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Participants in Discourse:
Relationships, Roles, Identities
Mary Anne Colico
College of Liberal Arts and Communications
De...
Topics for Discussion:
Power and Community
Indexicality
Stance and Style
Social Roles and Participant Structure
Audie...
Participants in Discourse
Author/Speaker (active) - Decoder/Hearer (passive)
Incorrect interpretative strategies of the hearer
Correct interpretative strategies of the
hearer
Power and Community
Two important aspects of social relatedness
that are expressed and created in discourse are
power and ...
Power vs. Solidarity
Power – has to do with the respects in which
relationships are asymmetrical, with some
participants m...
Example: Asymmetric use of names and
address terms is often a clear indicator of a
power differential
o Teacher and studen...
Power and solidarity are both always at play in
any relationship (Tannen, 1994)
Power
Power comes with social status
Example:
US President has the power to declare war
Chairperson of a committee has t...
But power is also negotiable, as people compete for the
ability to make things happen.
Example:
 In US politics, the legi...
Power as an agency
Power is not necessarily dominance, but rather more
like agency: an individual’s ebbing and flowing
abi...
Thus, where there is power, there is
always resistance
We might not say certain things in
certain situations, but there is...
Speech community
Communities seen through the lens of
discourse have been called “speech
communities,” “discourse communit...
Indexicality
Indexicality – refer to “indexical forms” or
“indexicals” or “indexes” or “indices”
- these are strategies th...
Common ways of doing things with language,
such as telling stories (Johnstone, 1990),
having arguments (Schiffrin, 1984), ...
Stance and Style
Stance (or stancetaking) - the methods,
linguistic and other, by which interactants
create and signal rel...
Evidentiality and Affect
Early work focused on “evidentiality” and “affect”
(Biber and Finnegan, 1989)
Evidentiality – tex...
Evaluation
Hunston and Thompson (2000) have explored the
linguistics of “evaluation”
Evaluation – the expression of the sp...
Evaluation - Functions
According to Hunston and Thompson, evaluation has
three functions:
Expressing the opinion of the s...
Examples of language of evaluation:
Use of modals including might or could/
must or must not
Sentence adverbs such as “a...
Ochs (1992) models how particular linguistic
forms can index evidential stances such as
certainty, interpersonal stances s...
Stancetaking
Stancetaking can index social identities.
Example: the use of tag question may index
uncertainty or powerless...
Styles
Styles- repeated sets of stancetaking moves that became
stabilized repertoire associated with situations or social
...
Styles associated with a particular set of contextual factors
that confront a speaker with a particular set of rhetorical
...
Social Roles and Participant Structure
Common pair of discourse roles: Server and client
Example: service crew and custome...
One of the ways in which social identities and
discourse roles can be indexed is via forms
of address.
Choices include fir...
Every time a form of address is used, it helps
create, change or reaffirm a social
relationship, in addition to indexing a...
Choices among forms of address are complex
and often difficult.
Example:
“We’re all on a first-name basis around here” is ...
Discourse roles are indexed via choices of words to use
and what words to say
Note the difference of the two utterances:
a...
People create roles for one another and
reinforce the difference between roles as
they speak in ways their roles require.
...
Teacher: What does the food give you?
Student 1: Strength
Teacher: Not only strength, we have another
word for it.
Student...
Footing
One useful way of thinking about how people
orient to their own and others’ roles is in
terms of “footing” (Goffma...
A footing may be associated with a conventional
, named role such as “teacher” or
“journalist” or it may signal an alignme...
A person who utters a sentence may have one or more roles:
1) Principal – the person/group who has decided what to say
and...
Audience, Politeness and Accomodation
An audience may be imagined as a collection
of actual people or as an image in the m...
Politeness
As discourse is shaped by audience and speakers and
interlocutors have their social needs, both participants
be...
Lakoff claimed that:
Three rules must be balanced since they
cannot all be maximized at once
Example:
More formality = les...
“Positive-face” and “negative-face”
Politeness works in terms of “positive face” and
“negative face” (Brown and Levinson, ...
In social interactions, humans have social needs: the
need to be liked (positive face) and the need to be
respected (not b...
Involvement strategies – those that we use to
establish or maintain closeness with the
people with whom we are interacting...
Face strategies
Involvement strategies Independence strategies
Using first names or nicknames (Hey,
Rodders!)
Using title ...
Social Identity and Identification
Everyday interaction requires
“performances” Goffman (1959) of selves
strategically gea...
Social identities are associated with race,
gender, ethnicity and nationality.
