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Eva Duran Eppler Roehampton University, London Four women, two codes, and one (crowded) floor: The joint construction of a bilingual.

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Presentation on theme: "Eva Duran Eppler Roehampton University, London Four women, two codes, and one (crowded) floor: The joint construction of a bilingual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eva Duran Eppler Roehampton University, London Four women, two codes, and one (crowded) floor: The joint construction of a bilingual collaborative floor

2 Gender and Spoken Interaction in honour of Jennifer Coates edited by Eva Eppler & Pia Pichler

3 Aim This paper aims to establish if four Austrian Jewish émigrés in London index their ethnic and gendered identities on a bilingual collaborative floor. If they do, it will illustrate how they do it.

4 Outline 1.Introduction 2.The data 3.Gendered and ethnic interactional styles & bilingual code-switching 4.Four women, two codes and one crowded floor 5.Conclusion 6.References

5 Indexicality Language users tend to associate particular linguistic forms with specific kinds of speakers or contexts of speaking (a basic assumption of variationist sociolinguistics). Meaning derived in this way from contiguity or association is known in the semiotics of C. S. Peirce (1960) as indexicality.

6 Indexicality Silverstein (2003) First-order indexicality is the semiotic work of forming associations between a linguistic variable and a category of speakers. First order indexicality renders a linguistics feature available for association with stereotypes associated with the category, and thus enables it to become a second order index.

7 Indexicality Silverstein (2003) Second-order indexicality brings ideology to bear on the relationship noticed. Second-order indexicality involves the politically and/or morally loaded cultural construal of the first-order indexical association with an intentional content or meaning. At this second level, actors rationalize, explain, and thus evitably naturalize and ideologize the sociolinguistic associations (indexical relations) they have registered at the first order.

8 For this paper First order indexicality is important …because I aim to show which conversational strategies that have often been associated with ethnic (Jewish) and gendered (female) interactional styles are being used by the speakers, which ones are not, and why.

9 I will argue that …. …code-switching facilitates the construction of a collaborative floor, because the use of the “other” code for specific functions is less likely to be constructed as seizing the floor and because a change in language requires speakers to pay even closer attention to each other at all linguistics levels than in monolingual mode.

10 The data This paper is based on a corpus of … German/English bilingual interaction drawn from a community of Austrian Jews, refugees from the Holocaust, living in London, UK.

11 Sampling & Data Collection contact letter was sent to a random sample (50) of Austrian Jewish refugees in London The complete data set consist of approximately forty hours of audio recordings slightly over fifteen of which are transcribed in the LIDES format

12 The data this paper is based on were extracted from slightly over eight hours (93,235 words) of group recordings, using participant observation during card game and gossip sessions, involving the central participant DOR, three of her friends from the refugee generation (TRU, MEL and LIL) and the researcher

13 Emigranto German/English bilingual mode of interaction Linguistically Emigranto is characterised by heavy intra-sentential code-switching, frequent changes in code at speaker turn boundaries, and the alternating use of two or more “codes” or languages within one conversational episode.

14 Features of discourse style that have been preferably associated with female and Jewish ways of speaking (You might want to note them down, we’ll need them later for a little exercise.)

15 Feminine interactional style facilitative supportive conciliatory person / process orientated and collaborative Holmes (2006: 6)

16 Collaborative floor (Edelsky 1993) is an interactional structure which is jointly accomplished by all speakers involved in the conversation The classic components of the collaborative floor are: short turns, jointly constructed ideas and utterances, overlapping speech, repetition, joking and teasing.

17 Features of feminine interactional styles which are said to contribute to the ‘cooperative’ nature of informal talk among female friends include the components of a collaborative floor listed above, latching (turn transition without pause) and self- and other-completions (following incomplete utterances and false starts)

18 Features of Jewish interactional styles latching, cooperative overlap and participatory listenership ‘persistence’, Tannen (1981) / ‘sustained disagreement’ Schiffrin (1984) Joking and teasing (Blum-Kulka 1997)

19 Summary methodology I use a fine-grained micro-analysis to the data, and supplement it with tools developed by interactional sociolinguistic work on bilingual code-switching.

