Context - discourse

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  • Discourse (any communication by thought or words; can be spoken or written)
    • Cohesion - this deals with how sentences link to each other
      • how we are able to tell that we are not just reading or listening to a  series of random sentences
    • Coherence - what makes a text semantically meaningful.
    • Back-channelling - non-verbal utterances to show attention or agreement such as: mmm
    • Discourse marker - this signals a shift in conversation and topic area such as: but
    • Fillers - non-verbal sounds that can act as pauses in speech such as: err
    • Hedging - a strategy used to avoid directness or minimise face-threatening acts. Such as: perhaps
    • False starts - when a speaker begins to speak, pauses, and then recommences speaking.
    • Skip connectors - a return to the previous topic of conversation
    • Fixed expressions - everyday sayings such as: as a matter of fact.
    • Vague expressions - non-committal expressions such as: that 'thing'
    • Ellipsis - where you shorten phrases/sentences to say them quicker. Such as: "just seen Jack" - removed "I've"
    • Tag questions - a sign of speaker support, uncertainty, or a request for clarification such as: you did really well, didn't you?
    • Deixis - words and phrases that can't be fully understood without additional contextual information
    • Non-fluency features - pauses, hesitations, and repititions that occur in speech
    • Initiation/Response/Feedback (IRF) - a structure in speech that allows the first speaker to feed back on the response of a second speaker such as: Hi, how are you?, "Fine, thank you! You?", "Yeah, pretty good".
    • Adjacency pairs - two utterances by different speakers which have a natural link together. Such as: "How are you?" "Fine thanks".
    • Exchange structure - a series of turns between speakers
    • Turn-taking - the sharing of speaking roles
    • Topic management - the control of the conversation in terms of speaking and topic
    • Transition relevance point - a point at which it is natural for another speaker to take a turn.


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