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Speech as Social Interaction

Speech is face to face interaction It takes two

Speech includes a wide range of activities conversations ,quarrels, meetings , interviews, seductions, teasing , chit- chat , etc.
Speech has general importance in social life
Speech as spoken communication, not written Constraints ,both social and individual, impact of the effectiveness of speech Formal and informal norms depending on the circumstances - time, person, location Ethnography communication in given speech community varies from one another

Functions of Speech
Human behavior a link between people and their activities
mode of action and not an instrument of reflection (Branislav M, 1923)

Speech to obtain information, directions Speech to express emotions, compliments Speech for its own sake entertainment

Functions of Speech (cont.)


Speech acts performative utterances
Naming of a ship, building or institution Christening of a child Celebrations, funerals, visiting the sick

Philosophical reflection Cultural inclusion Multidimensional functions can co-exist and are not mutually exclusive

Speech as Skilled Work


Work Skilled because its degree of success depends on the effort that is made. Speech is sufficiently important to s_________ Social categories reflect rather than determine the ways in which speech is used in the community. Know-how type of knowledge - other factors such as intelligence or the speakers point of view and position in society.

Speech as Skilled Work


Work because it requires effort. Skilled because its degree of success depends on the effort that is made. Speech is sufficiently important to Social categories reflect rather than determine the ways in which speech is used in the community. Know-how type of knowledge - other factors such as intelligence or the speakers point of view and position in society.

Speech as Skilled Work


Work because it requires effort. Skilled because its degree of success depends on the effort that is made. Speech is sufficiently important to society Social categories reflect rather than determine the ways in which speech is used in the community. Know-how type of knowledge - other factors such as intelligence or the speakers point of view and position in society.

Speech as Skilled Work


Face to Face Communication

Speech as Skilled Work


Specific linguistic items are used with specific situations: Mrs., Sir, My Beloved,.. Intelligence is hierarchically arranged and learned skills are used at school, at the doctors office, bus station or in a meeting.

Speech as Skilled Work (cont.)


People put effort into wanting someones approval or liking FACE WORK Goffman, 1955
Maintaining, Gaining, Saving or Losing Face Judged by others on how we speak Aim for the right level not too high and not too low aim at the average of the group, not above, to avoid making mistakes. Read the audience and adjust speech to the people listening especially knowledge level and circumstances, i.e. comfort, timing, motivation

Speech as Skilled Work (cont.)


Social interaction in general as skilled work is due to a lack of skill or motivation or both on the part of the speaker Goffman Speech is not simply an individual activity owing nothing to society (as de Saussere stated) but it is an integral part of society (as Goffman stated)

Norms Governing Speech


Norms vary from culture to culture what is expected and normal in one society may not be normal in another. Other norms may be considered universal ex. eye contact is expected Quantity of speech understood amount of what is too much and what is too little Number of speakers talking at once Cooperative principle information is given as specifically as possible Standard declarative sentences
May I ask you to.. To whom it refers to

Speech as a Signal of Social Identity


Non-relational Social Categories

More freely help your self More casual coming Baby talk mummy tired Men talk give me a break Women talk could you do it, please Imperatives call me later Speaking to a child yummy yummy

Power and Solidarity


Speech is always impacted by the social relationship between the speaker and the addressee. Power does the speaker have more or less authority than the listener Solidarity what is the shared social experience
What to they have in common? How willing are they to share intimacies and other factors?

Power and Solidarity (cont)


Prototypes are used depending on the relationship
Mr. Jason Brown, Jason Brown or simply Jason

You form
Plural (more formal) Singular (less formal)

Noun phrases and verbs used chosen to acknowledge the differences or similarities between the speaker and the listener. Vocabulary level - if more sophisticated, it will be more likely to be misunderstood

Structure of Speech
Entries and Exits

Greeting patterns that are easily recognized and accepted within society
Nice to see you Regards and farewells

Formal, informal, casual Affected by time seen yesterday vs. last year Patterns change as relationships change Patterns evolve and change as society changes

Other Kinds of Structure in Speech


Discourse structure - a structure of speech above the sentence level general knowledge Discourse structure at an encyclopedic level more of a lecture Turn-taking structure usually easier speakers if stick to one topic

How to say Sorry


Ways to Apologise Sorry. Im sorry. Im so sorry! Sorry for your loss. (a person or pet died) Sorry to hear that. (after someone shares bad news such as a childs illness or a job loss) I apologize. (youve made an error) Sorry for keeping you waiting. Sorry Im late. Please forgive me. Sorry, I didnt mean to do that. (you did something by accident) Excuse me (you need to get by ) Pardon me (you need to interrupt ) I owe you an apology. (your mistake happened a while ago) Common Gestures that go with Apologies Eye contact (look into the others persons eyes as you say sorry) Hold one hand in front of your mouth after you make a mistake Hold a hand over your heart as you say sorry Wide eyes and mouth show how sorry you are When words are not enough: bring flowers bring a hot coffee or tea bring a bottle of wine leave an apology phone message send an e-card Slang for Im sorry My bad (common among teenagers) Whoops (casual) Oops, sorry. (casual or sarcastic)

Verbal and Non-verbal Behavior


We speak with our vocal organs but we converse with our entire bodies Abercrombie, 1968 Non-verbal behavior (body language) conveys and reflects speech content, emotion and relationship Distance between speaker and listener also called proxemics space varies dependent on relationship between speaker and addressee and cultural norms Non-verbal cues eye movement, gestures, nods, pauses, moving closer or further away, raising a hand, head movements for yes and no, etc. all have an impact on effective communication.