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Activity based Communication Analysis Jens Allwood SCCIIL Cognition and Communication University of Gothenburg Learning and Communication University of.

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1 Activity based Communication Analysis Jens Allwood SCCIIL Cognition and Communication University of Gothenburg Learning and Communication University of Jönköping

2 Agenda Why interesting? Sources of variation in communication Inspiration - Wittgenstein, Peirce What is activity based communication analysis (ACA)? Social activity, Coactivation, Communication Activity perspectives: Collective – individual, Global – local, Influencing – influenced Data base Describing a social activity from the point of view of communication Generic properties of language Activity properties Degrees of similarity between activities Taxonomic possibilities Simultaneous activities Some conclusions

3 Why interesting? Getting clearer on the nature of language and linguistic variation Getting a picture of what communication is typical of a particular social activity and of how communication varies between social activities can be very useful for creating virtual versions of those activities

4 Kollegium SSKKII SCCIIL Interdisciplinary Center Sources of variation in culture, communication and language Mostly they are combined in actual communication

5 Terms for variation in communication and language (Idiolect, dialect, sociolect, language) Language of children, teen agers, males, females, adults, elderly Professional, religious, organizational language Register, Genre, Style, Activity based communication

6 Inspiration- Wittgenstein, Peirce Wittgenstein, Peirce Malinovski Gardiner

7 What is activity based communication analysis (ACA)? Communication Coactivation Social activity Should cover Multimodal communication and cognition (culture) Several levels of intentionality and awareness But today my examples only transcribed vocal verbal utterances

8 What is communication? Communication = def. sharing of old or new factual, emotive and conative aspects of cognition through coactivation and coconstruction of content, information or understanding as a part of and means for joint social activities involving coordination, collaboration and/or cooperation Often multimodal and interactive

9 Coactivation ”coactivation”, referring to basic attunement processes in communication involves sharing of resources between production and perception, making it possible to reuse for perception what has been produced and to reuse for production what has been perceived. Face-to-face communication involves a continuous flow of information. This flow can be multidirectional but is at least bidirectional, involving at least one person A, speaking and gesturing, while his/her words and gestures are activating reactions, interpretations and responses from his/her co- communicators. These reactions and responses can be both simultaneous and sequential to A’s communication, forming a multidirectional flow of information between the mainly contributing communicator and the other communicators.

10 Coactivation ”Coactivation”, one of many terms to describe the mutual attunement between participants on several levels of intentionality and awareness low degree of awareness and intentional control, like: synchronization, entrainment, adaptation, priming, imitation, mimicry, echoing, matching, harmonizing, and contagion higher levels of awareness and intentional control: alignment, sharing, accommodation, coordination, and conveyance.

11 S OCIAL A CTIVITY A social activity is a (i) coordinated interaction between two or more persons, (ii) oriented to a common purpose which can be (iii) conventionalized (concerning exhibited behavior, expectations and interpretations, use of artifacts and environment) and often is, (iv) conventionally connected to an already existing linguistic label. The first condition alone is necessary and sufficient for something to be a social activity in the broadest sense. The other conditions give rise to: purposeful social activities conventionalized social activities linguistically labeled social activities Activity Based Communication Analysis works most easily for activities which satisfy all these requirements. Activity = collective interaction with a particular function or purpose, often with conventionalized regulated means and roles.

12 Activity perspectives Collective (all participants) – individual (single participants), Global (entire activity) – local (part of the activity), Influencing (purpose/function, roles, artifacts/instruments, social/physical environment) – influenced (features of communication)

13 Data base - Activity analysis View of communication as coactivation and sharing in social activities with culture bound functional orientations (1, 5 million words, 1925 speakers, 386 speakers) GSLC Activity types Arranged discussionsAuction Bus driver/passengerChurch ConsultationCourt, DinnerDiscussion Factory conversationFirst acquaintance Formal meeting, Games & play Hearing, CommitteeHotel Informal conversationInterview LectureMarket MeetingPhone Political debateRetelling of article Role playShop Task-oriented dialogue Therapy Trade fairTravel agency TV

