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Conversational Theory Ben Franks. Accommodation Theory Part One.

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Presentation on theme: "Conversational Theory Ben Franks. Accommodation Theory Part One."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conversational Theory Ben Franks

2 Accommodation Theory Part One

3 From a research study summary cited to Giles and Wiemann (1987) & Street and Giles (1982) it stated that: When we talk with other people, we will tend to subconsciously change our style of speech (accent, rate, types of words, etc.) towards the style used by the listener. We also tend to match non-verbal behaviours. In Short

4 The Summary goes on to say: The Accommodation theory signals agreement and liking. It should create greater rapport and them such that they approve of us more. However… The reverse also happens: people deliberately assert their identity by speaking and acting differently from the other person. Reference: Furthermore…

5 Grices Maxims & More Part Two

6 What is meant by the term maxim? It is a saying that is widely accepted by its own merits in a literal denotation sense. However Conversational Maxims are the widely accepted necessities to a good conversation as written by English language theorist Paul Grice. DEFINITIONS ACCORDING TO WEB DEF ON GOOGLE.CO.UK First things first…

7 4 Paul Grice, English Language philosopher, noted the following 4 maxims of conversation: Relevance: speakers' contributions should relate clearly to the purpose of the exchange Quality speakers should be truthful and not make statements without evidence Quantity a contribution should be as informative as is required for the conversation to proceed; neither too much nor too little Manner speakers' contributions should be perspicuous: clear, orderly and brief, avoiding obscurity and ambiguity A Little Run-down of Grices Maxims According to

8 According to s Linguistics Glossary, Grices theory – written down in 1975 – states participants expect that each will make a conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange. Its a Matter of Principle

9 Flouting the Maxims Part Three

10 Grice Grice found it interesting when people ignored the maxims of conversation and wrote about it under the term: Flouting the Maxims For Example: Michael Caine: Fancy a game of tennis? Morgan Freeman: Its raining. This violates the maxim of relevance on the surface because it indirectly answers the question. Maxims? Ha!

11 Goffman: Face & Politeness Part Four

12 Erving Goffman wrote in 1963 about a term he named face. It stated: FACE: in reference to how people present themselves in social situations and that our entire reality is constructed through our social interactions Meaning that when presented with the term politeness we are said to be preventing or saving face and summarises that: Face is a mask that changes depending on the audience and the social interaction Back in the 60s… ACCORDING TO MILLS, 2003. Published to

13 …Which is similar to the Accommodation theory.

14 Positive & Negative Politeness Part Five

15 Brown and Levison, writing in 1987, criticised and enhanced Goffmans 1960s research by summarising that: Positive Face was: the want of every member that his wants be desirable to at least some others OR the positive consistent self- image or 'personality by interactants. Negative Face was: the basic claim to territories, personal preserves, rights to non-distraction; the freedom of action and freedom from imposition Face: it works both ways

16 Robin Lakoff: Politeness Principle Part Six

17 Robin Lakoff wrote in 1973 of the Politeness Principle and divided it into a trilogy of Maxims dont impose give options make your receiver feel good …explanation Lakoffs Maxims

18 Robin Lakoffs first maxim – dont impose – can be explained in this example: I am sorry to bother you, but… There is a clear apology for imposing which shows the participant has acknowledged the first maxim of the Politeness Principle. Dont Impose… please

19 Robin Lakoffs second maxim – give options – can be explained in this example: I wonder if you could possibly… There is a clear option for acceptance or refusal which shows the participant has acknowledged the second maxim of the Politeness Principle. Give options… would you mind?

20 Robin Lakoffs third maxim – make your receiver feel good – can be explained in this example: Beyoncé: Do I look big in this? Borat: No, it suits you. OR [To] New friend: You are great with people. Make your receiver feel good

21 Gender & Conversational Behaviour Part Seven

22 Fishman led a piece of research in the 1970s, joining up with Zimmerman and West on a couple of occasions, into the difference between genders during conversation. It found that in conversation, males tended to be more direct and subconsciously ignore the maxims of the politeness principle in favour of the maxims of the conversation principle, valuing getting the point across more so. Whereas females tended to be more indirect, valuing the politeness principles maxims and not worrying so much about conveying intended point. Fishman, Zimmerman & West walk into a bar… Language & Gender According to Jennifer Coates in: Language & Gender

23 Thank you for listening! This Presentation Was Sponsored by: | Your Net Generation eMag

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