Identities can be also associated with
part...
Social identities can be indexed by styles of
discourse.
Example: a person want to identify with a
certain category of wom...
Personal Identity: Discourse and the Self
This can involve adopting a consistent personal style, or
conversely, it can inv...
The Linguistic Individual in Discourse
Participants in discourse are individual human
beings therefore, discourse is funda...
References
Johnstone, B. (2008) Discourse Analysis, Second
Edition. USA:Blackwell Publishing.
Machin, D. & Mayr, A. (2012)...
Participants in Discourse
Participants in Discourse
Participants in Discourse
Participants in Discourse
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Participants in Discourse

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Participants in Discourse: Relationships, Roles, Identities

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Participants in Discourse

  1. 1. Participants in Discourse: Relationships, Roles, Identities Mary Anne Colico College of Liberal Arts and Communications Dela Salle University – Dasmariñas
  2. 2. Topics for Discussion: Power and Community Indexicality Stance and Style Social Roles and Participant Structure Audience, Politeness and Accomodation Social Identity and Identification Personal Identity: Discourse and the Self The Linguistic Individual in Discourse Reference: Johnstone, B. (2008) Discourse Analysis, Second Edition. USA:Blackwell Publishing.
  3. 3. Participants in Discourse Author/Speaker (active) - Decoder/Hearer (passive)
  4. 4. Incorrect interpretative strategies of the hearer
  5. 5. Correct interpretative strategies of the hearer
  6. 6. Power and Community Two important aspects of social relatedness that are expressed and created in discourse are power and solidarity.
  7. 7. Power vs. Solidarity Power – has to do with the respects in which relationships are asymmetrical, with some participants more able than others to shape what occurs or how it is interpreted. Solidarity – has to do with relatively symmetrical aspects of human relationships.
  8. 8. Example: Asymmetric use of names and address terms is often a clear indicator of a power differential o Teacher and student o In the past, white people addressing black people o People addressing the Queen or the President
  9. 9. Power and solidarity are both always at play in any relationship (Tannen, 1994)
  10. 10. Power Power comes with social status Example: US President has the power to declare war Chairperson of a committee has the power to adjourn a meeting Some religious leader has a power to decide a marriage *The examples are power which is institutionally defined.
  11. 11. But power is also negotiable, as people compete for the ability to make things happen. Example:  In US politics, the legislature can and does try to limit the President’s power to declare war  Other committee members can suggest that the chair adjourn a meeting, or they can cause a de facto adjournment by simply getting up and leaving. *The examples are situationally negotiated power
  12. 12. Power as an agency Power is not necessarily dominance, but rather more like agency: an individual’s ebbing and flowing ability to shape the activity at hand. Institutionally conferred power and situationally negotiated power are often both in play. Power not ‘held’ by one person or group forever, but exists as a circuit, or something to be ‘exercised’ by each of us in different situations.
  13. 13. Thus, where there is power, there is always resistance We might not say certain things in certain situations, but there is always the potential for us to do so So, by ‘breaking the rules’ we have the potential to re-define the limits of discourse By playing by the rules, we re-affirm the ‘truth’ in discourse This re-definition of the limits of discourse is what is productive about power: it enables us to redefine ‘truth’ and what is valid (and valuable)
  14. 14. Speech community Communities seen through the lens of discourse have been called “speech communities,” “discourse communities,” or “communities of practice.” “Discourse community” might be constituted by a group of people who regularly talk to one another about a particular topic or in a particular situation Example: researchers in an academic discipline Staff of a company
  15. 15. Indexicality Indexicality – refer to “indexical forms” or “indexicals” or “indexes” or “indices” - these are strategies that people use to set social alignment which is relevant at the moment Indexical form is a linguistic form or action points to and helps establish “social” meaning Example: engaging in joint discourse activity can index - that is create/ affirm – shared membership in a “community of practice”
  16. 16. Common ways of doing things with language, such as telling stories (Johnstone, 1990), having arguments (Schiffrin, 1984), or following the necessary events in an airplane cockpit (Neville, 2006) can index common affiliation. All of these modes of indexicality can function both signals of group solidarity and claims to group membership.
  17. 17. Stance and Style Stance (or stancetaking) - the methods, linguistic and other, by which interactants create and signal relationships with the propositions they utter and with the people they interact with.
