• Language and Technology Revision Notes

Language and Technology Revision

FAIRCLOUGH • Computers imitate human interaction- i.e. ‘are you sure?’ • Computers allow you to ‘take turns’- i.e. using a drop down menu for your turn

CHRISTOPHER WERRY • In internet chat people use more letters than necessary to imitate speech or semantic nuance • Text and email are like talk as people take turns and it’s informal

CARRINGTON, CRYSTAL, SHORTIS, THURLOW AND WERRY • Linguistic compression used in text- i.e. vowel deletion, phonetic spelling, initialisms and letter/ number homophones

SHEGLOFF • ‘Canonical openings’ –most telephone conversations start similarly

SINCLAIR • Compressed English- like how small ads are written

HOWARD GILES • Accommodation theory- divergence • Accommodation theory- convergence

GRICE • Quantity • Relevance • Manner • Quality • Implicature- i.e. when ask if shop is open and someone replies ‘it’s Sunday’, the implicature is that it won’t be open on Sunday

BROWN AND LEVINSON • Positive politeness- we show we admire someone • Negative politeness- we avoid intruding on others- i.e. ‘excuse me- can you tell me the time?’ • Synchronous communication is internet chat as it happens in ‘real time’ • Asynchronous communication is email/texting as there’s a delay between each


Text Messaging/ Instant Messaging • Easy to understand use of language/lexis/initialism- otherwise wouldn’t have spread so quickly • Even though technology affects the language, the language choices are still made by the persons involved • Registers are affected by audiences, purpose and context and it differs according to the medium of communication and whether it’s person-to-person or face-to-face communication • Textisms (textual features associated with SMS text) not always about shortening • Christopher Werry- Internet Chat- participants are prepared to use more letters than necessary- particularly to simulate prosodic effects of speech, or to indicate semantic nuance • Linguistic compression- feature of text messages. The following theorists all identified features of compressed text in messages as vowel deletion, phonetic spelling, initialisms and letter/ number homophones- Carrington, Crystal, Shortis, Thurlow and Werry. • Sociolect is very important with issues like text messaging • Sometimes because of the lack of prosodic/paralinguistic features, texts are ambiguous • Texting tolerates non-standard BUT NOT RANDOM spelling and punctuation and features associated with speech- i.e. elision and ellipsis • The docus is on communication rather than grammar • Often informal language choices • Often dyadic • Can’t always tell if there’s a time delay between messages

Telephone Conversations • Harvey Sacks researched pone openings and Shegloff called telephone addresses ‘canonical openings’ as they are similar but can vary • Use of fillers to keep turn • Politeness features of turn taking • Fact that landline assumes some element of privacy while mobile phone may need foregrounding of location before conversation takes place • Overlapping- enthusiasm or disruptive and dominant? • Context of where call takes place • Level of formality depends on speakers • Evidence of convergence/ divergence? • Spontaneous and often colloquial • Uses adjacency pairs

In pre-recorded messages • Often absence of elision • Pauses are used to simulate natural speech • Emphasis is used for key words in an attempt to facilitate comprehension • Undemanding vocab- suitable for wide audience • Sometimes jargon is used- especially that of telephones- i.e. hash key and keypad • Imperatives are used to give clear instructions • Parataxis allows information to link without the need for clauses • Mitigated imperatives are used for politeness- i.e. ‘if’ and ‘please’ • Politeness markers used • Caller has limited ability to interrupt or changed the direction of the call

Sports Commentaries • Visual aspect is always absent • Quality of commentators’ voices is crucial • Prosodic features (i.e. volume, rhythm, intonation, tempo, stress, etc) engage audience • It’s vicarious- imagined through the experience of another • About experiencing an event that takes place somewhere else • Silence needs to be avoided but detail must be selected as there’s too much to say- phatic • Ellipsis is used naturally with the pace of the commentary • Radio commentary enables focussed delivery that is vivid and direct • Audience is mainly sports fas and therefore one expects to hear specialist terms • Commentators report progress of match clearly and accurately and give background information on teams, players, managers, past matches, etc. they evaluate the teams and the players in an informed way. They interpret actions and offer opinions, convey the atmosphere and drama of the event and even sometimes display personal bias • Need to be selective and sometimes choose to ignore ongoing play of little interest to relate other matters • They might repeat to give an ‘action replay’ in words • Reported action is regularly punctuated with other matters in a rapid manner • Jargon is expected by the audience for economy of expressions • Sinclair discussed ‘compressed English’ wic normally applies to written texts such as dictionary definitions, classified ads, etc but this is also used in football • Pauses are not necessarily linked to the end of clauses • Normally the action is discussed in present tense • Passive voice can be used to refer to previous clauses • Ellipsis allows economical and fluid delivery- i.e. not using pronouns before verbs • Mainly simple connectives between clauses or no connectives as cohesion can be lexical not grammatical • There’s not always a marker between clauses- sometimes bried pauses are used • Use of background information, opinion and anecdote is offered when little action is occurring • Formulaic phrases/ jargon are used for economical delivery, efficient communication of action and dramatic effect • The topic of the ball’s movement is implied (with phrases like ‘carried forward’) • Usually surnames are used but also use first names frequently to show familiarity and to create an intimate relationship between the commentator and audience • Register is a) specialist and professional b) colloquial c) intended to convey the excitement of the event to an audience with shared knowledge and values • Audience not directly addressed • Phatic talk to avoid silence • Some information is provided for listeners who have just tuned in

Emails • Originally was known as ‘E-mail’ (always with capital E followed by dash) • Only 15 years ago was only really used in universities and IT companies. Now ubiquitous • Widespread belied that typos and misspellings are more tolerated in email • Informal spoken features are likely to be found • Can write to many people in one communication and reply automatically • Can write text into previous mail • Remember that linguistic choices have been made in all emails • Allow instantaneous communication • Can use speech features like ellipsis and context dependent expressions • Often composed in haste • Can use jargon depending on whether sent for business • Spelling generally more standard than SMS • Register depends upon those involved and context of the email • If being sent to several people will tend to normally have accessible lexis and grammar for accessibility • Different types of sentences will be used from formal complex sentences in business emails to simple lexis and grammar in jokey formal emails

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