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Discourse and Pragmatics

The Ethnography of Speaking


Mediated Action
Action determines discourse
Discourse determines action
Cultural Tools
Social Practices
Communities of Practice
Agency
A Workplace Interaction
Actions
Cultural Tools
Agency
Whats the point?
Understanding how actions determine
discourse
Understanding how discourse determines
action
The Pressure of Practice
The Funnel of Committment
What are the rules for social
practices
Different in different communities
Rules about
Who says what to whom, when, and how
The expected outcomes of our
communication
Whose in charge and who is not
Who is allowed into the conversation
What it means to be a competent member of
the community



Ethnographic Based
Discourse Analysis
Rules not RULES
Participant observation
Insider vs. Outsider

The Ethnography of Speaking
Noam Chomsky
Competence vs. Performance
(grammatical competence)
Dell Hymes
Communicative
Competence

Speech Situation
Hymes
Speech Event
Speech Act
Situations, Events and Acts
Speech Situation
All the actions going on and cultural tools available
to take them
NEXUS OF PRACTICE
Speech Event
Instance of a social practice in which discourse
plays a primary role
Argument, debate, lecture, chat, mahjonng game
Speech Acts
Lower order actions
Greeting, Thanking, etc.
Speech Acts and
Speech Events
Speech Event
Act Act Act Act
Question
What does a member of a community of
practice need to know to participate
successfully in a speech event?
What sort of communicative
competence does s/he need to have?
Task
Ethnographic data
Observation
Interviews with informants
Krumping
Watch the video and discuss
What members need to know to participate in this
speech event
How they learn it
What kinds of behavior might mark one as a non-
member
Speaking
Setting and Scene
Participants
Ends
Act Sequence
Key
Instrumentalities
Norms
Genre
Setting and Scene
Where the speech event is located in time
and space
"Setting refers to the time and place of a
speech act and, in general, to the physical
circumstances
Scene is the "psychological setting" or
"cultural definition" of a scene, including
characteristics such as range of formality and
sense of play or seriousness
Participants
Who takes part and what role they play
Discourse roles and social roles
Ratified and Unratified participants
Speaker and audience (addressees,
hearers, over-hearers, eavesdroppers
Ends
Purpose or expected outcome
Might be different for different
participants
Asking your boss for a promotion
Going to the cinema


Act Sequence
What acts (actions) are included and
how they are arranged sequentially

Key
Tone, manner, mood, spirit and how it is
signalled or established
Linguistic, paralinguistic and non-verbal
cues
Instrumentalities
Channel, media, languages and
language varieties
Cultural tools

Norms of Interaction
Rules governing how acts (actions) are
produced and interpreted
How participants are supposed to act
and react
Genre
What type (social category) does the
speech event belong to
What conventional forms are drawn
upon
Mixed genres, blurry; genres
Speech Situation vs.
Speech Event?
Do the same rules of speaking apply
throughout the entire segment?
Ethnography of Speaking vs.
Mediated Discourse Analysis
MDA E of S
Practices and Actions Speech Events and
Speech Acts
Cultural Tools Instrumentalities, Genre,
Setting, Key
Focus on Agency Focus on Competence
Focus on all human action Focus on communicative
action
Analysis vs. Description
What are the speech events that occur in this
community and what are their features?
Why do these speech events occur in this
way?
What is the social and cultural significance of
speaking in a certain way?
Making connections between speech events
and community organizations, practices,
values
cookbook vs. heuristic
Examples
Having a Kros
Setting
Participants
Ends
A Pentecostal Church Meeting (Cameron)
Sequencing: When to say hallelujah
Members generalization vs. observation
Implicit vs. explicit knowledge
Participants?
Setting?
All components are to some extent discursively
constructed

Task
Watch the clip from
an Evangelical
Church Camp for
children and apply the
SPEAKING model to
it
Discuss any
difference between
how you perceive the
event and how you
think participants
perceive it
The Ethnography of Writing
Internet Forums/Blogs
Graffiti
Sky Writing


The Ethnography of Reading
Reading as a public
event
Choral reading
Notice reading
Newspaper reading
Book reading
Technologically
mediated reading