  18. 18. Evidentiality and Affect Early work focused on “evidentiality” and “affect” (Biber and Finnegan, 1989) Evidentiality – textual feature that signal the speaker’s knowledge and their degree of certainty Affect – speaker’s attitude about the propositions they utter
  19. 19. Evaluation Hunston and Thompson (2000) have explored the linguistics of “evaluation” Evaluation – the expression of the speaker or writer’s attitude or stance, viewpoint on, or feelings about the entities or propositions that he or she is talking about.
  20. 20. Evaluation - Functions According to Hunston and Thompson, evaluation has three functions: Expressing the opinion of the speaker/writer vis-à-vis the propositions being expressed Manipulating the hearer/ reader’s attitude vis-à-vis these propositions Organizing the discourse
  21. 21. Examples of language of evaluation: Use of modals including might or could/ must or must not Sentence adverbs such as “apparently” or “in my opinion” Conjunctions and structures
  22. 22. Ochs (1992) models how particular linguistic forms can index evidential stances such as certainty, interpersonal stances such as friendliness or intensity, or social identities such as gender. Example: the phrase “I believe…”
  23. 23. Stancetaking Stancetaking can index social identities. Example: the use of tag question may index uncertainty or powerless interactional identity. So, a witness in court might use more tag questions than the attorney questioning her (O’Barr and Atkins, 1980; Conley and O’Barr, 1998) or a student might use more tag questions than the teacher.
  24. 24. Styles Styles- repeated sets of stancetaking moves that became stabilized repertoire associated with situations or social identities. Style associated with participant roles are sometimes referred to under the rubric of “footing.” Style associated with socio-demographic identity is sometimes referred to as a “dialect” or a “variety” or “accents” Example: a person’s style in talk among peers is different from person’s style when reading aloud in front of the strangers
  25. 25. Styles associated with a particular set of contextual factors that confront a speaker with a particular set of rhetorical requirements are sometimes called “registers” (Biber and Finnegan, 1994, Finnegan and Biber, 2001). Register – is usually defined as a set of lexical (vocabulary) and grammatical features that help to identify discourse that occurs in a particular recurrent situation Example: legal language or “legalese” or a set of words, structural choices and interactional patterns that tend to occur in discourse in legal situations (Melinkoff, 1963; Bowers, 1989; Bhatia, 1993)
  26. 26. Social Roles and Participant Structure Common pair of discourse roles: Server and client Example: service crew and customer teacher and student parent and child
  27. 27. One of the ways in which social identities and discourse roles can be indexed is via forms of address. Choices include first name or nickname; last name only; title plus last name; title only; terms for family members like Dad, Mom, Sis or quasi-family members; or numerous forms like luv, honey, bro, sweetie, old man, mate and so on.
  28. 28. Every time a form of address is used, it helps create, change or reaffirm a social relationship, in addition to indexing a set of conventional expectations. Example: a student is expected to call his/her teacher by “Ma’am” or “Sir” in a conventional way
  29. 29. Choices among forms of address are complex and often difficult. Example: “We’re all on a first-name basis around here” is never simply a statement of fact, but an attempt to shape the beliefs and behaviors of others.
  30. 30. Discourse roles are indexed via choices of words to use and what words to say Note the difference of the two utterances: a) (a teacher in school) Well, today I thought we’d do three quizzes b) (in casual conversation) Well, today I thought we’d talk about my Holiday in France The first utterance is fairly usual because the teacher is expected to decide interactions while the second one might be rude.
  31. 31. People create roles for one another and reinforce the difference between roles as they speak in ways their roles require. Example: teacher and students Teachers only exist because there are students, and vice versa.
  32. 32. Teacher: What does the food give you? Student 1: Strength Teacher: Not only strength, we have another word for it. Student 2: Energy. Teacher: Good girl, energy, yes.
  33. 33. Footing One useful way of thinking about how people orient to their own and others’ roles is in terms of “footing” (Goffman, 1981 [1979]). For Erving Goffman: “ a change in footing implies a change in the alignment we take up to ourselves and the others present as expressed in the way we manage the production or reception of an utterance.”
  34. 34. A footing may be associated with a conventional , named role such as “teacher” or “journalist” or it may signal an alignment to gender. Shifts in linguistic style can index shifts in footing. Example: a bilingual interpreter in a beauty pageant who acts as an interpreter between the contestant and the interviewer *Subtle shifts in footing can cause trouble in interaction.
