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What We Say What We Mean Who are We?. Elaine Rich. Is This You?. The context: A and B are colleagues. A has just given an important presentation on their work. B had to be in another city at a separate meeting. B phones A to find out how things went. B: So how did it go this afternoon? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • What We SayWhat We MeanWho are We?Elaine Rich

  • Is This You?The context: A and B are colleagues. A has just given an important presentation on their work. B had to be in another city at a separate meeting. B phones A to find out how things went.B: So how did it go this afternoon?A: Pretty well, I guess. They really liked our work. But you would have done a much better job giving the presentation. I wish youd been here.B: Dont be silly. Most of the ideas in that presentation were yours.A: Some were. But youre a better talker and youre the one who figured out how all the pieces fit together.

  • This TalkWhat we say vs. what we mean

    Do we all share a common language?

  • Language at its Most Straightforward Propositional ContentBill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States.Texas is in France.The Matrix is playing at the Dobie.Lunch is at noon.What time is it?

  • When Theres More - PresuppositionsWhat is Clinton famous for?Wheres The Matrix playing?Who is the king of France?Have you started making it to your morning classes?Im going to check out all the five star restaurants in Cleveland on this trip.

  • When Theres More (Shared?) PresuppositionsI dont think Alexanders getting a proper education, he said to her one evening.Oh, hes okay.I asked him to figure what change theyd give back when we bought the milk today, and he didnt have the faintest idea. He didnt even know hed have to subtract.Well, hes only in second grade, Muriel said. I think he ought to switch to a private school.Private schools cost money.So? Ill pay.She stopped flipping the bacon and looked over at him. What are you saying? she said.Pardon?What are you saying, Macon? Are you saying youre committed? Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist, cited in (YJDU, p. 175)

  • Conversational PostulatesGrices maxims:The Maxim of Quantity:Be as informative as required.Dont be more so.The Maxim of Quality: Do not say what you believe to be false.Do not say that for which you lack sufficient evidence.Maxim of relevance: Be relevantMaxim of manner:Avoid obscurity of expressionAvoid ambiguityBe brief.Be orderly.

  • Conversational Postulates and Scalar Implicature A: Have you done the first math assignment yet?

    B: Im going to go buy the book tomorrow.

  • Another Example of Scalar Implicature

    A: When did you get home last night? B: I was in bed by midnight.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Inference

    A: Joe doesn't seem to have a girl-friend these days. B: He's been going to Dallas a lot lately.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Inference

    A: Lets go to the movies tonight. B: I have to study for an exam.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Inference

    Reviewer of new book:

    It is well-bound and free of typographical errors.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Inference

    A: What do you think of my new dress? B: Its interesting.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Illocutionary ForceDo you know what time it is?

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Illocutionary ForceDo you know what time it is?What time is it?

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Illocutionary ForceDo you know what time it is?What time is it?

    Im freezing.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Illocutionary ForceDo you know what time it is?What time is it?

    Im freezing.Get up and go close the window.

  • When Theres More Conversational Postulates and Illocutionary ForceDo you know what time it is?What time is it?

    Im freezing.Get up and go close the window.

    Politeness

  • When Theres More Emotive ForceCome on. Just forget about it.Hey, youre the best.Maybe what we ought to do is

  • When Theres More Emotive ForceCome on. Just forget about it.Hey, youre the best.Maybe what we ought to do is Do you think maybe we should

  • When Theres More Emotive ForceCome on. Just forget about it.Hey, youre the best.Maybe what we ought to do is Do you think maybe we should What we need to do is

  • This TalkWhat we say vs. what we meanPropositional ContentWhat we MeanPresuppositionsConversational PostulatesIllocutionary ForceEmotive Force

    Do we all share a common language?