14 Interactive dialog - what kind of activity is it? Original (Swedish)English translation Customer 1 :hupC1: hup Agent 1: [1 (j)a]1A1: [1 yeah]1 Customer 2: [1 ö:m]1 // flyg ti(ll) parisC2: [1 uhm]1 // flights to paris Agent 2: mm ska [2 du ha]2 en returbiljettA2: uhu do [2 you want]2 a return ticket Customer 3: [2 ö.(h)]2 C3: [2 u(h)m]2 Customer 4: va sa duC4: what did you say Agent 3: ska du ha en tur å returA3: do you want a round trip Customer 5: ja ö(h)C5: yes uhm Agent 4: // vi{l}ken månad ska du åkaA4: // which month are you going Customer 6: ja: typ den: ä:{h} tredje fjärde aprilC6: yes like uhm the third fourth of [3 nån ]3 gång där så billi{g}t april [3 some]3 time there as cheaply [4 som möjli{g}t ]4[4 as possible]4 Agent 5: [3 mm ]3 A5: [3 uhu]3 Agent 6: [4 ja just ]4 de{t} jo / A6: [4 yes exactly]4 well/ I (ha)ve de{t} ha{r} ja{g} aldri{g} hört /never heard that before/ the cheapest förr de{t} billi{g}aste vi har e: air we have is air france one thousand france ettusenåttahundratie / [5 plus ]5eight hundred and ten/ [5plus]5 air port flygplatsskatter så du hamnar pÅ:taxes you will pay yeah you can get the {j}a du kan få exakt vänta ska exact sum wait you will see we will do du se här vi gö{r} så här / ö:{h} //it like this / u{h}m // Customer 7: [5 {j}a: ]5C7: [5 yeah]5

15 Bus Diver - Passenger $BD: hej (hi) $P: kan jag få en påfyllning på den (can I have a refill on it) $BD: ska vi väl ordna (we will fix that) $P: vad var det kvar (what was left) $BD: ska si på det // tjugusex har vi där (will have a look // twenty six we have there) $P:m: / ja lika bra att få det (m: / yes might as well have it) $BD: tar jag resan nu så är de{t} klart (I’ll take the journey now so it is ok) $P: javisst vad bra (sure really great) $BD: varsågod (you are welcome) $P: tack (thanks)

16 Reflection Influencing parameters of activity analysis Purpose, function Roles Artifacts, instruments Social and physical environment

17 Examples of quantitative differences between activities U-typesW-types W-tokens w/utter Tok/type utters Tok/type words All activities ,561,4626,72 Auction ,191,0720,40 Bus Driver/Passenge rs ,661,123,47 Church ,511,184,70 Communication Experiment ,011,6412,78 Discussion ,491,4915,14 Formal Meeting ,121,4114,85 Hearing by Constitutional Committee ,901,025,08 Hotel ,581,427,41 Interview ,191,4221,93 Lecture ,751,076,73 Playing Games ,741,176,11 Reality TV ,621,244,15 Retelling Of Article ,401,786,07 Trade Fair ,481,375,92 Travel Agency ,931,4413,56

18 Parts of speech max and Min Maximum %Minimum % PronounTherapy (24,03)Retelling of article (18,9) det, du, jag, den, vi, dom, en, han, man, somdet, dom, man, som, jag, den, vad, han, en, vi VerbReality TV (22,43)Auction (14,06) är, har, ska, kommer, var, får, blir, skulle, tror har, är, hade, ha, vill, går, kommer, får, börja, börjar AdverbP-Doctor consultation (19,25) Church (9) så, här, då, inte, ju, där, nu, lite, när, ocksåså, inte, alltså, då, här, nu, där, också, när, hur NounChurch (21,8)P-Doctor consultation (9,3) gud, ord, herre, ande, jesus, herren, kristus, kärlek, världen, anden gång, år, ögat, sätt, par, tiden, fall, gånger, raden, benet ConjunctionLecture (9,51)Flea Market (3) att, och, om, eller, men, som, så, än, utan, medanoch, att, men, så, om, eller PrepositionChurch (10,6)Playing Games (4,3) i, till, för, på, av, med, genom, om, från, efteri, på, för, med, till, av, om

