- Slides: 23
Language & Social Interaction
Language used in conversation �Two ways 1. For manipulating relationships 2. Achieving particular goals �Rules for conducting and interpreting conversations differ from society to society.
Conversation Structure �Rule of an introduction of a new topic �Rule of Silence �Principle of turn-taking �Rule of interruption �Rule of interpretation
�Conversations consist of structured sequences of different types of utterances. Q 1: Have you written to Ali yet? A 1: No, not yet. Q 2: Are you going to write? A 2: Yes, eventually.
Q 1: Have you seen Amir yet? Q 2: Is he back? Q 3: Didn’t you know? A 3: No, I didn’t. A 2: He’s back alright. A 1: Well I haven’t seen him.
Summonses are normally followed by answers Khadija, S 1: Ayesha! Ayesha, A 1: Coming. However, they do not undergo embedding Khadija, S 1: Ayesha! Ayesha, S 2: Khadija! Khadija, A 2: Yes? Ayesha, A 1 : Coming.
Telephone conversation �Follows summons sequence �Conversations, then, are structured, rule governed, non random sequences of utterances.
Coherent conversation-type sequences A: Are you going on holiday this year? B: I haven’t got any money. Random sequences A: Are you going on holiday this year? B: My favourite colour is yellow.
Rule of Interpretation �A: Are you going on holiday today? �B: My aunt has just bought a bicycle.
Oops!!!!! �Rule of interpretation might be broken. �Mistake regarding sharing of knowledge of the proposition. A: Are you going on holiday this year? B: I haven’t got any money. A: so what?
Ethnography of communication The study of the rules of language used in social interaction and cross-cultural differences in communicative norms, is often known as the Ethnography of communication.
The 4 conversational Maxims 1. Maxim of Quality Do not say what you believe to be false. b. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. a. E. g. If a friend asks, “…. have you seen my dog? ” an honest answer is expected.
The 4 conversational Maxims 2. Maxim of Quantity Make your contribution as informative as required. b. Do not make your contribution more informative than required. a. If people don’t say something then we assume that they don’t know that information.
The 4 conversational Maxims 3. Maxim of relation a. Be relevant E. g. “Isn’t Larry the biggest jerk you ever met? ” “Uh, it sure is nice for this time of year, eh? ”
The 4 conversational Maxims 4. Maxim of manner a. b. c. d. E. g. Avoid obscurity of expression Avoid ambiguity Be brief Be orderly “Miss Singer produced a series of sounds corresponding closely to the score of The Star. Spangled Banner” vs. “Miss Singer sang The Star-Spangled Banner. ”
Flouting the Cooperative Principle �Maxim of quality is mostly deliberately violated like while lying, exaggerating, joking, using irony or sarcasm. E. g. �I’ve got millions of bottles of coke in my fridge. �My car breaks down every five minutes. �Queen Victoria was made of iron.
Flouting the Cooperative Principle �Maxim of Quantity is flouted when we say �Too much to mark a sense of occasion or respect �Too little to be rude, blunt, or forthright. E. g. A: Excuse me are you busy? B: No A: Can I have a word with you? It will only take a few minutes if you could spare them?
Flouting the Cooperative Principle �Maxim of Relevance is flouted to signal embarrassment or a desire to change the subject. �Maxim of manner is violated either for humour, or in order to exclude a third person out of the conversation.
Activity �Which maxims of the cooperative principle are being flouted in the following and why? I think I’ll go for a W-A-L-K. (spelling the word letter by letter in front of the dog) 2. -- I can jump higher than the Empire State building. -- Can you? -- Yes, because buildings can’t jump at all. 1.
Activity �Which maxims of the cooperative principle are being flouted in the following and why? 3. This meal is delicious. (said by a guest who finds the food disgusting) 4. Child: I’m going to watch Match of the Day now. Parent: What was that Maths homework you said you had?
Basil Bernstein’s classification �Two Language Varieties 1. ‘Elaborate Code’ 2. ‘Restricted Code’ � The two ‘codes’ are not connected but there is a relationship between the usage of these two ‘codes’ and social class membership.
Contradictions!!!!!! �No implication in any version of Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that one language might produce a world view that is in any way superior to that produced by another.
Final Conclusion �Language-deficit view incorporates a considerable element of middle-class bias. �Middle-class children can or do use two different varieties of language, whereas working class children use only one variety �In many contexts some working-class children are less willing or less used to employing a more formal style than are middle-class children.