On the structure of dialogue


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On the structure of dialogue

  1. 1. On the Structure of Dialogue Viorica Condrat lecturer at Alecu Russo State University APLE Conference Up-to-date Techniques and Strategies in Teaching English April 9 th , 2011
  2. 2. WHAT IS DIALOGUE? Dialogue is above all interaction. It implies a communicative occurance between two people, where one incites and the other reacts. It is intentionally structured to arouse a reaction, to get feedback. The power roles can differ: the two participants might have equal speaking powers or one might dominate the other. Yet, it is an intrecate process of communication whose structure is governed by the concrete communicative needs of the interactants whose turns are oriented, as a rule, towards the answer’s direction.
  3. 3. Interaction is above all collaboaration. It is based on it. If the participants are not collaborative then their dialogue fails to fulfill its communicative goals, and at least one of the participant will not get the desired feedback. Roman Jakobson's Communicative Situation CONTEXT MESSAGE CONTACT CODE ADRESSER ADRESSEE
  4. 4. Robin Lakeoff’ s principles of politeness <ul><li>Don’t impose </li></ul><ul><li>Give options </li></ul><ul><li>Make your receiver feel good </li></ul>Paul Grice’s Conversational Principles <ul><li>the maxim of quality, i.e. he/she is true; </li></ul><ul><li>the maxim of quantity, i.e. he/she is brief; </li></ul><ul><li>the maxim of relevance, i.e. he/she is relevant; </li></ul><ul><li>the maxim of manner, i.e. he/she is clear </li></ul>
  5. 5. Conversation Components <ul><li>The basic unit of dialogue is the  move , which encodes the sender’s information (e.g. is it an offer, request, invitation, etc.) and which is materialized in an utterance. When the utterences are joined together in a whole semantic unit they form a  turn . The turn may be defined as a speaker’s change in the dialogue, every time a speaker changes, a new turn is uttered. There are two types of turns: intervention and continuing turns. The intervation turn is informative, it adds information to the discussed topic. Such intervention turns make the primary system of conversation. The interactants use them to ensure the smoothe progress of the discussed topic, by exchanging information about it. The interventions may be initiative (when the speaker initiates a proposal, offer, question) and reactive (when the listener reacts to what has been said). Besides thsese two types of interventions, there are also mixed intervention which is a response to what has been said and initiates another piece of information. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Turn 1 <ul><li>Blanche, this meatloaf is good. </li></ul><ul><li>Oh, thank you, Ted. </li></ul><ul><li>Ted has made the first turn, an intervention. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a rather socializing moment, which can be considered as a start in conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>The guest wants to be polite. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Turn 2 <ul><li>- So, Ted, do you live around here? </li></ul><ul><li>Yeah. Yeah, I moved up here. Little over 10 years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? I mean, not that it's not nice. I'm sure. But why? </li></ul><ul><li>Why not, you know? What's so great about a city? </li></ul><ul><li>Well, I mean, the cultural advantages alone. Museums, opera, ballet, theater. Not to mention nightlife. </li></ul><ul><li>Oh, yeah. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Lucy does not continue Ted’s idea, she prefers to utter an intervention turn herself; </li></ul><ul><li>She tries to be polite; </li></ul><ul><li>Ted’s reaction is not the one anticipated; </li></ul><ul><li>Lucy’s second initiative once again fails; </li></ul><ul><li>Ted clearly shows he dislikes the subject. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Turn 3 <ul><li>- Do you know I was in a restaurant, and Justin Timberlake walked in? </li></ul><ul><li>For real? </li></ul><ul><li>Is he one of your MP3 fellas? Oh, that's nice. </li></ul><ul><li>I thought all they had was skinny supermodels......and Colombian drug lords. </li></ul><ul><li>Ted, that's terrible. </li></ul><ul><li>You know who else was there, Bobbie? Fergie. I bet you like her music, huh? </li></ul><ul><li>My dad won't let me like that stuff. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Lucy passes the turn to the teenagers; </li></ul><ul><li>Their turn is reactive; </li></ul><ul><li>Blanche also positively reacts to this turn; </li></ul><ul><li>Ted once again reacts negatively; </li></ul><ul><li>Lucy tries to make another initiative turn and addresses Bobbie; </li></ul><ul><li>She gets a dispreferred response. