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Essay on How We Communicate in Conversations

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The way how the language is used within a social context is the study of discourse and when the language is acknowledged in context it evolves into understanding that communication is more 'than just grammar and lexis' as North (2012) points out. Whether it is written or spoken when it is employed in real life situations, language has a function irrespective of its form. Also, different registers are applied in different backgrounds dependently on participants engaged in conversation. Therefore, this essay will examine the settings, participants background, social context, register, turn-taking and other elements that are contributing on creation and in analysing different kinds of conversations on different examples of transcripts. More specifically the aim of this essay is to discuss the way in which people use English as a social tool in ordinary conversation through the discipline of conversation analysis on each speech act, as Allington and Mayor (2012) mention, which are actions 'carried out through speaking', that was transcribed from Clip 8.2 on DVD1 (The Open University, 2012) and other module materials as well.

Conversation analysis

The actions carried out by speaking are speech acts and they are meant to be examined by conversation analysis, which was introduced by sociologists Harvey Sacks, Emanuel Schegloff and Gail Jefferson. The crucial point about everyday talk is 'that it is dialogic' (Allington and Mayor, 2012, p. 8), therefore, each participant's utterance is aimed toward other participant. Bakhin (1952),quoted in Allington and Mayor (2012), maintains that it is especially in conversation, where people regularly 'refer to what people have said and that they also expect 'what they might say next' and 'a...


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...elationships are pointed quite clearly is 'in the terms' that 'people use to address each other' (Allington and Mayor, 2012, p. 18). Allington and Mayor (2012) provide a range of examples considering terms of addressing. One of these examples is pointing out at the 'classic example' from the 1960s involving an African-American doctor, which was insulted three times by the policeman and according to Dr Poussaint's, quoted from Ervin-Tripp (1969, pp. 93, 98), his own experience of the encounter was 'profound humiliation' when he says 'For the moment, my manhood had been ripped from me.' It is also noted by Allington and Mayor (2012) that commercial companies in the UK tend to address their clients with informal terms,


Dependently on a setting, relationship, age, gender, social class, ethnicity, place of origin, people employ different conversational styles.


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