Interactional sociolinguistics


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Interactional sociolinguistics

  1. 1. Research in Textand Discourse inTESOL
  2. 2. A Group-led Interactive DiscussionManusha Nair A/P Balan, PGP 110048Kohila Vaani A/P Palaniappan, PGP 110059Hema Loshini Sivarajah, PGP 110058 PBGS 6343 TESL PROGRAM Faculty of Education University of Malaya Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico Facilitator
  3. 3. Interactional sociolinguistics• Focus on how people from differentcultures may share grammaticalknowledge of a language, butdifferently contextualize what is saidsuch that very different messages areproduced (Gumperz, 1982).
  4. 4. anthrolinguistic pology pragmatics InteractionalSociolinguistic
  5. 5. Pragmaticsomeaning in contextooutside of pragmatics, no understanding; sometimes, a pragmatic account is the only one that makes senseo Example (David Lodges Paradise News: 1992:65) S1: I just met the old Irishman and his son, coming out of the toilet. S2: I wouldnt have thought there was room for the two of them. S1: No silly, I mean I was coming out of the toilet. They were waiting.
  6. 6. Linguistics• The systematic study of the nature, structure, and variation of language.• It includes phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis
  7. 7. Anthropology studies of human societies and cultures and their development. examines aspects of human existence and accomplishments explores the entire panaroma of the human experience from human origins to contemporary forms of culture and social life Source:]
  8. 8. KEY THEORETICAL CONTRIBUTIONS Politeness (Goffman 1967) Contextualization Cues (Gumperz 1982) InteractionalSociolinguistics Framing (Bateson 1972) Conversational Inference (Gumperz 1982) Cross-Cultural Miscommunication (Gumperz 1982)
  9. 9. Politeness saves the hearers "face." (Goffman 1967)You see a cup of pens on your teachers desk and youwant to use one. Would you say:A) "Ooh, I want to use one of those!―B) "So, is it O.K. if I use one of those pens?"C) "Im sorry to bother you but, I just wanted to ask you if I could use one of those pens?"D) "Hmm, I sure could use a blue pen right now.― Source: Balaban, B. (n.d.). Politeness versus Manipulation. Retrieved February 25, 2012, from]
  10. 10.  Answer (A) : the Bald-On-Record strategy; no effort to minimize threats to your teacher’s "face‖.Answer (B) : the Positive Politeness strategy; you recognize that your teacher has a desire to be respected and it also confirms that the relationship is friendly and expresses group reciprocity.Answer (C) : the Negative Politeness strategy; you recognize that you are in some way imposing on her. Some other examples would be to say, "I dont want to bother you but..."Answer (D) : Off-Record/ Indirect strategy; trying not to directly impose by asking for a pen; you would rather it be offered to you once the teacher realizes you need one
  11. 11. Contextualization Cues (Gumperz 1982) signaling mechanisms used by speakers to indicate how they mean what they say recognized by listeners through conversational inference and interpreted through their own culturally- shaped background knowledge. prosodic (like intonation, stress, pitch register) paralinguistic (like tempo, pausing, hesitation) in nature(Gumperz, 1978, 1982a, 1982b, 1992a, 1992b, 1999b, 2001)
  12. 12. EXAMPLETEACHER: James, what does this word say?JAMES: I dont know. (with final rising intonation)  teacher interprets "I dont know" reply : James does not want to try to answer the question (Schiffrin, 1994a)  context in Jamess African-American community: rising intonation conveys the desire for encouragement. teacher is unable to retrieve the contextualization presuppositions needed to accurately interpret James’ use of rising intonation in his message from (Gumperz, 1982)
  13. 13. Framing(Batesons 1972) situational framing: based on the setting (e.g., school, workplace) functional framing -e.g., casual conversation or lecture o sub frames based on differing functions (e.g., telling a joke, telling a story) being accomplished within the larger function. tonal framing - tone chosen by conversation participants during interaction, (e.g., joking , sarcastic, or serious tone). self-imposed framing -i.e., the way each person frames him-/herself as intelligent, powerful, and trustworthy; the way people frame one another during the interaction, or other-imposed framing.
  14. 14. Conversational Inference (Gumperz 1982) participants activelypredict what comes next, based on the line of interpretation suggested by on-going talk as measured against prior interactive experience. Gumperzs view: speakers do not follow conversational rules, but are rather guided by interpretive norms which are continually reinforced or revised in the light of on-going interpretation. communicative functions of linguistic variability and its relation to speakers goals.
