Examples of Spoken Language Features

  • Created by: lwilson23
  • Created on: 23-01-19 15:51


- the following is an example of discourse between husband and wife (Sally and Bill)

 S: 'well who's gonna look through the bin for it? (1.0)

 B: you? (.)

- interaction between grandparents and grandaughter (Emma is the child) 

 E: 'right wrap that one up' (.) - imperative may be seen as face-threatening, but this is more likely  to be due to Emma being younger in age and therefore not understanding the conventions of conversation. 

- Jeremy Paxman's interaction with Micheal Howard (repeated use of 'did you threaten to overrule him?') is a form of face-threat - forces Howard to answer the question.

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Accommodation (CONVERGENCE)

- COUPLAND'S travel agency study in Cardiff showed convergence in play. 

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Accommodation (DIVERGENCE)

- football supporters who follow different teams may emphasise the regional accent of the area of the team they support when in an argument with an oppostion fan. 

- when challenged on their Welsh accent in a linguistic study, Welsh speakers were found to broaden their Welsh accent or speak in a more aggressive tone once this happened, evidencing divergence. Some would even introduce Welsh words into their answers to the survey questions. 

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Flouting/Violation of the Maxims


A: 'Is Gail dating anyone these days? 

B: 'She goes to Cleveland every weekend. 


Joan: I’ve been dating this new guy for a while now, but I think I need to break up with him. He’s always late, he never has any money, and I think he was hitting on my roommate last night.

Ivan: (Uttered in a sarcastic tone) He’s a real keeper.

Ivan is speaking an untruth so is therefore flouting this Maxim. 

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Flouting/Violation of the Maxims Continued


George Costanza from Seinfeld's message on his answering machine: 'Believe it or not, George isn’t at home. Please leave a message after the beep. I must be out or I’d pick up the phone. Where could I be? Believe it or not, I’m not at home.'


Interviewer: Did the Government promise teachers a raise and not start any legal procedures about it? 

Spokesperson: I would not try to steer you away from that conclusion.

An attempt to save face and preserve public image

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Examples of Politeness


- paying compliments and showing signs of liking someone. 


- 'Professor, I was wondering if you could tell us about the Chamber of Secrets.'(Hermione in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

- 'Sorry to interrupt, but have you got the time?' 


- very much the same as the examples for positive and negative politeness, compliments, providing options and avoiding imposing on others. 

- 'it's entirely up to you' is an example of providing options. 

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