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Written and Oral narratives William Labov’s (1972) model for oral Narratives 1. Abstractprepares readers, often by orienting them to the kind of story.

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Presentation on theme: "Written and Oral narratives William Labov’s (1972) model for oral Narratives 1. Abstractprepares readers, often by orienting them to the kind of story."— Presentation transcript:

1 Written and Oral narratives William Labov’s (1972) model for oral Narratives 1. Abstractprepares readers, often by orienting them to the kind of story that will be told or to the story’s themes. 2. Orientationprovides readers with the information needed to understand the narrative. Usually provides preliminary information about participants (who), the setting in space (where) and time (when) and the actions that were under way. 3.Complicationinvolves a problem culminating in a crisis. The events initiated in the orientation somehow go wrong. There is a disruption to the usual sequence of events and subsequent actions become problematic and unpredictable. 1-6 EvaluationEvaluation devices say to us: this was terrifying, dangerous, weird, wild, crazy: or amusing, hilarious, wonderful; more generally, that it was strange, uncommon, or unusual – that is, worth reporting. It was not ordinary, plain, humdrum, everyday or run of the mill. (Labov 1972)

2 5. Resolution In this stage we are told, how the protagonist manages to resolve the crisis. Through the resolution normaltiy usually returns and equilibrium is restored. 6. CodaThis stage often refers back to the theme of the abstract and makes an overall statement about the text. In conversational narratives, the coda signals to readers that the speaker no longer needs to hold the floor – her story is told. In written narratives, the Coda often creates a sense of finality by its circular return to the starting point of the narrative.

3 Evaluation Evaluation can pervade entire narratives. It is anything that is not strictly necessary in relating the events of story (i.e. the ‘what happened’ aspects of the narrative). Nevertheless, Labov argues that this stage is necessary as without it a narrative is incomplete:

4 Evaluation A shift from action to evaluation is marked by: 1. the expression of attitudes or opinion denoting the events as remarkable or unusual; 2. the expression of incredulity, disbelief, apprehension about the events on the part of the narrator or a character of the narrative, including highlighting the predicament of a character; 3. comparison between usual and unusual sequences of events in which participants in the narrative are involved; 4.predictions about a possible course of action to handle a crisis or about the outcome of events.

5 ‘Time outs’:evaluative commentary Evaluative commentary: a comment by the narrator about the events being narrated, often signalled by drawing attention to the apparent improbability or strangeness of the narrative or the truthfulness of the account. This can be described as ‘time outs’ from sequence of events that drive the story along.

6 ‘Time outs’:Embedded speech Another type of ‘time out’ from the story is embedded speech, i.e., direct speech, indirect speech or events left as thoughts are all forms of evaluation. They serve to increase heighten the drama of the story. Labov does not regard speech as part of the narrative core, i.e. the events, mainly complications, that drive the story along. However, sometimes speech can be interpreted as a complicating action and in such cases it would part of the core action.

7 Dramatised re-enactments Woolston: “When a speaker acts out a story, as if to give his audience the opportunity to experience the event and his evaluation of it, he may be said to be giving a performance.” This often takes the forms of performance features used to stress a story’s main point. They are dramatised re-enactments of an event rather than simple embedded speech. In spoken stories they are often associated with gestures, motions and expressive sounds.

8 2 stories. Similarities and differences? Spoken or Written It was just another summer’s day in 1988 when I first noticed something was wrong/ I was sitting at my desk processing cheques for the bank in Bristol where I worked part-time/ I was trying to type the number seven on my computer keyboard, but each time I tried, I kept hitting four/ It was as if my fingers weren’t working properly but, although I was frustrated, I didn’t give it too much thought/ A few weeks later, walking along the beach on holiday in Cornwall/ Dad noticed I wasn’t swinging my arm and my right leg wasn’t taking a full step/ I know now this can be a sign of Parkinson’s, but at the time I remember laughing, wondering whether I normally swung my arms when I walked.

9 I remember being on an aircraft when I was about five/ And I was with my parents coming back from a holiday in Greece/ And would you believe it/ I mean it sounds ridiculous now/ but the aeroplane was being hit by lightning and there was an aircraft above and an aircraft below/ and we were coming back/ and it was a massive storm/ and I can’t remember a lot of it/ I was sat with my mum and my father was sat with my sister behind/ The lights went off and the hostess went absolutely wild/Everyone was strapped in.

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