- Created by: lwilson23
- Created on: 21-01-19 15:53
Accommodation Theory (Howard Giles - 1970s)
- posited that we adjust our speech to ACCOMMODATE to the person we are speaking to. Two types:
- Convergence - where the speaker's speech styles move closer in discourse.
- Divergence - where the speaker's speech styles move apart in discourse.
CONVERGENCE may be UPWARD, DOWNWARD or MUTUAL in nature:
- upward = regional speaker uses more RP (receieved pronunciation) when in presence of upper-class speaker.
- downward = the inverse of this.
- mutual = convergence occurs in an equal manner - same distance covered by both speakers.
- upward convergence is found to be more common than downward convergence.
- COUPLAND used a study of a woman in a Cardiff travel agency as evidence for convergence occuring, as she mirrored the speech styles of her customers in order to decrease the social distance between them and therefore guarantee a sale.
Grice's Maxims/The Co-operative Principle (1975)
- Grice identified that CO-OPERATION is the most important aspect of a successful conversation as speakers work together to achieve their own personal goals and agendas.
- to do this they abide by four maxims, which are as follows:
1- Maxim of Quantity - speaker should say no more or less than is required.
2- Maxim of Relevance - discourse should remain relevant to the overarching topic.
3 - Maxim of Quality - speakers should always be truthful in conversation.
4 - Maxim of Manner - speakers should avoid ambiguity and obscurity in their speech.
- these maxims may sometimes be FLOUTED (whether consciously or not) - if a speaker is aware they are going to flout they may intend to minimise the impact this has on conversation through their discourse ("I'll try to be brief"/"Sorry to repeat myself, but" etc.).
- flouting may occur in order to be POLITE ('white lies' etc.).
Brown and Levinson and Politeness (1987)
- politeness defined as sensitivity towards others, and may be exemplified via appropriate forms of address, appropriate degrees of formality, regards to the relationship between speakers etc.
- Brown and Levinson categorised politeness into two different types, POSITIVE and NEGATIVE:
- POSITIVE - showing signs of liking and admiring a person (paying compliments etc.)
- NEGATIVE - intentionally avoiding the affairs of others ('excuse me...' etc.)
- there are cultural differences between the type of politeness displayed. Britain, for example, tends to be stereotyped as placing greater emphasis on negative politeness than positive politeness.
Robin Lakoff and The Politeness Principle (1973)
- Lakoff stated conversation was governed by three politeness principles:
- Don't impose - has similarities with negative politeness.
- Provide options - avoid putting pressure on someone to answer a certain way.
- Make the receiver feel good - flatter and appreciate other people.
Irving Goffman and Face Theory (1955)
- proposes the idea that the world is a stage and we are all actors on that stage, who all present a self-image to other people known as a 'face'.
- this image may be different for different audiences.
- face may be 'lost' or 'saved' dependent on the conversation.
- another person's face is generally accepted, but when this doesn't occur and it is REJECTED instead it is labelled by Goffman as a FACE-THREATENING ACT (e.g. 'you don't know what you're talking about').
- face work is often seen as a way of maintaining status in conversation.
Roman Jakobson's Functions of Language
- Jakobson proposed 6 functions of communication:
- 1 - the REFERENTIAL function - descriptive in nature.
- 2 - the EMOTIVE function - expressions used for emotive effect in language.
- 3 - the CONATIVE function - concerned with commanding (imperatives).
- 4 - the POETIC function - how eloquent one chooses to be in speech.
- 5 - the PHATIC function - opening conversation for the sake of it (small talk).
- 6 - the METALINGUAL function - requires language analysis.
Austin's Speech Act Theory
- this theory attempts to trace how different meanings are formed in context. Once again - a three-part framework is proposed:
- LOCUTION - the precise words (literal meaning) a speaker actually speaks.
- ILLOCUTION - the intended meaning of the utterances.
- PERLOCUTION - the perceived meaning of the words spoken.
Factors Affecting Differences in Speech
- when analysing spoken language and drawing comparisons between two transcripts, six aspects should be considered:
- Speaker identity/relationships - factors such as ethnicity, gender, age, social circle and relationship between the speakers may affect speech.
- Context - the aspects surrounding the conversation taking place.
- Audience - similar to relationships between speakers, only with the added note of looking for both convergence and divergence in their speech patterns dependent on who is being spoken to.
- Setting - different settings can create varying degrees of formality (a classroom setting compared to a living room setting for instance).
- Topic - often affect the semantic fields and possibly the tone of the conversation.
- Purpose - refers to the functions of spoken language - what does each speaker hope to achieve through their utterances?
Register and Formality in Language
- register helps to clarify the link between language use and context, and is split into three distinct sections:
- FIELD - what the topic is about (the field of activity) - will often have close links with jargon. The general subject matter of a conversation or piece of text.
- TENOR - the social relationship enacted in a text/transcript - has links with linguistic principles such as politeness and degrees of formality.
- MODE - the means used for communication (may be written, spoken or multi-modal).
- formality occurs on a spectrum ranging from informal to excessively formal, with the degree of formality varying dependent on situation.
Participation Framewrks/Production Fts (Goffman)
- participation frameworks is the study of the way in which different people interact (and the roles they take in conversation) in different situations.
- production formats entail the different ways in which a speaker can be considered:
- ANIMATOR - the person through which the utterances are made.
- AUTHOR - the individual who composes the words spoken by the animator.
- PRINCIPAL - the individual or party whose beliefs are represented by the words uttered.