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Sociolinguistics October 31, 2008. Sociolinguistics: Methods 1. Observation 2. Observation of a small group over a period of time 3. Interview 4. Surveys.

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Presentation on theme: "Sociolinguistics October 31, 2008. Sociolinguistics: Methods 1. Observation 2. Observation of a small group over a period of time 3. Interview 4. Surveys."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sociolinguistics October 31, 2008

2 Sociolinguistics: Methods 1. Observation 2. Observation of a small group over a period of time 3. Interview 4. Surveys and questionnaires Surveys and questionnaires 5. Accent Judgment Test Accent Judgment Test 6. Language attitude studies Language attitude studies 7. Role-playing 8. Discourse Completion Tests

3 Which of the speakers is male? Which is female? How do you know? M: What kind of salad dressing should I make? K: Oil and vinegar, what else? M: What do you mean “what else”? K: Well, I always make oil and vinegar, but if you want we could try something else. M: Does that mean you don’t like it when I make other dressings? K: No, I like it. Go ahead. Make something else. M: Not if you want oil and vinegar. K: I don’t. Make a yogurt dressing (M. makes a yogurt dressing, tastes it,and makes a face) K: Isn’t it good? M: I don’t know how to make yogurt dressing. K: Well, if you don’t like it, throw it out. M: Never mind. K: What never mind? It’s just little yogurt. M: You’re making a big deal out of nothing. K: You are!

4 Conversation Analysis: Some terms Some definitions: 1. Face 2. Power and Solidarity 3. Politeness (directness) 4. Speech Acts 5. Floor solidarity power +p, +s -p, +s +p, -s -p, -s

5 Conversation Analysis: Politeness SituationPositive (desire to include) Negative (desire to avoid) 1. Person walks into room and trips make a jokepretends doesn’t happen 2. Friendlinessinclude person in all activities allow person to do things on their own 3. Sees someone with zipper undone tells the persona. ignores b. tells person later 4. Requestincludes in activity “Let’s take the garbage out hedge: “I wonder if you could help out?” 5. Complaintmake a joke “you sure are a good housekeeper” nominalize: “Your poor performance on the exam...

6 Conversation Analysis: Holding the floor a. P: Your Honor, we request immediate sentencing and waive the probation report. J: What's his record? P: He has a prior drunk and GTA. Nothing serious. This is just a shoplifting case. He did enter the K-Mart with the intent to steal. But really all we have here is a petty theft. J: What do the people have? D: Nothing either way. J: How long has he been in? D: Eighty-three days. b. D: I wonder how our parents and grandparents thought about Thanksgiving. S: Could we get this off the table? D: Y'know, if they used to do it for the kids or whether they really felt it. P: I'd like to get this off the table. S: It keeps coming back on the table.

7 Speech Act: Compliments Marisa: I really like your skirt. Jane: Oh this? It’s really old. Mike: New car? Brent: Yep. Mike: Sure looks like it could move.

8 Conversation Analysis: Speech Acts (Compliments) 1. Who gets compliments? 2. Who gives compliments? 3. Who evades/deflects/rejects compliments? 4. What do men/women compliment (appearance, possessions, skills?)

9 Who gives/receives compliments?

10 Who accepts, rejects and evades compliments?

11 Compliments and Types of Compliments that vary by Social Distance

12 Other speech acts apologies complaints commiserating conflict requests rejections

13 Two other speech acts: 1. Guy asks out a girl. She really wants to go, but already has a date. 2. Trying to return a defective MP3 player after 30-day return period

14 Analyzing a conversation: What is the overall goal and organization of the conversation? 1. How do people maintain power and solidarity? 2. How do people maintain face? 3. How do people display politeness? 4. How does each person know when to start talking? 5. When two (or more) people start talking at the same time, how do they decide who gets the turn? 6. How do speakers display understanding of the last speaker's turn? 7. How do people "hold the floor" and how do they signal this to the listener(s)? 8. How do speakers manage agreement and disagreement? 9. How do speakers move from one topic to another? 10. How do speakers "repair" their own utterances or those of someone else? 11. How do speakers bring a conversation to a close? 12. What role do non-lexical (or quasi-lexical) items like uhm, mm hm, etc play in the conversation? 13. How are pauses interpreted in conversation? 14. What role does non-verbal communication play in the conversation?

15 Ways to examine conversations 1. tape recordings (covertly or overtly): ask people to turn on tape recorders at specific times (at dinner, at breakfast, during homework time, conference sessions) 2. role-playing You need to borrow money from a person that you have known for about 2 months (a friend, but not a best friend). Ask the person if you can borrow $ fill in the blank questionnaires A: An older gentlemen sits next to you at the bus stop and says, “You look very nice today.” B: _____________________________________ A: A young man your age sits next to you at the bus stop and says, “You look very nice today.” B: _____________________________________ 4. multiple choice questionnaires If an older gentleman approached me and said, “You look very nice today,” I would 1. turn and look the other way 2. say “thank you” and keep walking 3. blush and smile 4. stop and talk to him 5. e. other: ______________________________ 5. examining books, plays, movies and looking for phenomenon


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