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Quotable Quotes

Social values & attitudes [culture]

Influence on writing conventions, lexical preferences, (textual) structures, politeness


strategies

Cultural values play a role in determining what participants do in verbal interaction, what and
how face is projected and maintained, what avoidance strategies are utilised when face is
threatened, how ritual equilibrium is maintained and restored, etc (Kachru & Smith, 2008)

Conventions of writing differ across varieties (Kachru & Smith, 2008)

Politeness parameters: status, intimacy, kinship, group membership, etc

e.g. Kinship terms (Kachru & Smith, 2008) Older men among the Nuer people of Sudan
will address their younger counterparts as gatada, meaning my son, while younger men
address their male elders as gwa, meaning father (Evan-Pritchard, 1948)

Cultural values determine which parameters interact with each other, and which ones are
weighted more heavily in comparison with the others (Kachru & Smith, 2008)
o

Set formula of greeting (Ferguson, 1976) e.g. Respected Professor, Dear Sir

Positive and negative politeness strategies (Brown & Levinson, 1978)

The greater the effort expended in face-maintaining linguistic behaviour, the


greater the politeness (Brown & Levinson, 1987)

Hedges are used in societies in order to reduce friction in that they leave the
way open for the respondent to disagree with the speaker and the speaker to
retreat (Lakoff, 1974)

For some languages, politeness must be encoded into every structure: there are obligatory
markers of status, defence, and humility. Other languages express politeness less overtly, or
differently: perhaps by smiling or in the stance, or distance kept between participants in an
encounter (Lakoff, 1974)

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American (Inner Circle) culture: according to Grices Maxims (1975)


o

It is appropriate to use direct imperatives with the politeness marker please (Kachru
& Smith, 2008)

In Western culture, generally speaking, individual face wants are attended to more
systematically than the demands of status or age or rank in interactions (Kachru &
Smith, 2008)

Arabic culture: rhetoricism


o

Arabs tend towards exaggeration, emotionalism, overstatement, and what is


sometimes called purple prose (Moujtahid, 1995)

swayed more by words than ideas, and more by ideas than facts (Patai, 1973)

Thank you = kathar khearak = may Allah increase your well-being

Get well soon = may there be upon you nothing but health, if Allah wills

Japanese culture: space, the relationship between reader and writer (Jenkins & Hinds,
1987)

Social values & attitudes [identity]

Language expresses the way individuals situate themselves in a relationship to others, the
way they group themselves, the powers they claim for themselves and the powers they
stipulate to others (Lippi-Green, 1997)

Identity, whether it is at an individual, social, or institutional level, is something which we are


constantly building and negotiating all our lives through our interaction with
others (Thornborrow, 2004)

Language used to indicate social allegiances; Us vs Them (Van Dijk, 1998), solidarity vs
distance, power asymmetry, etc.

In defining ourselves as a group, we may use language to exercise a dominant influence on


our perception of social structure (Crystal, 1987)

Solidarity: achieved through familiarity or when interlocutors share a common attribute


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The notion that the right to initiate the reciprocal [solidary linguistic form] belongs to
the member having the better power-based claim (Brown & Gilman, 1960)

If the subordinate interlocutor violates this sociolinguistic rule, he will have had
overstepped some boundary (Brown & Gilman, 1960) ! initiation of solidarity fails

Stylistic variation occurs as speakers take into account whom they are talking to, and
alter their speech style accordingly i.e. concept of audience design (Bell, 1984) and
linguistic convergence (Giles & Powesland, 1975)

Address terms: creates/reinforces non-reciprocal power relationships (hierarchy & inequality)


o

Use of the second-person pronoun you e.g. French tu vs vous, Russian ty vs


vy, Japanese honorifics

Students mandated to use maam, sir, etc to create respect for teachers, while
teachers still refer to students by their first names

Mississippi sociolinguistic rules required African-Americans to show deference to all


Anglo-Americans through linguistic choices i.e. sir vs boy

Loaded language: words used in a semantically correct way, but with an intention of
reinforcing ones opinion of an individual/group
o

Every language has the capacity to take the form that its users require (Bolinger,
1980)

Every spoken word or phrase convey meanings which are not present in the words:
anger, affection, inquiry, displeasure, reassurance, uncertainty, restraint,
haughtiness, submission, authority (Bolinger, 1980)

Linguistic taboos: extremely strong politeness constraint


o

Used to show freedom from social constraints, draw attention, mock authority, etc.

