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Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
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Discourse analysis

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  • 1. Discourse Analysis Ch. 11 Fall 2012
  • 2. Basic ideas in Discourse Analysis Text analysis  Structure of a discourse  Speech events Conversation analysis  Turn-taking  The cooperative principle  Background knowledge
  • 3. What is “discourse”? A teacher’s note on the door of his office, says “Back right back!”? An ad says, “Story Tellers Wanted!”? A short dialogue with your roommate this morning: “Morning! Any classes today?” A composition of your “Unforgettable Trip to Ken-ting”? A class you had, “Today we are going to talk about… That’s all for today. I’ll see you next week.”? Our president’s inaugural speech?
  • 4. Discourse Naturally conversations spokendiscourse texts Any written
  • 5. Discourse Analysis Conversation Naturally analysis spokenDiscourse analysis Text analysis Any written
  • 6. Why do we do discourse analysis? The “structure” or “grammar” of a discourse; be it spoken or written. “Language as a dynamic, social, interactive phenomenon – whether it is between speaker and listener, or writer and reader (Crystal, 2005, p. 260).” In a nutshell,  How do language users (listeners or readers) interpret, or do so as to obtain, what other language users (speakers or writers) intend to convey or communicate?
  • 7. Basics of Text Analysis Cohesion Coherence Speech events
  • 8. Basics of Conversation Analysis Turn-taking The co-operative principle Hedges Implicatures Backgroud knowledge Schemas and scripts
  • 9. Sample for Analysis (Culpeper et al., 2009, p. 171)
  • 10. Linguistic mechanisms that make a discourse/text interpretable Cohesion Coherence
  • 11. Cohesion (Yule, 2010, p. 143) “My father once bought a Lincoln convertible. He did it by saving every penny he could. That car would be worth a fortune nowadays. However, he sold it to help pay for my college education. Sometimes I think I’d rather have the convertible.” Cohesive ties (in reference):  Father – he –he –he;  “A” Lincoln convertible –that car- it-“the” convertible
  • 12. Cohesion (Yule, 2010, p. 143) “My father once bought a Lincoln convertible. He did it by saving every penny he could. That car would be worth a fortune nowadays. However, he sold it to help pay for my college education. Sometimes I think I’d rather have the convertible.” Cohesive ties (in semantics):  [money]: bought-saving-penny-worth-fortune-sold-pay  [time]: once-nowadays-sometimes
  • 13. Cohesion (Yule, 2010, p. 143) “My father once bought a Lincoln convertible. He did it by saving every penny he could. That car would be worth a fortune nowadays. However, he sold it to help pay for my college education. Sometimes I think I’d rather have the convertible.” Cohesive ties (in grammar):  Tense: bought-did-could-would-sold ~ think Cohesive devices for textual relation: however
  • 14. Cohesion Cohesive (with many cohesive ties) ≠ coherent (easy to interpret) For example (Yule, 2010, p. 143): “My father bought a Lincoln convertible. The car driven by the police was red. That color doesn’t suit her. She consists of three letters. However, a letter isn’t as fast as a telephone call.” Many cohesive devices, but a text very hard to interpret.  We know that the writer is writing about something, but we, as readers, just can’t get a general idea out of the text.
  • 15. Coherence Being coherent: “making sense of what we read and hear (Yule, 2010, p. 144)” or with a clear idea that readers or hearers can easily obtain. Information gaps filling: managing to make sense out of a piece of discourse, when encountering incoherence. For example (Widdowson, 1978, in Yule, 2010, p. 144):  HER: That’s the telephone.  HIM: I’m in the bath. No cohesive  HER: O.K. devices/ties, and yet coherent. How?
  • 16. Conversation Knowledge To interpret the conversation above, we need to possess knowledge of the followings:  Speech event: debate, lecture, interview, game, daily routine, etc.  Interlocutors (the speaker & the hearer): the social distance, interpersonal status, age, gender, etc.  Topic of a conversation  Setting wherein a conversation occurs or frame  Culturally specific factors
  • 17. Cohesion & Coherence Cohesion helps to create coherence. Cohesion does not entail coherence. Coherence can be made with/out cohesive ties/devices. Inappropriate cohesion usually results in incoherence. Think about: what are the other cohesive devices/mechanisms in English discourse?
  • 18. Sample analysis Take a look at the handout. Cohesive ties/devices
  • 19. Conversation Analysis The basic structure of a conversation: Turn(s)  The speaker and the hearer take TURNs talking.  one person speaks at one time, and the other listens, and then they switch places. For example:  A: Hello. (initiator) B: Hi. (response)  A: How are you? (initiator) B: Fine, thank you. (response) And you? (initiator) A: I’m fine. Thanks. (response)
  • 20. Conversation Analysis More example:  A: How are you doing? (initiator) B: Not good… Mr. Chen gave me an F. (response) A: That’s too bad. (follow-up, feedback or comment) Can you do anything to fix it? (initiator) B: I don’t know… (response) …
  • 21. Overlaps and interruptions Overlaps: when interlocutors speak at the same time; both take the turn For example (Yule, 2010, p. 145):  A: Didn’t you [ know wh- B: [ But he must’ve been there by two A: Yes but you knew where he was going overlap repair
  • 22. Pauses How do the interlocutors know when to take the turn? TRP (Turn Relevance Place) (Sacks, Schegloff, & Jefferson, 1974):  The end of a phrase, clause, or sentence  A falling in intonation  A perceivable/detectable pause, usually 0.2 seconds How about pauses that last longer than 0.2 seconds? Long pauses imply overtones.
