Conversation is open-ended and has the potential to develop in any way. It is possible that the second example could contain a conversation if the speakers decided to talk about the price of oranges. They may do this in order to get a discount, or to develop a social relationship, and the potential is always there in real life. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have the confidence or opportunity to go beyond simple exchanges like the one above.
CONVERSATION What is conversation?• We can describe a conversation as the time when two or more people have the right to talk or listen without having to follow a fixed schedule.
CONVERSATION What is conversation?• In a conversation everyone has something to say and anyone can speak at any time
The Functions of Conversation• exchange of information• creation and maintenance of social relationships• negotiation of status and social roles• deciding on and carrying out joint actions
The Units of Conversation EXCHANGEAn exchange consists of two moves or turns (aninitiating move and a response).These can be verbal or non-verbal.
• Let’s analyze the following exchange structure:• A: Jane.• B: Yes?• A: Could I use your printer?• B: Sure, it’s already on.• A: Thanks a lot.
Illustration of move and exchange structure Jane Turn 1 Exchange 1 call Turn 2 Yes? available Could I use your Turn 3 printer? Exchange 2 request Sure, it’s Turn 4 already on. comply Exchange 3 Thanks a lot Turn 5 thank
Not all exchanges are conversations!!! • A: Hi! Exchange 1 • B: Hi!
Not all exchanges are conversations!!!• A: How much are the oranges? Exchange 1• B: Eighteen pence each, madam.• A: I’ll have two, please. Exchange 2• B: That’s thirty-six pence.
What do native speakers do in conversation?• There are certain rules in conversation.• For instance:usually only one person speaks at a timethe speakers changethe length of any contribution variesthere are techniques for allowing the other party or parties to speakneither the content nor the amount of what we say is specified in advance
The Co-operative Principle• The maxim of quality Make your contribution one that is true Do not say what you believe is false Do not say anything for which you lack adequate evidence
The Co-operative Principle• The maxim of quantityMake your contribution just as informative as required and no more
The Co-operative Principle• The maxim of relation Make your contribution relevant and timely
The Co-operative Principle• The maxim of manner Avoid obscurity and ambiguity
Topics• Different cultures talk about different things in their everyday lives. Native speakers are very aware of what they should and should not talk about with specific categories of people in their own language, but the rules may be different in a foreign language.• In this sense, What is considered a ‘taboo’ subject? What do you consider an offence?