  15. 15. Cross-Cultural Miscommunication (Gumperz 1982) cross-cultural: interaction with persons of different cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation, religious, age and class backgrounds. cross-cultural communication  process of exchanging, negotiating, and mediating ones cultural differences through language, non-verbal gestures, and space relationships.  process by which people express their openness to an intercultural experience. (Clarke and Sanchez, 2001) examines causes of misunderstandings
  17. 17. Other ways of successful conversationa. Listeningb. Talking brieflyc. Talking confidentlyd. Using non-verbal communication to send message effectivelye. Taking care of language and jargonf. Creating a level of comfort
  18. 18. contains a wide array of understanding of speakers features: words, grammar, intentions, emotions,syntax, idioms, tone of voice, politeness, seriousness, emphasis, speed, emotion, character, beliefs, priorities, and body language motivations, and style of communicating Message from speaker to listener (Maltz and Borker, 1982)
  19. 19. Intercultural communicationLanguage, Code-power and switchinginstitutions Five major research trajectories (Gumperz) Discursive Language identity and construction gender
  20. 20. Code-switching use of more than one language, or language variety in conversationin a manner consistent with the syntax and phonology of each variety.occurs in a multilingual society like Malaysia and Singapore.speakers practice code-switching when they are each fluent in both languages considered a sub-standard language usage by many scholars
  21. 21. Spanish and English Codeswitch Lolita: Oh, I could stay with Ana? Marta: but you could ask papi and mami to see if you could come down. Lolita: OK. Marta: Ana, if I leave her here would you send her upstairs when you leave? Zentella: I’ll tell you exactly when I have to leave, at ten o’clock. Y son las nueve y cuarto. ("And it’s nine fifteen.") Marta: Lolita, te voy a dejar con Ana. ("I’m going to leave you with Ana.") Thank you, Ana.[Retrieved February 25, 2012, from]
  22. 22. Gumperz: Code switching & contextualization sociolinguistics, linguistic, anthropology, and the sociology of language. early work in northern India focused on Hindi and its range of dialects (Gumperz 1958, 1961, 1964a, 1964b) describes three levels – village dialects, regional dialects, and standard Hindi most male residents, who travel considerably, speak both the village and the regional dialect [Nilep, C. (2006, June). “Code Switching” in Sociocultural Linguistics, 19. Retrieved February 25, 2012, from]
  23. 23. Intercultural communication interpersonal interaction between members of different groups, which differ from each other in respect of the knowledge shared by their members and in respect of their linguistic forms of symbolic behaviour. (Knapp) seeks to understand how people from different countries and cultures behave, communicate and perceive the world around them.
  24. 24. Contribution of Interactional Sociolinguistics (IS) identifying causes of intercultural miscommunication uses of address terms - word/ phrase for the person being talked or written to. - what is considered proper and polite in one language may cause embarrassment or disrespect in another. Example: terms such as xiansheng and xiaojie (Mr. or Sir, Miss or Lady) carry different connotations in Chinese xiansheng and xiaojie are honorific titles Sir or Mr. - very common address form
  25. 25.  structuring information o modulate the presentation of the information in such a way as to relate that information to prior context. Example: “See you later” in the American context can mean “Ill see you again, sometime”; alternative way of saying goodbye but her neighbor from a different culture misunderstood and thought that her friend is going to meet her in a while.(Video)
  26. 26.  uses of pacing and pausing “I had a British friend who I thought never had anything to say (which was becoming rather annoying) until I learned that she was waiting for a pause To take her turn - a pause of a length that never occurred around me , Because before it did, I perceived an uncomfortable silence which I kindly headed of f by talking.‖ (Deborah Tannen) [Tannen, D. (n.d.). The Pragmatics of Cross-Cultural Communication . Retrieved February 19, 2012, from cultural_communication.pdf
  27. 27. Language and genderdifferences between forms of language used by women and those used by men. Women – higher involvement Men – lower involvement closer together farther apart more eye contact less eye contact more understanding checks fewer understanding checks more attention signals fewer attention signals shorter gaps longer gaps more overlap less overlap shorter turns longer turns more frequent speaker change less frequent speaker change less appeal to expert knowledge more appeal to expert knowledge [Norrick, N. R. (n.d.). Sociolinguistics. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from www.uni- ]