19 Parts of speech max and Min Maximum %Minimum % FeedbackFirst Acquaintance (10,5)Church (0,72) ja, m, okej, nä, jaha, jo, precis, nej, va, hjaja AdjectiveCommunication experiment (9,2) Travel Agency (2,12) gul, röd, blå, grön, liten, gula, stor, röda, blåa, gröna bra, hela, själv, sån, liten, nästa, mycket, kort, billigare, klar Own Communication Management Retelling of article (5,44)Trade Fair (0,27) äh, eh, ämeh, öh NumeralAuction (17,69)Interview (0,4) femtio, etthundra, sjuttiofem, tvåhundra, femhundraförsta, andra, tre, andre, två InterjectionBus Driver Passenger (2,23)Auction (0,02) hej, tack, varsågodo

20 Describing a social activity from the point of view of communication- some possibilities Words – morphemes – POS (+ gestures) Word collocations (n-grams) (+ multimodal constructions) Utterances – contributions (+ prosody, gestures) Topics Communicative acts (communicative functions) Exchange types (inquiries, clarifications, greetings, calls for attention, introductions etc.) Activity structure, subactivities

21 Differences and similarities -Examples of Generic properties of language (present in all the recorded activities) Words Collocations Utterances Topics – semantic fields

22 Generic Swedish Words occurring at least once in every activity (27 activity types) RankWord% in GSLCRank 1det (it/that/there) är (am,are, is ) och (and) att (that, to) ja (yes) jag (I) så (so) Som (like, that, which, who) vi (we) har (have, has) All words are syncategorematic (pronouns, be, have, conjunctions, FB, Logical connectives

23 One word utterances occurrence in number of activities – No utterance type is generic (in all activities) (90 % feedback words + greeting & thank you) UtteranceNo of Activites %Utterance UtteranceNo of activities % Utterance Ja (yes)266,822Hm (hm)170,564 M (m)225,215Okej (ok)170,242 Nej (no)220,409Jaså (oh)170,197 Jaha ( I see)200,624Mhm (mhm)160,329 Nä (no)191,207Hej (hello)160,249 Näe (nope)190,434Aha (aha)160,158 ja ja (yes yes)190,415Men (but)160,095 Ha ( I see)190,332Nähä (oh no)160,078 Jo (yes)190,178Tack (thanks)150,150 Mm (mm)181,488 ja precis (yes precisely)150,099 Jaa (yes)180,758Precis (precisely)150,078 ja just det (yes just that)180,346m m (m m)140,269 Va (what)180,201

24 Generic bigrams and trigrams RankBigram% in GSLCRankTrigram% in GSLC 1det är (it/that/there) is/are1.4991Det är ju (it is you know) är det (are, is ) it/that/there0.5482Att det är (that it is) att det (that it)0.4123Det är inte (it is not) är ju (as you know is) ja det (yes it) men det (but it) det var (it was) det här (this) och det (and that) och så (and so) All generic bigrams and trigrams have syncategorematic functions as means for initiating or embedding utterances

25 Topics - Semantic fields Negation words Social processes: Family Friends Humans Affective processes: Positive emotions, Negative emotions: Anxiety, Anger Sadness Cognitive processes: Insight, Discrepancy, Causation, Tentative, Certainty, Inhibition, Inclusive, Exclusive Perceptual processes: Seeing Hearing Feeling Biological processes: Body Health Sexual Ingestion Relativity: Time Space Motion Work Achievement Home Religion Money Death Leisure Strong FB words Swear words Vagueness Hesitation Assent Consensus Det words En/Ett words Personal Pronouns: Personal pronouns (1-per): 1st person singular 1st person plural Personal pronouns (2-per): 2nd person singular 2nd person plural Personal pronouns (3-per) 3rd person singular 3rd person plural Sin/Sitt Personal pronouns (singular) Personal pronouns (plural)

26 Semantic fields in activities - most and least popular Semantic fields Negation words Social processes FamilyFriendsHumansAffective processes Max Playing GamesMeals First acquaintanceBus D/P Meals Playing Games Trade FairParty First acquaintanceChurchPartyReality TV TherapyReality TV First acquaintanceCourt Trials Informal Convers. Min Church Factory Convers.Bus D/PHotel Retelling Article Lecture Retelling Article Factory Convers.Lecture Factory Convers. Auction Hearing Commit. Playing Games Hearing Commit.Bus D/P Comm. Exp. Retelling Article Comm. Exp.