  • 23. Pauses For example (in Culpeper et al., 2009, p. 503):  Mum: Helloo: Les: Oh hello how’re you? Mum: Very well thank you love and you? Les: Yes tha:nk you Mum: That’s good (0.5) Mum: We had torrential rain today (A new topic initiated) (Drew and Chilton, 2000, p. 145)
  • 24. Pauses For example (in Culpeper et al., 2009, p. 503):  Roger: Well it struck me funny (1.0) Al: ha, ha-ha-ha Ken: hh Roger: thank you (Jefferson, 1979)
  • 25. Filled pauses or pause fillers To keep the turn and imply to the other that the current speaker has more to say. For example (Yule, 2010, pp. 146-147)  X: well that film really was … [ wasn’t what he was good at  Y: [ when di-  X: I mean his other … em his later films were much more … er really more in the romantic style and that was more what what he was…you know…em best at doing  Y: so when did he make that one
  • 26. Adjacency pairs How does the current speaker know what to say to take a turn? Adjacency pairs: a turn that is expected or predicted to follow a previous one. For example:  Greeting – greeting/ignorance  Request – acceptance/rejection  Statement – agreement/disagreement  Question – response/ignorance What are the others?
  • 27. Adjacency pairs Practice (Yule, 2010, p. 152):  In conversation analysis, what is the difference between a “preferred” response and a “dispreferred” response? How would you characterize the responses by She in these two examples?  (i) HE: How about going for some coffee? SHE: Oh … eh … I’d love to … but you see … I … I’m supposed to get this thing finished … you know.  (ii) HE: I think she’s really sexy. SHE: Well … er … I’m not sure … you may be right … but you see … other people probably don’t go for all that … you know … all that makeup… so em sorry but
  • 28. The cooperative principle Assumption: interlocutors are cooperative in constructing a conversation “Gricean Maxiams”, by Paul Grice (Yule, 2010, p. 147):  The Quantity maxim: Make your contribution as informative as is required, but not more, or less, than is required.  The Quality maxim: Do not say that which you believe to be false or for which you lack adequate evidence.  The Relation maxim: Be relevant.  The Manner maxim: Be clear, brief and orderly.
  • 29. Flouts of Grice’s maxiams Examples (Culpeper et al., 2010, p. 215):  [A is working at a computer in library when she experience a problem.] A: Can you help me? B: Try the librarian. What is the implicature of B’s? What maxiam is flouted?
  • 30. Flouts of Grice’s maxiams Examples (Culpeper et al., 2010, p. 215):  [A, sensitive about his lack of progress in Italian, has just returned from an Italian evening class. B is his wife.] A: What did you do? B: This and that. What is the implicature of B’s? What maxiam is flouted?
  • 31. Flouts of Grice’s maxiams Examples (Culpeper et al., 2010, p. 215):  [Victor has been buried up to his neck in the back garden by an irate builder. His wife, Margaret, comes out and sees him.] A: What are you doing? B: I’m wallpapering the spare bedroom… What is the implicature of B’s? What maxiam is flouted?
  • 32. Flouts of Grice’s maxiams Examples (Culpeper et al., 2010, p. 215):  [E adores strawberries, and would willingly base her diet entirely on them. A and B, her parents, aim to restrict how frequently she eats them. A addresses B, with E in earshot.] A: Shall I get the you-know-whats out of the fridge? What is the implicature of B’s? What maxiam is flouted?
  • 33. The cooperative principle Practice (Yule, 2010, p. 152): Which maxim does this speaker seem to be particularly careful about? I may be mistaken, but I thought I saw a wedding ring on his finger. What is the implicature?
  • 34. Hedges What would you do if you did not deliberately flout any maxim of the cooperative principle, but you needed to? For example:  …kind/sort of…, as in You kind of don’t like her.  Some tag questions, such as You kind of like her, right?  Some formulaic expressions, such as as far as I know, I am not absolutely sure, but…, and Now, correct me if I were wrong… (Yule, 2010, p.148) Why do you think we need such expressions/forms?
  • 35. Hedges What would you do if you didn’t deliberately flout any maxim of the cooperative principle? We need them because:  We know that we need to be cooperative in conversation and that what I am going to say may flout the cooperative principle to some extent. Another way to say them: tone-downers A cover term for them is…?
  • 36. Implicatures and Inferences once again How does the speaker know how to imply and the hearer how to infer? Hedges and tone-downers can be a clue. Any “intentional/purposeful” violation of the cooperative principle can be another clue. The importance of backgroud knowledge.  For example: John is on his way to school. He is worrying about the English lesson this morning.  Who is John?
  • 37. Types of Backbround Knowledge In John’s example above, how do we know that what the sentences are about, what John does, and what could have happened?  Schemas/schemata: our conventional knowledge of something  For example: school, classroom, supermarket, bus, department store, airport…  Scripts: dynamic schemata/schemas.  For example: taking the train, traveling on an airplane, eating at a restaurant, talking to someone on the phone…
  • 38. Background Knowledge Practice: Yule (2010, p. 153, Task E) This is a version of a story described in Widdowson (2007). When most people first read this story, they find it confusing. Can you identify the source of this confusion in terms of background knowledge or assumptions?  A man and his son were crossing the street one day when a car suddenly came towards them and hit the boy, knocking him down. In less than ten minutes an ambulance came and took the boy to the nearest hospital. As the boy was being taken into the emergency room, one of the surgeons saw him and cried out, “Oh no. This is my son!”
  • 39. Conversation Analysis Sample conversation, from Culpeper et al. (2009)
  • 40. References Crystal, David. (2005). How language works: How babies babble, words change meaning, and language live or die. Penguin Books: London, U.K. Culpeper, J., Katamba, F., Kerswill, P., Wodak, R., & McEnery, T. (Eds.) (2009). English language: Description, variation and context. Palgrave Macmillan: Hampshire, England. Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language, 50, 696-735.

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