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Turn 4 <ul><li>- Well, you seem old enough to decide for yourself what you like. </li></ul><ul><li>Excuse me? Women like that just selling themselves as sex objects? What kind of a role model is that for young girls?- I think that any examples of strong successful young women are vital. </li></ul><ul><li>And that's how you measure success? By how provocative a woman can be? We'll pass on that. We'll listen to country. </li></ul><ul><li>Oh, the twangy drivel about the losers who drink beer......and drive pickup trucks? Yeah. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Indirect reproach to the father; </li></ul><ul><li>He takes the turn (reactive); </li></ul><ul><li>Gender talk -> communication failure; </li></ul><ul><li>Ted, indirectly states that his daughter will listen to what he says; </li></ul><ul><li>Lucy’s reactive turn: strong stereotyped criticism of the people who prefer this genre of music. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Interfering Turn 5 <ul><li>How about polka? It's got something for everybody. </li></ul><ul><li>That's it, Harve, you're exactly right. Bingo. </li></ul><ul><li>The host tries to take the turn and change the topic; </li></ul><ul><li>His wife positively reacts to it; </li></ul><ul><li>Failure. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The ongoing Turn 4 <ul><li>I like beer. I drive a pickup. </li></ul><ul><li>I should have known. </li></ul><ul><li>Ted reacts; </li></ul><ul><li>Lucy incites. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Turn 6 <ul><li>- You probably drive a new car for what it says about you... ...when what it says about you... ...is how you bow down to the big corporations that made a gravy train. </li></ul><ul><li>And would anybody like more gravy? Trudy? Kimberley? </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial competition in a free-market economy is what built this country. </li></ul><ul><li>No, robber barons built it, and they did it from the blood of working folks. If you steal somebody's car, you get thrown in jail. If you steal life savings, you get to be a CEO. </li></ul><ul><li>I'm planning on being a CEO. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Ted uses the same communicative strategy: the stereotyped portray of an ambitious person; </li></ul><ul><li>Blanche makes another attempt of topic suppression ->in a polite manner; ignored; </li></ul><ul><li>Both interlocutors incite but are not interested in the reactive turn, unless it coincides with theirs. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Turn 7 <ul><li>You better count the silverware before she leaves. </li></ul><ul><li>I'm leaving now. </li></ul><ul><li>Not if I leave first. Come on, baby. </li></ul><ul><li>I've got Snickerdoodles with tapioca. </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks for dinner.- Thanks for dinner. </li></ul><ul><li>Totally awesome. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Indirect offence; </li></ul><ul><li>Complete conversation failure; </li></ul><ul><li>One more attempt to settle the situation; </li></ul><ul><li>Only one person has enjoyed it -> typically of teenagers. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Blanche and her husband <ul><li>Follow all the conversational principles and rules; </li></ul><ul><li>Their initiative turns are attempts at topic suppression which might result in a row; </li></ul><ul><li>Their reactive turns are preferred responses. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Lucy and Ted <ul><li>Flout all the principles; </li></ul><ul><li>Their turns are conflicting and imposing; </li></ul><ul><li>They do not take into consideration the context; </li></ul><ul><li>They offend each other; </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation failure. </li></ul>
  21. 21. The teenagers <ul><li>Are not actually involved into the conversation; </li></ul><ul><li>Are not enjoying equal speaking rights; </li></ul><ul><li>Are not seriously expected to answer even when addressed by Ted and Lucy; </li></ul><ul><li>Their role -> a means to prove the grown-ups are right. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Conclusions: <ul><li>The conversation is an intricate process; </li></ul><ul><li>It has internal structure; </li></ul><ul><li>It has its own rules, which it follows; </li></ul><ul><li>Once the rules are flouted, conversation failure occurs. </li></ul>