27 Most popular Semantic fields in activities Activity Sem field 1 Sem field 2Sem field 3Sem field 4Sem field 5 Auction moneycausationwe Bus Driver/Passengers motioninhibitionhumansseeingYou, money Church religionsexualPositive emotions Communication Experiment assent Discussion leisure Formal Meeting we Hearing by Constitutional Committee sadness Hotel w. restaurant ingestion Interview death Lecture achievement Playing Games Swear words Reality TV sexual Retelling Of Article hesitation Trade Fair you Travel Agency Motion

28 Parts of speech – Maximum & Minimum relative shares Max %Min %All PronounsTherapy (24)Retelling of article (19)22 verbsReality TV (22)Auction (14)19 AdverbsDoctor-patient (19)Church (9)16 NounsChurch (22)Doctor-patient (10)12 ConjunctionsLecture (10)Flea market (3)8 PrepositionsChurch (11)Playing games (4)7 FeedbackFirst acquaintance (11)Church (1)6 AdjectivesCommunication experiment (9) Travel agency (2)4 Own communication management Retelling of article (5)Trade Fair (0,26)2 NumeralsAuction (18)Interview (0,4)2 InterjectionsBus driver – passenger (2)Auction (0,01)0,25

29 Activities - unique properties Words Collocations Utterances Topics – semantic fields

30 Most Unique words Auction: numro (number) hundralappen (hundred crown bill), såld (sold) Bus Driver –Passenger: lågtrafiklinjerna (low traffic lines) Church: helige (holy), bedja (pray), evangeliet (gospel), bön (prayer) Doctor – Patient consultation: blodtrycket (blood pressure), tabletterna (tablets), yrseln (nausea) Court trial: Leander, (name) åklagaren (prosecutor) TV discussion: livskvalitet (quality of life), Daleus (name) First acquaintance: Horred (place), kognitionsvetenskap (cognitive science) Formal meeting: ja (yes), vi (we), a (yeah), nämnden (the committee) Constitutional committee: ebbe (name), rikspolischefen (national police chief) Hotel: godafton (good evening), afton (evening), room (room) Travel agency: Bromma (place), Ängelholm (place), Ryan (air line)

31 Most unique bigrams Auction: krone för (crowns for), sigvard åttinie (identification) Bus Driver – Passenger: se lågtrafiklinjerna (look at the lines with less traffic) Church: den helige (the holy), helige ande (holy spirit), ber för (pay for) Doctor – Patient consultation: en tablett (a pill), till laboratoriet (to the lab) Court trial: sture and (name), tyra andersson (name) TV discussion: lennart daleus (name), rune molin (name) First acquaintance: asså det (oh that), men asså (but well) Formal meeting: har nämnden (the committee has), a just (yes precisely) Constitutional committee: ebbe carlsson (name), sten heckscher (name) Hotel: god afton (good evening), bord sju (table seven), bord fem (table five) Travel agency: från arlanda (from arlanda), och retur (and return)

32 Most unique utterances Auction: trettioett (thirty one), tjugöh (twenty), höganäs (brand name) Bus Driver – Passenger: högskolan (the university - destination) Church: ameen (amen) Doctor – Patient consultation: ja'ha (I see), recept (prescription) Court trial: erkännes (is admitted), övervakningen (the surveillance) TV discussion: domnarvet (name), tjaba (well yes) First acquaintance: filosofi (philosophy), åttioåtta (eighty eight) Formal meeting: a (yes), varsågoda (please), ha (I see), ordförande (chairman) Hotel: godafton (good evening), nydelit (lovely) Travel agency: juni (june), integrationsprojektet (the integration project)

33 Degrees of similarity between activities Words Utterances Topics – semantic fields

34 Similarities between activities wrt shared words All activities Most % shared words Least % shared words Auction Trade Fair 35,01Church 26,10 Bus Driver/Passengers Therapy 59,29 Auction 32,72 Church Discussion 49,62Auction 26,10 Communication Experiment Shop 53,3Auction 33,10 Discussion Interview 80,09Auction 30,41 Formal Meeting Discussion 78,25Auction 30,41 Hearing by Constitutional Committee Court 60,16Auction 29,47 Hotel Shop 71,27Auction 31,37 Interview Discussion 80,09Auction 28,58 Lecture Discussion 65,42Auction 29,08 Playing Games Meals 64,70Auction 30,80 Reality TV Meals 61,48Auction 29,11 Retelling Of Article Discussion 59,53Auction 27,90 Trade Fair Formal meeting 61,55Auction 35,01 Travel Agency Shop 67,27Auction 33,43

