Talking Up Close. By Deborah Tannen. Deborah Tannen (1945). was born in Brooklyn, NY received her Ph.D. in linguistics from UC Berkeley is University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University is the worldâ€™s most famous linguist.
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By Deborah Tannen
George: I’ve got burgundy shoes, but the belt’s got black in it too.
Kakava: Does it have black in it? Let me see.
George: It has a stripe in it that’s kind of brown.
Alkis: Drak brown.
George: It’s kind of dark.
Alkis: It’s tobacco-colored, dummy! It goes with everything.
George: Tobacco-colored? What are you talking about?!
Are you color-blind?!
What does Tannen mean by “status differences”?
The discussion of fighting, silence, and interrupting is intended to show that it is impossible to determine what a way of speaking “really means” because that same way of speaking can create either status differences or connection, or both in the same time.