Creeks of Oklahoma avoid fakki (soil), apiswa (meat)

Thai students in EL-speaking countries avoid fag (sheath), phrig (chili pepper)

Euphemistic language: a word which is substituted for a more conventional or familiar one
as a way of avoiding negative values (Fairclough, 1989)
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Power: Use Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 1989)


o

Note that CDA is explicitly concerned with investigating how language is used to
construct and maintain power relationships in society

Conferred by social position, having the backing of an institution, lect used, etc.

Discourse plays a crucial role in manufacturing the consent of others (Herman &
Chomsky, 1988)

Linguistic features are elaborated on under [media]; they include inclusive/exclusive


pronoun use, active/passive sentence constructions, tense and aspect, adjectives,
adverbs, nouns, verbal/mental/verbal/existential processes, sentence types (positive
or negative), (low/medium/high) modality, grammatical mood, cohesion (connectors,
reference), coordination/subordination in clauses, rhetoric, etc.

Interactional Discourse: Relevant in turn-taking system

Ideal form is informal conversation between equals, where all participants


have equal rights at each point in the formula; but its actual occurrence in
our class-divided and power-riven society is extremely limited it ought not
to be taken as a norm (Fairclough, 1989)

1. Interruptions
2. Enforcing explicitness forcing interlocutor out of ambiguity/silence
3. Controlling topic
4. Formulation rewording of what has been said/wording of what may be
assumed to follow from what has been said & what is implied by what has
been said ! used to check understanding, reach agreement, or to control
+

As paraphrases, reformulations do not merely repeat the question in a literal,


word-for-word manner; they recast the prior in a way that alters its
character (Heritage, 1985)

Classroom discourse in exchange structure model (Sinclair & Coulthard,


1975)

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Construction &/ reinforcement of perspectives [storytelling]

Stories: expressions of so-called episodic/situation models (Van Dijk, 1998)


o

Reproduces knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, norms and values of a group of people

May serve persuasive function through maintenance and legitimation of dominant


power and ideologies

May be used to ridicule/criticise

Model: mental representation of an episode/event/action taking place in a specific social


situation (Van Dijk, 1998)
o

Embodies our interpretation of an event

Features our personal opinions about such an event

Context model: represents communicative situation itself by monitoring what of the


event model the story-teller will eventually express e.g. by incorporating the assumed
expectations and interests of the audience

Language and Racism:


o

Macro i.e. social inequality vs micro i.e. everyday racism (Essed, 1991)

Minorities receive overall negative evaluation

Generalisations

Personal anecdotes lend credibility

Tend to be uncommon, remarkable, and hence interesting

Minorities tend to be portrayed as culprits and a threat to the majority


victims

Persuasively define the ethnic status quo as natural, just, inevitable or even as
democratic (van Dijk, 1996)

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Construction &/ reinforcement of perspectives [media]

Through choices in terms of vocabulary, grammar and textual structures to emphasise


certain details and downplay others, in order to communicate attitudes and
assumptions (Simpson, 1993)

Angles of telling (Thomas, Wareing & Singh, 2004)

Language is a projection of positions and perspectives a way of communicating attitudes


and assumptions (Simpson, 1993)

News is not a reflection of reality, but a product shaped by political, economic and cultural
forces (Fowler, 1991)

Ideological square: (Van Dijk, 1998)


o

Suppress/de-emphasise information that is negative about Us

Suppress/de-emphasise information that is positive about Them

Express/emphasise information that is positive about Us

Express/emphasise information that is negative about Them

Rewording: an existing, dominant, and naturalised wording is being systematically replaced


by another one in conscious opposition to it (Fairclough, 1989)

Overwording: preoccupation with some aspect of reality which may indicate that it is a
focus of ideological struggle (Fairclough, 1989)