20 New Caterer Example Argument Development New caterer √ Czech New √ AJR Day Centre New caterer English √ Old caterer Czech & Israeli √ Old caterer Israeli ? Refugee or émigré?

21 Extract 1 1. MEL: die X hat mir heute gesagt, dass ein new cook jetzt in Cleve Rd is(t). %tra: www told me today, that there is a new cook in Cleve Road now. 2. DOR: a new caterer. 3. TRU: I don’t know about new cook -. a new caterer. 4. MEL: oh I see # a new caterer,, I see. 5. TRU: the Israeli gave it [/] gave it LIL: he is not any more # the Israeli ? 7. TRU: no no it (i)s a new caterer. 8. DOR: is(t) ein [/] ein Tscheche. [:= is a Czech] 9. TRU: what -? this new one is a Czech ? 10. DOR: nein # is(t) English # glaub(e) ich [:= I think] # I do-'nt know [//] %tra: ich weiss es nicht.

22 11. TRU: wie kommst’ auf Czech ? [:= why do you think he’s Czech?] 13. DOR: nein der Israeli war Czech. [: = no, the Israeli was Czech.] 14. TRU: was he ? 15. TRU: I thought he was an Israeli. 16. DOR: nein er war Czech. [:= no he was Czech.] 17. TRU: how can he be an Israeli, when he is a Czech ? Activities: laughter 18. DOR: er ist gefahren von der Tchoslowakei nach Israel. %tra: he travelled from Czechoslovakia to Israel 19. TRU: oh I see,, der [!!] [:= he] or his parents ? 20. DOR: [!] das hab(e) ich ihn nicht gefragt. %tra: that I didn’t ask him 21. TRU: why did-'nt you -. Activities: laughterFile Jen1, lines

23 The search for the right word Extract 2Brainwave 1. *TRU:etwas [%tra: something/sort] of # a # what’s it called ? 2. *DOR:++ a brainwave. 3. *TRU:+, ja # in the last minute. File Jen1, lines

24 Extract 3Charwoman 1. LIL: my charwoman +//. Comment: LIL addresses EVA 2. LIL: +^ you know what a charwoman is ? 3. LIL: a cleaner +/. 4. TRU: cleaner # charwoman # is(t) beides Englisch [:=both are English] LIL: oh yes. Activities:laughter 6. LIL:die Aufwartefrau, wie die Deutschen sagen. %tra: charwoman, as the Germans say 7. MEL: Bedienerin [:= charwoman, Austrian German] 8. LIL:+, comes Tuesdays and Fridays.File Jen1, lines

25 Extract 4Zusammenhang ‘Connection’ 1. EVA: seitdem versuche ich Spezialisten zu fragen, ob es da irgendeine +... %tra: since then I have been trying to ask specialist whether there is a 2. DOR: ++ zusammenhang %tra: connection 3. EVA: +, zusammenhang gibt. File IBron, lines

26 Extract 5 – dead, stationary or stuck? 1. LIL: +^ the window is down about that much. Action: gesture indicating how wide the window was open 2. LIL: +, [/] about that much and it can't be moved up or down. 3. LIL: it’s just # dead. 4. MEL:++ stationary. 5. EVA:++ stuck. 6. LIL: it’s just stuck. Jen1.cha, lines

27 Extract 6The car crash 1. LIL: he took the number and his name and since +/. 2. XXX: the lorry didn't +/. 3. MEL: oh Dorit told [>] me +/. 4. DOR: ich [ ] xxx. %tra: I thought the lorry is 5. LIL: no [<] # the lorry didn’t do +/. 6. DOR: der wind hat (e)s aufgeblasen und the lorry hat +/. %tra: the wind has blown it open and the lorry has 7. LIL: but the lorry didn’t +/. 8. MEL: ++ lock the door auf [:= open] ? 9. MEL: das haben wir gedacht,, weisst ? %tra: that’s what we thought,, you know? 10. LIL: and he got out -?.

