Analysing Two Speaking Activities Essay

1956 words - 8 pages

Introduction:Discourse analysis is defined as (a) concerned with language use beyond the boundaries of a sentence/utterance, (b) concerned with the interrelationships between language and society and (c) as concerned with the interactive or dialogic properties of everyday communication. This is a quotation from M. Stubbs' textbook (Stubbs 1983:1).Conversation analysis (CA) offers an approach to discourse that has been extensively articulated by sociologists, beginning with Harold Garfinkel who developed the approach known as ethnomethodology , and then applied specifically to conversation. CA differs from other branches of sociology because rather than analyzing social order, it seeks to ...view middle of the document...

The other important cultural/religious issue in an Arab society is the selection of a female doctor to see a female patient and vice versa, as much as possible.The second conversation (C2) is a telephone interaction between two men (probably Australians). Mr Ross, the client and friend, is ringing Andrew to make another appointment for his visit and signing the contract. It seems that the Andrew and Ross are good friends as Ross is invited to Andrew's place to have lunch and sign the contract. The interaction is a variation on what would normally be expected of an appointment-making interaction. Because of their personal relationship, Andrew is very understanding of Ross's personal circumstances.D2 is primarily a pragmatically motivated interaction but it has a strong interpersonal dimension because of the relationship between the two men. The transactional purpose of making the appointment is mixed with some extra given information. This type of mixed personal and pragmatic interaction is more common when speakers share long friendship or in small communities where people are likely to meet socially as well as professionally.Speaking Turns:One central concept within conversation analysis is the speaking turn. According to Sacks et al. (1974 ), it takes two turns to have a conversation. Clearly, C1 uses natural turn taking; and the study of its patterns allows one to describe contextual variation, for example, the structural organisation of turns is laid out, starting with the doctor going straight into the subject, also, the speakers manage sequences as well as the internal design of turns. It is worth stating at the same time, that the principle of taking turns in speech is claimed to be general enough to be universal to talk and it is something that speakers normally attend to in interaction.Adjacency Pair:A second central concept that is apparent in the conversation is that of the adjacency pair. The basic idea is that turns minimally come in pairs and the first of a pair creates certain expectations which constrain the possibilities for a second. Examples of adjacency pairs in C1 is the question and answer segments. Adjacency pairs can further be characterised by the occurrence of preferred or dispreferred seconds. A frequently-used term in this respect is preference organisation.In formulating their present turn, the doctor and Mrs Smith show their understanding of the previous turn and reveal their expectations about the next turn to come. This is often singled out as conversation analysis's most important insight.Reference:With regard to 'reference', it is essentially a pragmatic theme. The focus is on how speakers establish various types of linkage between their utterances and elements in a situational context (e.g. objects, persons, etc.). C1 contains two different referring expressions that all realize the same referential intent: My son and he. C2 also contains two different referring expressions: Bob and you; Andrew and you.Thus, in...

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