Reaction on Emanuel A. Schegloff’s
Reflections on Talk and Social Structure
1. I agree with Schegloff's position that there is a need to reevaluate, and if needed, reconstruct, the approaches, terms, etc., in the analysis of CA, particularly, the connection of talk to social structure, as this is a given. Social theories should always be tested against the ever-changing conditions and requirements of the current society; their applicability and relevance be evaluated and reevaluated if we are to use these theories in approaching the society. Every so often, a scholar shall forward an advent similar to Schegloff's - a call for a reevaluation of sorts. In Sociocultural Linguistics, for example, Per Linell argued in Dynamics of discourse or stability of structure: Sociolinguistics and the legacy from linguistics that scholars have been valorizing stable structures over dynamic ones, subjugating highly contextual talk situations to context-free approaches or theories (107).
2. In discussing relevance, Schegloff points out that the problem of it has something to do with "a characterization or categorization of the participants on that occasion as one relevantly to be selected from that set of forms" (51. emphasis my own). Schegloff then, in addressing the problem of relevance, emphasizes singularity: "the relevance of that term relative to the alternative terms that are demonstrably available" (50. emphasis my own). If Schegloff's sees warrant and the availability thereof as central to the issue of relevance, mine is more of plurality. That we can be characterized through many reference forms (Schegloff, 50) implies that these reference forms are accessible to the parties involved in any given talk (the number of reference forms indicating the type of bond between the parties). That I, for example, can be seen - and thus addressed - by a talk companion as friend, male, son, and a student of linguistics, just to name a few, implies that the other party or...
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