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Language and culture - Essay Example

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The paper presents the influence of context on conversation that can be seen in the conversation between the two female students. It is often suggested that people will adjust their choice of words in language depending on the circumstance and context. …
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Language and culture
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Language and culture

Download file to see previous pages... The researcher states that if the relationship is a formal one for example a student talking to his professor, then there will be a strict application of the rules and structure of grammar. In cases where the relationship between the two speakers is informal such as in the two students, the conversation is not likely to follow the strict application of the rules and structure of grammar. In the conversation, it can be seen that the two students do not concentrate on explicitly expressing their thoughts. This attributes to the fact that their conversation is mostly informal and as such, they do not feel the need to avoid ambiguity. The two students have a lot of shared knowledge and therefore there is a lot of reference to the information that is shared or known to the two of them. The context in this case refers to the information that is not expressly communicated in the statements that are made but which is important and relevant to the understanding and interpretation of the discourse or the utterances that are made. An example of this from the conversation is ‘what will we share with them?’ The ‘them’ in this case is not specified. This is because the two speakers are aware of who is referred to as ‘them’. The use of pronouns is also seen in the discourse. As is a feature of informal speech, the discourse uses a lot of personal pronouns for example ‘them, she, they’ and so on. This is as a result of the shared body of knowledge that exists between the two speakers. They are therefore able to make references to the shared knowledge by making use of the pronouns. The use of ‘who’ as seen in the conversation is also a feature of informal speech as opposed to ‘whom’ which would be used in a formal context. Grammatical ellipsis has also been used in many instances in the discourse. This is where material that has already been presented in the discourse is omitted. Another observation that can be made in the discourse is the use of contraction. This is usually a common feature in an informal speech. In ellipsis, the omission of words is deliberate when the words that are omitted are expected to be understood from the context. Contraction refers to the practice of shortening words by omitting some of the internal letters in the word. This practice is different from the use of acronyms where initials of the letters are used. It is also different from abbreviation. In the discourse, contractions have been used on several occasions such as in ‘E’m’ instead of them, and ‘gonna’. Lexical density refers to the ratio of content words to the grammatical words that are used in any form of discourse be it spoken or written. In analyzing the conversation between the two students, one can find that the content ratio is low. This means that there are fewer content words than those that would be found in a formal discourse. The conversation is therefore easy to follow and understand. The level of politeness in a given discourse is often dependent on the relationship that exists between the participants of the discourse. In formal situations, it is likely that there will be a higher level of politeness than in the informal situations. In the discourse, there is no adherence to politeness in discourse because of the familiarity that exists betwe ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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At first, I thought 10 of pages is too much for such a issue. But now I see it could not be done better. As the author starts you see the complexity of the question. I’ve read all at once. Great document
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