Transcript Analysis and Mode Features

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Features Of A Transcript

Minimal response: Very short response that on it's own would offer little meaning.

Mirroring: Repeating something somebody else has literally just said (see convergance).

Recycling: When a speaker repeatedly uses the same words, suggests they are trying to enforce a point (rhetoric) or something is stuck on their minds.

Self-repair: Correcting something you've just said, could be indicated by a micropause and come after a false start.

Adjacency pairs: When an utterance is dependant on or would make no sense without the previous utterance.

Overlapping: Talking while somebody else is in a co-operative way.

Interruption: Talking while somebody else is in a more competative way, to try to become discourse leader. 

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Question Types

Open questions: Allow any number of answers as they cannot be answered "yes" or "no", they can be used to acquire feelings or opinions.

Closed questions: Can only be answered "yes" or "no" and are used to acquire information on specific topics

Leading question: When the answer is given in a question.

Tag questions: A statement with a question tagged at the end. These can be used politeness, emphasis or to be ironic, or to show nerves or confidence, or to be defensive or confrontational, it depends on the context. 

Declarative question: A declarative that becomes a question by the intonation of your voice, these are difficult to discern in a transcript alone however. 

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Goffman's "Face Theory"

  • States that we know how to behave in different situations. 
  • In co-operative conversation we protect each-other's face needs, in competitive conversation we purposefully challenge them, this is called facework.

After development by Brown and Levinson:

  • Positive face need: The desire to be accepted, liked and feel as though we belong.
  • Negative face need: The desire to feel independant and not imposed on.
  • Face Threatening Act (FTA): Any communication that challenges these needs or our conversational face.
  • Positive politeness: Using slang, dialect or non-standard lexis to feel in close proximity to eachother. Could be used so we don't appear overly intelligent or knowledgable to protect our positive face need. Terms of endearment are often used.
  • Negative politeness: Acknowledgement of the fact that we are imposing on someone, or showing that you know they don't like how you are communicating with them.
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Grice's "Co-operative Principle"

  • States that conversation always has a purpose and should therefore remain as purposeful as possible.
  • Maxim of Quality: We should always be truthful. Never talk about things you know little about, never state what you belive to be true, and never say something you know to be false.
  • Maxim of Quantity:We should consider how much information we give, only saying as much as required. The information shouldn't be overcomplicated and should be varied based on the context of the conversation.
  • Maxim of Relation: We should only give relevant information, trying not to forget the purpose of the conversation, and staying attentive.
  • Maxim of Manner: We should always be clear, so we shouldn't use ambiguous statements or obscure expressions. We should be ordered and brief.

Flouting: Purposefully avoiding a maxim for effect.

Violating: Breaking a maxim, but not for effect.

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Gile's "Communication Accommodation Theory"

  • People use their speech, vocal patterns and gestures to accommodate others when they interact. 

Convergance: Shifting your speech patterns to more closely resemble another person, this can include accent, pronunciation, syntax etc.

  • Attraction increases levels of convergence. 
  • Convergence is our desire to be socially accepted.

Upward Convergence: Converging to someone you percieve to be a higher audience.

Downward Convergence: Converging to someone you percieve to be a lower audience.

  •  Convergence can be percieved badly in the wrong situation, as it can appear patronising, false etc. This is called overaccommodation. 

Divergance: Putting emphasis on the difference between themselves and another, this isn't always an attack, but sometimes a method of strengthening personal identity. 

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Vague Language in Conversation

Vague tails- Used in spoken language to indicate the end of our turn, show we're feeling uncertain, or so that we don't appear overconfident. Examples are "...and stuff" or "...and that".

Vague language (time and measurements)- In spoken language, we use vague language when talking about time or measurements so we don't appear too certain, or because it sounds odd to be precise, we say things like "nine-ish" or "about six-foot".

Cliches and Collocations: Expressions such as "at the end of the day" and "she turned round to me and said" are common in spoken language as they create an informal tenor. 

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Mode Features

Written Mode: 

  • Permanent
  • Cohesive, fluent and technically accurate
  • Impersonal
  • Usually has a more formal tenor (could contain high lexical register, low frequency words)

Spoken Mode:

  • Ephemeral
  • Use of non-standard English
  • Personal
  • Usually has a more informal tenor (low lexical register, high frequency words)

Mixed Mode:

  • Semi-permanent
  • Can be technically accurate or use non-standard English
  • Can be personal or made to sound personal through "synthetic personalisation"
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