DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF FAMILY INTERACTIONS
Burnham, Denis. 2002. What 's New, Pussycat? On Talking to Babies and Animals. Science. Volume American Association for the Advancement of Science. Downloaded from
www.sciencemag.org on July 28, 2014.
Denis Burnham is a professor and Director of the MARCS Auditory Laboratories at the University of Western Sydney. This research article focuses primarily on Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) and Pet-Directed Speech (PDS). Dr. Burnham hypothesized that humans speak in manners specific to their intended audience and that mothers, in most languages, hyperarticulate vowels to assist their babies in attaining native language vowels. In this study the pitch, affect, and vowel hyperarticulation of twelve mothers was investigated via the use of a lapel microphone. The mothers were asked to play with the words of three provided toys (sheep, shoe, and shark). They directed this speech in fifteen minute increments throughout their day to their infant, pet, and an adult. Dr. Burnham was investigating the similarities and differences that existed in pet-directed, infant-directed, and adult-directed speech. The results of the test proved that infant and pet directed speech are indeed similar and yet quite different from adult-directed speech. Mothers hyperarticulate vowels when speaking with their infants and not when speaking with their pets. Dr. Burnham believes that this occurs because mothers take into consideration both the linguistic and emotional needs of their audience during discourse.
Tannen, Deborah. 2003. Power maneuvers or connection maneuvers? Ventriloquizing in family interaction. Washington, DC. Georgetown University Press.
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...course examples demonstrated by Tannen. However, the manipulative control maneuvers that present themselves in each of the three studies, I believe, prove my theory that women are cognizant of their subordinate role in the family unit thus resort to ventriloquizing via a voiceless, unconditionally loving pet as a power maneuver to criticize, teach values, strengthen family bonds, and initiate apologies from other members within the family, all the while maintaining the appearance of the neutral peacekeeper. Mothers and pets serve many purposes in the American family. Most provide unconditional love, security, acceptance, and companionship, yet anticipate little in return. The pairing of these two entities, I argue, benefit all the members of the family and proves that pets open the lines of communication within a family and promote harmony in the household.
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