  28. 28. Discursive identity construction create and negotiate identities in interaction. o workplaces o educational settings o families o other social groups reveal the various linguistic means by which identities are constructed, make efforts at linking linguistic features with broader ideologies, and in general contribute to our understanding of how individuals use language to accomplish social goals
  29. 29. setting up the role of the father in family interaction as the judge of others’ activities (Ochs and Taylor, 1992a, 1992b, 2001)  Example: ―a father starts out more conversationally, asking if the daughter knows the time required to apply for a passport, and when she expresses her uncertainty, he quickly accuses her of not taking responsibility and expresses the concern he and her mother have about her inaction.‖  father reinforcing his hierarchical role as father and constructing his identity as a caring parent.‖ (Johnson, 2007) [Johnson, R. (2007). The Co-Construction of Roles and Patterns of Interaction in Family Discourse, 7 (2), 10-14. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from]
  30. 30. Language, power and institutions Focus on issues of dominance and inequality. Institutional encounters in which power is negotiated and exercised, like academic assessments, medical encounters, and courtroom interactions have also been examined by drawing on IS, although the focus of such analyses is not necessarily power. [VAN DIJK, T. A. (n.d). Structures of Discourse and Structures of Power. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from r.pdf]
  31. 31. METHODOLOGY Ethnographic component (observations of speakersin naturally-occurring contexts and participant-observation). Provides multiple Audio- and/or video-recording of interactions. perspectives on interaction, Detailed linguistic transcription of recorded which can beconversations. particularly insightful in Careful micro-analysis of conversational features in cases of cross-the context of the information gained through culturalethnography. (mis)communic ation. Post-recording interviews.
  32. 32. EFFECTS explores how language works; gains insights into the social processes through which individuals build and maintain - relationships - exercise power, project and negotiate identities - create communities. diverse cultural groups often understand and employ these cues differently. misunderstandings and conversational breakdown occur: when interactional participants have dissimilar ―contextualization conventions‖ (Gumperz, 1982a)—that is, different ways of conventionally using and interpreting contextualization cues contribute to larger social problems of ethnic stereotyping and differential access to information and opportunities.
  33. 33. “contribute to a more nuanced understanding of cultural differences and how these manifestinteraction, but also because they aim to educate the public about cultural aspects of communication.” [Gordon, C. (n.d.). Gumperz and Interactional Sociolinguistics. Retrieved February 19, 2012, from] [Retrieved February 27, 2012 from Q_4QKA]
  34. 34. REFERENCES Avruch, K. (n.d). Cross-Cultural Conflict. Retrieved February 19, 2012 from Bailey, B. (2008, July). Interactional Sociolinguistics. Retrieved February 20, 2012, from Balaban, B. (n.d.). Politeness versus Manipulation. Retrieved February 25, 2012, from] DuPraw, M. E. and Axner, M. (n.d). Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges. Retrieved February 19, 2012 from Gegeo, K. A. W. (n.d).Ethnography in ESL. Retrieved February 27, from Gumperz, John J. (1982). Discourse Strategies. Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  35. 35. Gumpers, J. J. and Gumpers, J. C. (n.d). Language and thecommunication of Social Identity. Retrieved February 19, 2012 from, R. J. (n.d.) A Multi-Layered Framework of Framing. RetrievedFebruary 19, 2012, from, B., Cleuziou, S., Demoule, J. P. & Encrevé, P. (2007). To appear inThe Origin and Evolution of Languages: Approaches,Models,Paradigms, ed. London: Equinox.Mufwene, S. S., (n.d). What do Creoles and Pidgins tell us about theevolution of language??? Retrieved February 25, from
  36. 36. Nilep, C. (2006, June). “Code Switching” in Sociocultural Linguistics, 19.Retrieved February 25, 2012, from in Interactional Studies. (n.d). Retrieved February 19, 2012, D. (n.d). Men and Women in Conversation is Cross-CulturalCommunication. Retrieved February 25, from, D. (1985). Handbook on discourse analysis: Cross-CulturalCommunication. London: Academic Press London
  37. 37. More ReferencesAbout Anthropology. [Retrieved February 25, 2012, from, Y. (2010, July). Cultural Differences in Chinese and AmericanAddress Forms, 2 (2), 82-83. Retrieved February 28, 2012, Misunderstanding. Retrieved February 27, 2012 from