Nominalisation: leave attributions of causality and responsibility unclear (Fairclough, 1989),


also makes the sentence seem more matter-of-fact

Passivation: obfuscation of agency and causality (Fairclough, 1989), also widens the divide
between the reader and event so that the former is less involved

Tense & aspect:


o

Present simple tense constructs event as fact/reality

Present perfect tense signals immediate relevance

Past simple tense signals that the past event is no longer important/relevant
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Rhetoric: manage the comprehension processes of the recipient, and hence, indirectly the
structures of mental models (Van Dijk, 1998)
o

Includes metaphors, hyperboles, comparisons

Includes repetition moves (syntactic parallelism, rhyme, alliteration) further


increase the attention paid to such semantic properties of the discourse, and thereby
enhance the possibility that they will be stored, as intended, in the preferred model of
an event (Van Dijk, 1998)

Ordering in newspaper articles is based upon importance or newsworthiness, with the


headline and first paragraph in particular giving what are regarded as the most important
parts, and the gist of the story (Fairclough, 1989)

Expressing a topic in a headline in news may powerfully influence how an event is defined
in terms of a preferred mental model (Van Dijk, 1991)

Relative incompleteness vs overcompleteness (Van Dijk, 1991)

Language & Gender

Sexism in English:
o

Asymmetry e.g. the word man referring to both humankind in general and a male

Unmarked terms used for males e.g. lion vs marked terms used for females e.g.
lioness; derived from the meaning of the associated diminutive suffixes in terms
such as laundrette (a little laundry) and maisonette (a small house)

Semantic derogation, where words which refer to women acquire demeaning/sexual


connotations e.g. wizard/witch, master/mistress

Unequal representation of women contribute to perceptions held by both men and


women which result in women having less power over their own lives and other
resources than men

Sexism in Conversations:

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Unequal conversational patterns are reflective of larger power disparities between


men and women

Dominance Theory: But that very language and the conditions for its use in turn structure a
patriarchal order (Spender, 1980)

The very semantics of the language reflect [womens] condition. We do not even have our
own names, but bear that of the father until we exchange it for that of the husband (Morgan,
1977)

Difference Theory (Tannen, 1988):


o

Status vs support

Independence vs intimacy

Report vs Rapport

Males engage in competitive overlap


(interruptions), where they claim and

Advice vs understanding

Information vs feelings

keep their turns

Females engage in cooperative


overlap (backchannelling) to support

Orders vs proposals

Conflict vs compromise

and affirm the interlocutor

Language & Age

Age is an important cultural category: there is a strong tendency in English to place the
adjective expressing the most defining characteristic closest to the noun. (Peccei, 2004)

Under-5s and over-65s seem to have a disproportionately large number of specialised age
group labels, which specifically single them out as having a special status.

Under-5s are apprentice speakers and have limited vocabulary; over-65s are experienced
users but may have less acute hearing and require longer processing time to produce and
understand complex sentences. (Peccei, 2004)

Similarities between CDL and EDL (Coupland, Coupland & Giles, 1991)

Cultural expectations of under-5s and over-65s: preconceived beliefs of a childs/


elders linguistic competence and communicative ability
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To assert power of the caregiver in relation to the child//elder, establishing the


caregivers right to command compliance

To reflect an attitude of affection and nurturance towards the recipient and a


willingness to accommodate to their needs

Over-accommodation (Edwards & Noller, 1993)


Grammatically and syntactically simpler sentences
Slower and louder speech, higher pitch, exaggerated intonation
More questions and repetitions, directive/instructive language
Use of pet names/terms of endearment
Interruptions and overlaps
Talking over - talking about the individual in their presence and referring to
them as we (false inclusive), he, or she
Some elders may find it patronising or demeaning (Giles, Giles & Nissaum,
1991)

Underlying evaluations

Being a child continues to express more about power relationships than


chronology, although the two are intimately intertwined. Childrens powerlessness
reflects their limited access to economic resources, their exclusion from political
participation and the corresponding cultural image of childhood as a state of
weakness, dependency and incompetence. (Franklin, 1995)

When youre old, people treat you like youre invisible. (Winokur, 2001)

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