AQA AS English Language Theorists

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  • Created by: livclev
  • Created on: 07-06-16 12:24

Sinclair & Coultard (1977, power and occupation)

According to Sinclair & Coultard, teacher talk serves three main functions:

  • Informative- 'the seat of government in Holland is The Hague'
  • Directive- 'I want you to mark on your maps the capital of Holland'
  • Elicitation- 'What's the capital of Holland?'

In the second two areas, teachers use various strategies to impose their authority. Directives are interesting because they are often syntactically disguised: 

  • 'I'd like you to find page 46' (declarative)
  • 'Can you find page 46?' (interrogative)
  • 'Turn to page 46, please' (imperative)

Elicitation exchanges are structurally different from those in ordinary conversation and follow a three part patter: teacher elicits, pupil replies, teacher gives feedback. A teacher will have several techniques for eliciting information from pupils.

Successful teachers follow: Initiation, Response, Feedback (IRF)

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Rquiya Hasan (power and occupation)

It is worth considering the structure of service encounters. Linguist Rquiya Hasan considers them to e a genre in their own right, and argues that they have an obligatory generic structure. Here is a typical service encounter:

Waitress: Hello, are you ready to order?

Customer: Yes. We'd like one scampi and chips and a rump steak with salad. 

Waitress: How would you like the steak done?

Customer: Medium rare please.

Of course, not every service encounter is identical. As well as displaying obligatory generic features, you will also notice optional elements. 

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Koester (2004, power and occupation)

Phatic talk is very important in getting jobs done, since workers need to establish interpersonal relationships and have interactions that are not just about work related procedures. Koester believes that interpersonal relationships are important at work in order to complete tasks. 

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Fairclough (2001, power and occupation)

When a conversation takes place, there is a powerful participant and a less powerful participant. Normal rules of turn taking do not apply, because the powerful participant will constrain the less powerful participant. 

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Holmes & Stubbe (power and occupation)

In the workplace, superiors can use imperative utterances and, due to their powerful position, there is less danger of a face threatening act. 

In a wokrplace, superiors use phatic talk to build a relationship with their subordinates. However, this use of phatic talk is controlled by the the superior. 

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Wareing (1999, power and occupation)

Wareing classified types of power: 

  • Policitical power- this is held by politicians, the police and those working within the law.
  • Personal power- this is held as a result of occupation or role, such as teachers, managers or parents.
  • Social group power- this is held as a result of social variables (demographics), such as age, gender and class.
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