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Introduction to Linguistics 6 Spoken Language
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  1. Introduction to Linguistics 6Spoken Language Prof. Jo Lewkowicz

  2. The spoken language • Read through this short dialogue and decide where it is taking place. 1 A: Morning B: Morning 2 A: Nice day, again. B: Yep. Gonna be another good one. 3 A: What can I get you? B: Coffee, thanks? 4 A: Regular or decaf? B: Regular. 5 A: Cream and sugar? B: Just a little cream. 6 A: Here you go. B: Cheers • How do the first 2 exchanges differ from the remaining part of the dialogue? • Identify all the ellipses in this dialogue.

  3. Adjacency pairs • What would you expect to be the response to the following utterances: • Hi Jo, how are you? • Would you like some tea? • I’m so sorry • I loved the film we saw last night. • Thanks for a great evening!

  4. Insertion sequences • What lines of this dialogue extract make up the adjacency pair? • J: It’s a worry , isn’t it? • B: What? • J: Your money (yes) organizing your money affairs. • B: ‘tis ... a big worry. • What else is happening in this extract?

  5. Complex insertion sequence A: Peach Bellini, please. B: Are you twenty-one? A: Why do you want to know? B: We don’t sell alcohol to anyone under twenty-one. A: Do I look as though I’m under twenty-one? B: That’s beside the point. Can I see your ID, please. A: Here. B: Great. Thanks. One Bellini coming up. A: Thanks.

  6. Negotiation of meaning • In real conversation we frequently resort to: • Clarification requests: Do you mean ...? • Example A: I don’t feel too hot today. B: Sorry, what do you mean by that, exactly? • Confirmation requests: Did you say ....? • Example A: I saw Philip a couple of weeks ago. B: Philip, really? • Comprehension checks: Do you follow? • Example A: You need to fold the masking take along the edge of the cardboard. Know what I mean? B: I think so.

  7. Transactional interaction Operator: Cabcharge –account name? Customer: Macquarie University. Operator: Passenger’s name? Customer: Nunan. Operator: Pick-up address? Customer: 13, Firth Avenue, East Ryde. Operator: Is that a private house or a flat? Customer: Yes. Operator: Going to? Customer: The airport? Operator: How many passengers? Customer: One

  8. Understanding context • How can you interpret the exchange below? A: So. if we go to the party how are we going to get there? B: Well, one of us could drive. C: OK, but who? B: Susie's on antibiotics.

  9. Summary • Spoken language can be broken down into 2 basic functions: transactional /interpersonal • Ellipses is a feature of spoken language • Much of interpersonal conversation relies on background knowledge and prior information about the participants of the interaction and requires top-down processing (schema theory) • Conversations can be broken down into a series of 2-utterance pairing called adjacency pairs • Adjacency pairs are frequently interrupted by an insertion sequence • Negotiation of meaning is part and parcel of real spoken interaction • Negotiation of meaning involves requests for clarification, confirmation checks as well as comprehension checks. • Transactional interaction relies less heavily on negotiation of meaning than interpersonal conversation

  10. Textbook dialogue:What features of real interaction are present / absent in this dialogue? SA: Can I help you? SA: Erm, no, sorry we haven’t got any at the moment. SA: Ah. sorry, no. SA: Sorry we don’t sell crisps. SA: Yes, they’re over there next to the cans of Coke. SA: Is that everything? SA: OK. That’s $2.50 please. C: Yes, please. Have you got any cartons of milk? C: Oh, have you got any cans of Sprite? C: OK. I’d like 4 packets of crisps. C: Well, do you have any bottles of water? C: Great. I’d like 2 bottles of water, please. C: Yes, thanks. C: OK ... Oh no! I haven’t got any money!