35 The most similar activities in terms of shared words DiscussionInterview80,09 DiscussionFormal Meeting78,25 Informal ConversationMeals77,35 Formal MeetingInterview74,51 DiscussionInformal Conversation73,64 Informal ConversationShop73,58 MealsShop72,99 Informal ConversationInterview72,72 ConsultationInformal Conversation72,55 ConsultationMeals71,72 ConsultationTherapy71,44 Formal MeetingInformal Conversation71,28 HotelShop71,27 DiscussionMeals71,02 ConsultationShop70,96 DiscussionShop69,45

36 Degrees of similarity between 3 activities wrt words Activity 1Activity 2Activity 3 % DiscussionFormal MeetingInterview40,77 DiscussionInformal ConversationInterview35,80 DiscussionFormal MeetingInformal Conversation34,63 Formal MeetingInformal ConversationInterview33,79 DiscussionInterviewMeals32,64 Informal ConversationMealsShop31,96 DiscussionFormal MeetingMeals31,91 DiscussionInformal ConversationMeals31,77 Informal ConversationInterviewMeals31,75 DiscussionInterviewShop31,52 DiscussionFormal MeetingShop31,32 Formal MeetingInterviewMeals30,74 ConsultationInformal ConversationMeals30,51 Informal ConversationInterviewShop30,30

37 Degrees of similarity between activities wrt utterances Activity 1Activity 2% Utterances in common DiscussionFormal Meeting24,91 DiscussionFirst acquaintance23,94 DiscussionInterview23,27 DiscussionTravel Agency22,37 ConsultationInterview21,91 HotelShop21,83 Formal MeetingInterview21,49 First acquaintanceTravel Agency21,43 DiscussionInformal Conversation21,40 DiscussionTherapy21,07 DiscussionRetelling Of Article20,78 Formal MeetingInformal Conversation20,66 Informal ConversationInterview20,53

38 Taxonomic possibilities Depends on interest and purpose of classification – what properties are we interested in? For example Men, women, adults, youths, children, region Social class, ideology (religion), nation, ethnicity Organization, activity Can all be used to subclassify each other, E.g. activity French, male, Apple company interviews

39 Taxonomy of Activities other possibilities Classification Features (non mutually exclusive) 1.Degree of Institutionalization/Professionalization 2.Degree of conventionalization and ritualization 3. Degree of formalization 4.Degree of joint purpose 5.Existence of clear expectations and a linguistic label 6.Focus on emotions and attitudes 7.Kind of purpose (features not mutually exclusive) e.g. - educational - health - political - administrative - law and order 7.Kind of societal sphere - commercial - public non-commercial - private non-commercial 8.Individual vs. Collective 9.One-way vs. Two-way communication - Single vs. Interactive 10.Mainly communicative vs. mainly non-communicative – How do we operationalize the features?

40 Simultaneous Activities (hybrid activity data) – another difficulty for classification 1)Collectively simultaneous social activities. One or more activity instances of one or more activity types occurring simultaneously in the same situation without any person participating in more than one. A.One type - two instances (two informal conversations) B.Two types - two instances (1 flirtation and 1 political discussion) 2)Individually simultaneous social activities A.One person - one activity type - 2 instances, e.g. participating in two different conversations simultaneously. B.At least two person - two activity types - 2 instances, e.g. participating in flirting & discussion simultaneously 3)Further refinements are possible with regard to type of activity, eg : (i)-mainly communicative (purpose and means)- discussion -mainly non-communicative (non communicative purpose but partly communicative means (fishing) or coccurring with communication- driving a car and talking) (ii)one-way-two-way radio broadcastdiscussion

41 Concluding Remarks Social activities an interesting and crucial source of communicative variation Gives rise to many interesting problems, eg. What are generic properties of language? What are the communicative properties that are characteristic of a particular activity? What social activities are similar from a communicative point of view? Taxonomic possibilities – What taxonomy of communicative activities is useful for what purpose? How should we deal with simultaneous activities?


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