns - structure described above doesn't always happen - sometimes circumstances prevent proper closures
Sequence types which can be used to move briefly out of the closing 1. Arrangements: often last topic of conversation in a phone call - can signal a relevant point for closing/can be raised again within a closing for final confirmation { 1st closing, arrangement, response to arrangement, 2nd 3rd and 4th closing} 2. Back References: similar to ^ but don't imply that a return to closing will occur immediately 3. Topic Initial Elicitors: occur once a closing has begun and seems to be an attempt to give the other speaker a 'last chance' to start a new topic/ deliver any remaining info
Compliments and Compliment Responses - AP - compliments = pleasant to receive but they are difficult to respond to politely
Compliments as supportive actions - positively affect speech acts : meant to make addressee feel good. - have the benefit of increasing solidarity between speakers and creating/maintaining an atmosphere of goodwill - compliments function as a verbal gift - can also be used to soften the blow of a potential imposition - can also be used to express gratitude - preferred response = acceptance : ACCEPTANCE + APPRECIATION
Compliments as assessment actions - If someone offers an opinion on something = assessment action - anticipated response = agreement or disagreement - e.g. E: 'That movies deserved to win every single Oscar' F: 'Oh I thought it was amazing too.' - agreeing with an assessment shows solidarity and disagreeing can imply criticism of assessor
Self-praise avoidance - ACCEPTANCE + AGREEMENT - ^ can be considered as arrogance - constraint - considered rude to praise yourself
Solution types (ways in which speakers deal with compliment responses): 1. Evaluation shift 1. Praise downgrades - elements of both agreement and disagreement in them - provide the preferred response BUT downgrades the intensity of the statement - e.g. G: 'Those are the coolest shoes I've ever seen' F: ' They are quite nice, aren't they?' ( 'coolest' - 'quite nice') 2. Weak disagreements - serve the purpose of avoiding self-praise without rejecting the complimenter's supportive action - e.g. I: 'You look absolutely beautiful!' J: 'Is beautiful the right word?'
Solution types (ways in which speakers deal with compliment responses): 2. Referent shifts 1. Reassignment of Praise: -credit is shifted away from the receiver - claims that the praise is not due to them but to someone or something else - e.g. O: 'You are a very good rower.' P: 'Well, it's a great boat - very easy to row.' 2. Returns - directed explicitly at the person who uttered the original compliment - maintains equal status between the speakers
Solution types (ways in which speakers deal with compliment responses): 3. Opting out or flouting - not strictly a solution type - may respond to the compliment by 'opting out' e.g. by ignoring the compliment completely - may also flout the constraints associated with compliment responses, e.g. break them intentionally = joking
Topic (2) - notion of topic is also NB to determine discourse boundaries. It's one way of dividing up dicourse into chunks that we can analyse. - ^ written text = paragraphs/headings etc. spoken language = explicit cues/formulaic expressions - topic shifts may be indicated by tone of voice, adjuncts, disjuncts, silence - topic may shift slightly as convo progresses = sign that its going well - topic conflict: 2/more participants are trying to make their topic the dominant one
Four Dimensions of National Culture (2) 3. Uncertainty Avoidance: refers to the extent to which a society is threatened by and tries to avoid ambiguous situations through regulation and intolerance of any deviance. High UA cultures = develop rules and rituals to control and resist change. Low UA cultures = will take risks. 4. Masculinity: degree to which a society focuses on assertiveness, task achievement, and the acquisition of things as opposed to quality of life issues (caring for others, group solidarity, helping the less fortunate)
Speech Act Theory: Austin's theory of performatives (2) - instead of seeing utterances as being either performatives or constatives: he saw them as just TWO of a whole family of speech acts
Sequence types which can be used to move briefly out of the closing (2) 5. Solicitudes: can be part of a closing but can also offer speakers the choice of moving back into convo 6. Reason-for-calls: sequences can confirm that the closing of the convo is legitimate. Can either derail the closing or allow it to continue. 7. Appreciations: can be thanks for the actual convo or for something else
Solution types (ways in which speakers deal with compliment responses): 2. Referent shifts (2) 3. legitimate evasion: - provides the addressee with a 'way out' by following the compliment with another utterance which allows addressee to avoid responding - e.g. S: 'Hey, they're nice! Where did you get them?' T: ' You know that shop in Pepper Grove...' 4. Informative comment: - the addressee provides extra info to avoid responding directly to the compliment - pretends the compliments was a request for info: - e.g. U: 'Those are nice shoes.' V: 'I got them from Edgars'
Story Prefaces (2) - e.g. 'Did you hear what happened yesterday?' - stage 2 = recipient is giving the teller permission to control the topic and the floor until their story is complete
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