  35. 35. A person who utters a sentence may have one or more roles: 1) Principal – the person/group who has decided what to say and responsible for its having been said; or 2) Author- the person who planned the actual words; or 3) Animator – the person who wrote down or spoke the words Example: a speech writer for a politician Principal: politician Author: speech writer Animator: Politician/ spokesperson
  36. 36. Audience, Politeness and Accomodation An audience may be imagined as a collection of actual people or as an image in the mind of a speaker or a writer. Audience may be passive listeners or active co- participants in the meaning making process of discourse Example: jointly constructed, highly interactive discourse is highly valued and audience is considered as co-authors
  37. 37. Politeness As discourse is shaped by audience and speakers and interlocutors have their social needs, both participants behave according to the “rules” to proceed with smooth interaction. These rules are Lakoff’s three “rules of politeness” (1973, 1974b): 1) Formality (Distance): Do not impose on others; be sufficiently aloof. 2) Hesitancy (Deference): Allow the addressee options about whether or not to respond and about how to respond 3) Equality (Camaraderie): Act as if you and the addressee are equal; make the addressee feel good
  38. 38. Lakoff claimed that: Three rules must be balanced since they cannot all be maximized at once Example: More formality = less equality/ camaraderie More equality = less hesitancy Speech act or behavior may be perceived as rude, odd inappropriate when the balance is off. Hence, a misunderstanding may result in an interaction.
  39. 39. “Positive-face” and “negative-face” Politeness works in terms of “positive face” and “negative face” (Brown and Levinson, 1987). Face is defined as “the negotiated public image mutually granted to each other by participants in a communicative event” (Scollon et al, 2012).
  40. 40. In social interactions, humans have social needs: the need to be liked (positive face) and the need to be respected (not being imposed on - referred to as negative face) Whenever a “Face-Threatening Act” or FTA must be performed – a speech action which poses a threat to addressee’s positive or negative face – speakers must employ strategies that mitigate or redress the threat
  41. 41. Involvement strategies – those that we use to establish or maintain closeness with the people with whom we are interacting – to show them that we consider them as friends. Independence strategies - those that we use to establish or maintain distance from the people with whom we are interacting either because we are not friends or we want to show them respect by not imposing on them
  42. 42. Face strategies Involvement strategies Independence strategies Using first names or nicknames (Hey, Rodders!) Using title (Good afternoon, Professor Jones.) Expressing interest (What have you been up to lately?) Apologising (I’m terribly sorry to bother you.) Claiming a common point of view (I know exactly what you mean.) Admitting differences (Of course, you know much more about it than I do) Making assumptions (I know you have lots of sugar in your coffee.) Not making assumptions (How would you like your coffee today?) Using informal language (Gotta minute?) Using formal language (Pardon me, can you spare a few moments?) Being direct (Will you come?) Being indirect and hedging (I wonder if you might possibly drop by.) Being optimistic (I’m sure you’ll have a great time.) Being pessimistic (I’m afraid you’ll find it a bit boring.) Being voluble (talking a lot) Being taciturn (not talking much) Talking about ‘us’ Talking about things other than ‘us’
  43. 43. Social Identity and Identification Everyday interaction requires “performances” Goffman (1959) of selves strategically geared to interactional demands at hand. The term “identity” has been used to describe these performances. Identity refers to the outcome of processes by which people index their similarity to and difference from others (the process might be called “identification)
  44. 44. Social identities are associated with race, gender, ethnicity and nationality. Identities can be also associated with participant role in discourse like author or overhearer, or social cliques in some school.
  45. 45. Social identities can be indexed by styles of discourse. Example: a person want to identify with a certain category of women, she (or he) can adopt ways of talking that are conventionally associated with this group
  46. 46. Personal Identity: Discourse and the Self This can involve adopting a consistent personal style, or conversely, it can involve calling attention to the fact that one is always flexible, across modes of behavior and situations (Johnstone, 1996). Three characteristics of personal identity (Linde, 1993): 1) Represent the experience of continuity of the self over time 2) Represent the relationship of the self to others 3) Represent the experience of one’s own life as a meaningful whole.
  47. 47. The Linguistic Individual in Discourse Participants in discourse are individual human beings therefore, discourse is fundamentally creative. Creative, because no two people speak the same language and humans are individual agents. Different people experience the world through different eyes, different bodies; they have different stories. Concepts of the self vary widely across cultures and others have free will to make their moral choices.
  48. 48. References Johnstone, B. (2008) Discourse Analysis, Second Edition. USA:Blackwell Publishing. Machin, D. & Mayr, A. (2012) How to Do Critical Discourse Analysis A Multimodal Introduction. London: Sage. Jones, R. (2012) Discourse analysis: a resource book for students. London and New York: Routledge

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