I have selected an interview with X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland, in which she finds out that contestant Frankie Cocozza has been 'kicked off' of the show.
Transcription methods vary depending on what the analyst chooses to investigate. In this particular case, as I was interested in, not only how the speakers perform social activities through language (Seedhouse, 2008), but also the contribution of their non-verbal actions, I chose Conversation Analysis (CA). However, one must point out that, although CA emphasises empirical, data-led research "to guard against building speculative theories," (Hewings, 2008, p.34), it is futile to suppose one single, authoritative version of the original event exists (Graddol, 1994). Furthermore, not all features of spoken interaction can be captured, nor can specific motives be attributed to a certain non-verbal action.
of course we are a:bsolutely huge fans of you on the[x factor
(loving watching [you
um (.) but b.but (.) w.we're sho(cked to hear today ((fiddles with
hair)) that Frankie's (.) gone (.) what can you tell ºus º w.what do you
make of that
= I don't we don't we've been lo(cked in a room [all day
[oh re::ally( hah
hah (.) oh gosh yeah( th.they released a statement saying that
he um (.) that he's decided to leave
(.) oh I don't know I think we'll have [to ( )
[oh I'm sorry I ( )
((holds up hand as if to stop))
[yeah cos that would be quite the
face to have from [that oh my god
[I'm so sorry I didn't realise it like broke all over
twitter (.) and I um we got a º statement º about it
((Kelly looks at her PA)) (0.2) I don't know we'll have to cos (Ellen's
not (here from (.) talkback we haven't we'd need to get that [verified
[ ( ) music interview [today
[like no no I'm sorry I didn't mean to=
I I didn't mean to [like
[ ( )
Yeah sorry I didn't mean to [like um I didn't realise that you (.) didn't
[ ((she sighs loudly)) (0.3) (poor guy(
Conversation Analysis is based on the idea that what is said draws a vast amount of meaning from what is left unsaid (Maybin, 2007). Seemingly incoherent conversations are actually organised in an orderly fashion, centred around the cooperation of participants (Hewings, 2008). The excerpt I have chosen is particularly interesting as, although it stems from a potentially scripted situation, due to Kelly's misinformation, the entire conversation immediately shifts to unscripted.
The conversation begins with informal 'small talk,' known as phatic communion (Malinowski, 1923.) Its primary purpose is not its content, but rather to bind the reporter and Kelly together before 'getting down to business.' The reporter's opening comment of being an absolutely huge fan of hers on the X-Factor establishes an interactional framework for the encounter. As the interviewer, she is expected to lead the conversation, yet her continuous opening compliments - "loving watching you"- show that she is aware of Kelly's higher status and, thus, is paying far more attention to face needs (Levinson, 1987). "Face" is a term coined by sociologist Goffman (1967) for people's public self-image. Here, the reporter, keen to obtain a successful interview, uses compliments to focus on positive face needs, fitting with Holmes' (1994) research that women are more likely to give compliments as a way of gaining popularity through 'egalitarian norms.'
Although turn-taking may be taken for granted, it is actually...
References: Atkinson, J.M. (1984) Our Master 's Voices: The Language and Body Language of Politics, London, Methuen
Brown, P. and Levinson, S. (1987) Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Edwards, V. (2007) U211 Exploring the English Language, DVD 1: Language Play in English, Block B, Unit 11, Section 5, Milton Keynes, The Open University
Goodwin, M.H. (1990) 'Tactical use of stories: participation frameworks within girls ' and boys ' disputes ', Discourse Processes, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 33-71
Graddol, D., Cheshire, J., and Swann, J
Halliday, M.A.K. (1978) Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language and Meaning, London, Edward Arnold
Holmes, J. (2001) Introduction to Sociolinguistics (2nd edn), London, Longman
Malinowski, B. (1923) 'The problem of meaning in primitive languages ' in Ogden, C.K. and Richards, I.M. (eds) The Meaning of Meaning, London, Routledge &Kegan Paul
Percival, A. (2011) What? The moment Kelly finds out Frankie has been axed [online] London http://celebrity.aol.co.uk/2011/11/08/kelly-rowland-frankie-cocozza/ (Accessed: 29th Nov 2011)
Sacks, H., Schegloff, E
Seedhouse, P. (2008) U211 Exploring the English Language, DVD 1: Everyday Talk, Block B, Unit 9, Section 1, Milton Keynes, The Open University
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