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A Conversation Analysis from the film Babel - Essay Example

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Babel, a tough film produced in 2006 depicts the underlying problems with communication issues and the desire to be heard and understood within the society. A film has a series of short stories that do not have conclusive endings. …
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A Conversation Analysis from the film Babel
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Download file to see previous pages A film has a series of short stories that do not have conclusive endings. It is important to note that a convenient plot holds the shots in different places together. The intriguing plot of the movie depicts a series of much-unconnected stories of different persons and societies all over the world. In this film, communication and lack of it form the basis for my research on conversation analysis. In the movie, an American female tourist is mysteriously shot and wounded while on tour in the desert of Morocco. The two tourists, Richard and Susan argue bitterly following lose of their beloved son. Ironically, the shooter remains a puzzle and sets the impetus for a series of short stories that in the end make the plot of the whole film. This touches on the aspects of how different world languages, different societies, and cultures vary. In the film, different languages are spoken by different characters altogether. While her husband is trying to save her in the middle of a desert, their nanny in Mexico takes the couple’s children to a wedding. In another part of the movie, a 16 year-old adolescent girl, who also happens to be deaf looks for somebody to break her virginity. She does this in her quest to be understood the way she wants. The unending communication barriers brought about by different linguistic backgrounds is a theme of great relevance to conversation analysis....
Sacks et al defines turn taking as one party talking at a time. There is a minimization of gaps and silences too that enhance the feature of turn taking. He continues to argue that there is formulated system that makes these two techniques possible. In this case, one party speaks independently at a time hence minimizing the gaps and silences. Sacks et al. continues to state that a turn-construction unit (TCU) is the basic unit of a turn. (Brown, 2007, p. 224) argues that oral language and discourse is marked by exchanges. In this case, few sentences spoken by one participant are followed and built upon by sentences spoken by another. Whenever turn-constructional unit unfolds, a possible completion point is achieved. The possible completion point is considered as the transition point for any speaker. The waiter utilizes turn-constructional unit in the conversation below. 01 A waiter brings a plate and some cutlery 02 Waiter: (In broken English)) ^You want to order? --- Sentential TCU In line 02 above, the waiter in the restaurant initializes the conversation by asking a question. The arrow and the question mark indicate this. These two symbols tell us that in order for the conversation to move to the next level, an appropriate response must be given. In spite of talking probably in broken English, both Richard and Susan are able to get the conversation going by appropriately answering to his initial question. The sentential TCU provides the transition point for the next prudent conversation. 03. (0.9) 04 Richard: A:: yah’ll have thee um::chicken Co::usco::us (0.1)>and a 05Cokedoesn’t have fat in it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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