  • In Some Languages, A Fairly Strong NoIn Japanese:Women use the honorific prefix o- more often than men do."Please proceed to the honorable second floor to do your money changing." Women and men have some different vocabulary items: women invariably praise food for being oishii (delicious), men are more likely to say umai

    http://www.cic.sfu.ca/tqj/GettingRight/womencomedown.htmlhttp://www.coolest.com/jpfm.htm

  • In Some Languages, A Fairly Strong NoIn Japanese:Women use the honorific prefix o- more often than men do."Please proceed to the honorable second floor to do your money changing." Women and men have some different vocabulary items: women invariably praise food for being oishii (delicious), men are more likely to say umai Older people are more likely to end sentences with ja.

    http://www.cic.sfu.ca/tqj/GettingRight/womencomedown.htmlhttp://www.coolest.com/jpfm.htm

  • The Language of Men and Women In many languages, women generally conform more closely to the standard, correct dialect than men do.The way people speak reflects their social roles, as well as their goals and priorities.

  • What About English?PhoneticsVocabulary

    Speaking behavior

  • What About English?PhoneticsIn the county of Norwich, female speakers of all five income levels surveyed were consistently more likely to pronounce the final g in "going" (a characteristic of so-called "correct English") than their male counterparts, who generally perceived "goin'" as rougher and hence more manly. Vocabulary

    Speaking behavior

  • Vocabulary: The One You Probably Expect Men are more likely to admit that they use swear words: In one study, 72% of men and 55% of women admitted that they swear in public.

  • Vocabulary: Color TermsAn experiment with five populations:I: men aged 20-35. Graduate students or people working in technical areas.II: men aged 45-60. All technically trained, highly educated professionals.III: women aged 20-35:A: technical, corresponding to group I.B: non-technical but well-educated.IV: women aged 45-60. Most of them married to the men in Group II.V: Catholic nuns, most of them over 30.

    http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/ear/Sex-Related_Colour.htm

  • Vocabulary: Color TermsFour responses:

    Basic one of: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, violet, white, black, brown, grey, pink, tan.

    Qualified a basic word qualified by words such as light or dark or by another basic word, e.g., yellowish green.

    Qualified fancy a basic word qualified by special words, such as sky blue or hunter green.

    Fancy color words not in the basic category, e.g., lavender, magenta, chartreuse.

  • Vocabulary: Color Terms

  • Speaking Behavior: Two Simple Examples Women produce more back-channel utterances (things like uh uh, I see, and yeah that acknowledge the speaker but do not grab the floor).

    Women use more tag questions (e.g., This will work, wont it? Or We need to install more memory, dont we?)

  • Speaking Behavior: A More Complex PatternThe rest of this talk is based primarily on the work of Deborah Tannen, as described in:You Just Dont UnderstandTalking from 9 to 5

    Caveat: The claims that Tannen makes are statistical and anecdotal. They dont describe universal truths that apply all the time to all people. Caveat: The experimental evidence that forms the basis for this work was done almost entirely in the US. Not clear to what extent the conclusions apply to other cultures.

  • Language As Behavior The core idea: Language is behavior. As such, it is formed by:How we perceive the worldMen: One Up One DownWomen: A group of equalsThe priorities we attach to our goalsMen : Achieve status (and independence)Women: form social connection and intimacies

  • Language As Behavior These differences affect:When we talkHow we talkOur misunderstandings

  • When We TalkMen talk in public.

    Women talk in private.

  • When We Talk Asking questionsBut some situations are riskier than others. A Hollywood talk-show producer told me that she had been flying with her father in his private airplane when he was running out of gas and uncertain about the precise location of the local landing strip he was heading for. Beginning to panic, the woman said, Daddy! Why dont you radio the control tower and ask them where to land? He answered, I dont want them to think Im lost. This story had a happy ending, else the woman would not have been alive to tell it to me. What about at school?

  • How We Talk Men vie for control; women try to equalize everyone.Laurie Heatherington and her colleagues had student experimenters ask hundreds of incoming college students to predict how they thought their first year at college would go by forecasting the grades they expected to get. In some cases, the predictions were made anonymously: They were put in writing and placed in an envelope. In others, they were made publicly, either orally to the experimenter or by writing on a paper that the experimenter promptly read. The researchers found that women predicted lower grades for themselves than men did but only when they made their predictions publicly. The predictions the women students made in private did not differ from the mens just as the grades they actually earn

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