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Arbitrary Langugae - Ferdinand De Saussure

Languages are arbitrary because there is no necessary or natural relationship between the words and the concepts they represent. For example, there is nothing in the word "tree" that connects it to the concept of a tree. Also, languages are arbitrary because the rules for the combination of signs in order to produce complete thoughts are different from one language to the other, and no set of rules can claim to be correct. For example, in English you say "I like beer", whereas in Spanish you would say "Me gusta la cerveza". The translation from Spanish to English is something like, " Beer is agreeable to me", which sounds strange in English. Neither of these formulations has a better claim to accuracy, correctness or truth than the other making them arbitrary.

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Language And Gender Zimmerman and West

  reported in 11 mixed conversations, men used more interruptions that women and said this showed men use lang to dominate women. However Beattie points out interruptions could mean interest.

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Arbitrary Language Ferdinand De Saussure

  Languages are arbitrary because there is no necessary or natural relationship between the words and the concepts they represent. For example, there is nothing in the word "tree" that connects it to the concept of a tree. Also, languages are arbitrary because the rules for the combination of signs in order to produce complete thoughts are different from one language to the other, and no set of rules can claim to be correct.

For example, in English you say "I like beer", whereas in Spanish you would say "Me gusta la cerveza". The translation from Spanish to English is something like, " Beer is agreeable to me", which sounds strange in English. Neither of these formulations has a better claim to accuracy, correctness or truth than the other making them arbitrary.

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Language and Gender - Jennifer Coates

all female conversations fall into categories: house talk (exchange of info connected with female role as an occupation), scandal (judging behaviour of others), bitching (demonstrating anger of their inferior status), chatting (intimate form of gossip)

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Language and Gender - Pamela Fishman/Deborah Camer

mixed conversations fail because men fail to respond

women have been instructed in the proper ways of talking from a young age. Calls this acceptance of a ‘proper’ speech style as ‘verbal hygiene.’

to many men a complaint is a challenge to find a solution instead of offering sympathy

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Language and Power - Insturmential and Influencial

Instrumental = law, education, business, management: dominant ideologies, something we don’t have power over. Influential = advertising, politics, media, culture: inclines us to adopt a certain attitude

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Language and Power - Fairclough/Wareing

Power in discourse = actual lang used. Power behind discourse = context of lang. Lang itself can be powerful, e.g. ‘STOP’ but it depends on situation it’s used in. E.g teacher saying to a student compared to a policeman saying it to a runaway criminal.

Classified lang into groups – Political: held by police, law, politicians. Personal: those in power as a result of occupation, e.g. teacher. Social group: those in power as a result of social factors, e.g. class, gender age; usually middle aged men.

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Language and Power - Face Theory

positive face = need to be liked/respected, negative face = need not to be imposed on. Positive politeness strategies, e.g. shared dialect, informal lexis, more direct requests, to emphasise solidarity and address positive face needs. Negative politeness strategies, e.g. formal lexis and grammar, indirect requests, address ‘negative face’ concerns, often by acknowledging the other’s face is threatened. Anytime a person threatens another person’s face, the first person commits a “face-threatening act” (acts that infringe on the hearers’ need to maintain his/her self-esteem, and be respected.)

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Fairclough

Synthetic personalisation – made to feel like involved, like text/advert’s produced for you, by using personal pronouns etc. Creating an image of a text – makes you believe everything’s within your reach and easy. Building the consumer – builds a relationship with you, tries to get you in agreement with its ideologies.

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Positive and Negative Politeness

·         Politeness strategies are developed for the main purpose of dealing with these FTA’s. E.g, situation where saw a cup of pens on your teacher’s desk, and you wanted to use one, there’d be four different strategies you could use:

“Oh I want to use one” Bald On-Record strategy - this provides no effort to minimize threats to your teacher’s “face.”

“So, is it O.K. if I use one of those pens?” Positive Politeness strategy - in this situation you recognise that your teacher has a desire to be respected. It also confirms that the relationship is friendly and expresses group reciprocity.“I’m sorry to bother you but, I just wanted to ask you if I could use one of those pens?” Negative Politeness strategy - this is similar to Positive Politeness in that you recognise that they want to be respected however, you also assume that you are in some way imposing on them“Hmm, I sure could use a blue pen right now.” Off-Record indirect strategy. The main purpose here is to take some of the pressure off you. You are trying not to impose directly by asking for a pen; instead, you would rather it be offered to you once the teacher realizes you need one

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Language and Occupation Grices Maxims

Quality - this means that speakers should tell the truth, not say what they think false, or make statements without evidence.

Quantity - this means that speakers should be as informative as is required for conversation to proceed; say neither too little, nor too much.

Relevance - this means that speakers' contributions should relate clearly to the purpose of the exchange.

Manner - this means that speakers' contributions should be clear, orderly and brief, avoiding obscurity and ambiguity.

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Language and Occupation - Accommodation Theory

Convergence: moves speech closer to other person’s. Diverge: people’s speech styles move further apart. Downward convergence: RP speaker might tone down accent when in company of lower classes. Upward convergence: In a job interview a man with a strong accent might tone it down and move it closer to RP

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Language and Age

Coupland  observe that elderliness is often 'in the air' when talking to old people, sometimes as a source of pride ("100 next week and fit as a fiddle!") or as a reason for non-participation ("The garden's a mess but I'm not as young as I used to be..."). Younger people tend to encourage age as a topic of conversation, which leads Coupland to ask: "Are younger speakers prey to the expectation, which is still ultimately ageist, that their partner's being elderly makes elderliness available as a resource for their conversation?" If this is the case, it seems a risky assumption to make, since it could highlight the potentially embarrassing differences in mobility, activity and sometimes health between them and the old person. In other ways, younger people are likely to 'overaccommodate' in conversations with the elderly. They bend over backwards to agree with them, repeat what they say and avoid topics which highlight differences between them.

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