28 11. LIL: and he was very nice -?. 12. LIL: and he helped me tie it up -? because the door [>] didn’t close -?. 13. MEL: [>] of course. 14. DOR: [>] na so was [:= oh no]. 15. LIL: ++ and the window didn’t close -?. 16. MEL: und [/] und das andere is(t) auch eingequetscht worden ? %tra: and [/] and the other [part] has been squashed as well? 17. LIL: well the front looks pretty awful -_. 18. MEL: ach Gott [:= oh God]. 19. LIL: +, through the impact of [>] the door - ! 20. MEL: [>] ja ja [<]. 21. LIL: the hinges and MEL: na so was -_ [:= oh no]. 23. LIL: +, they [the hinges] are out of alignment and [/] and everything DOR: that’s very unfortunate. 25. LIL: terrible. 26. MEL: schrecklich [:= awful].File Jen1.cha, lines 27-56

29 Conclusions The analysis of six typical extracts from the Emigranto data has shown that the participants in the natural conversations combine strategies which hitherto have only been shown to index either female or Jewish or Austrian/English identity to express that they are bilingual, Austrian, Jewish women living in London, UK.

30 Similarities The analysis of the ‘Emigranto’ data has shown that those linguistic features, strategies and topics that have been indexed with both female and Jewish ways of speaking, are prevalent (fast turn-taking, latching, cooperative overlap, participatory listenership, stories on personal topics on emotional experiences).

31 Differences Where female and (Eastern European) Jewish conversational styles diverge, the discourse patterns that index gendered meaning prevail: disagreement is not sustained and the talk is conciliatory, facilitative, supportive, egalitarian and cooperative. The ‘normative, appropriate and unmarked means of signalling’ female identity (cf. Holmes 2006: 7), win out over culturally normative components of Jewish interactional style (Schiffrin 1984).

32 Differences Speech rate  where Eastern European Jewish and Viennese discourse patterns diverge, the conversational styles that index Austrian identity seem to prevail in the speech of the four Ashkenazi Jewish women.

33 Conclusion interactional styles The way of speaking outlined in this paper is thus most fully realised in interaction among the Austrian Jewish women living in London (as opposed to in interaction with people who typically draw on other strategies) First, they only code-switch in in-groups situations. Second, unlike other Eastern European Jews, they speak slowly. Third, where ethnic and gendered ways of speaking clash, the style that has been indexed with female identity prevails.

34 Conclusions Bilingual code-switching This study adds to our knowledge of gendered and ethnic interactional styles...that the bilingual use of linguistics features that are indexed with them can facilitate the construction of a collaborative floor.

35 Conclusions Bilingual code-switching bilingual code-switching can become just another building block in the construction of an egalitarian collaborative floor because overlapping utterances are not in direct competition with the main turn the joint construction of bilingual utterances and sequences requires speakers to pay even closer attention to each other at all linguistics levels than the monolingual production of a collaborative floor

36 References Blum-Kulka, Shoshana Dinner Talk. Cultural Patterns of Sociability and Socialization in Family Discourse. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum. Edelsky, Carole Who’s got the floor? In Deborah Tannen (ed.) Gender and Conversational Interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press Eppler, Eva German/English LIDES Database. Talkbank (accessed 08/07/09).http://talkbank.org/data/LIDES/Eppler.zip Holmes, Janet Gendered Talk at work. Constructing Gender Identity through Workplace Discourse. Oxford: Blackwell. Pichler, Pia & Eva Eppler (eds.) (2009) Gender and Spoken Interaction. Houndsmill, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Schiffrin, Deborah Jewish argument as sociability. Language in Society 13: Tannen, Deborah New York Jewish Conversational Style. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 30: Tannen, Deborah (ed.) Gender and Conversational Interaction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tannen, Deborah Gender and Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tannen, Deborah Conversational style. Analysing Talk among Friends. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

37 Gender and Spoken Interaction in honour of Jennifer Coates edited by Eva Eppler & Pia Pichler

38 Dankeschön! Thanks for the invitation & your attention Diolch yn fawr iawn Bangor!


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