Neuage – PhD research into conversational analysis of chat room talk – this page is a very rough draft. Individual case studies and other areas are being worked on at various times. 29-Nov-01
Conversational Analysis of Chat Room Talk PHD thesis by Dr. Terrell Neuage University of South Australia National Library of Australia.
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Thursday, 29 November 2001
In this case study I am hoping to create an integration of semantics and pragmatics. To establish an analysis of dialogue I need to have both semantic representation, (content of what the different ‘speakers’ in a chat room are saying), and pragmatic information, (the kinds of speech acts they are performing, such as; are they asking a question, answering a question that has just been asked, or just announcing their presence? The list of different pragmatics I use are available in the ‘data’ section - http://se.unisa.edu.au/phd/chat/britchat.htm - section) In this case study I hope to identify a dialogue system which will identify both semantic and pragmatic information.
The semiotic triangle
Word as Sign, Language as Code:
Pragmatic accounts of co-reference (Prince, Levinson, Clark): Referring as a cooperative/collaborative process
When we examine the turn-taking considerations of face-to-face conversations in order to hear a message correctly, one person must be listening and not talking or being active in a non-listening manner, because the message itself is evanescent. of a chat room Also since it is relatively easy to notice the completion of utterances, turn taking can be easily regulated. The situation is different for our media, however. First of all, the messages will persist (in the MOO until they scroll off the screen, and in the whiteboard until explicitly deleted). Also, since the receiver can only notice the message when it has been completed, it is quite possible that both partners are composing messages at the same time. Thus we often observe crossed-topics in turn-taking in which an utterance ignores the previous utterance and, it relates back to a previous one.
According to Noam Chomsky, Galileo regarded the discovery of a means to communicate our "most secret thoughts to any other person with 24 little characters" as the greatest of all human inventions.[i] Whether our communication with one another will change as a result of chat rooms is a possibility. Using emoticons to represent what could take a sentence to explain is our latest communicative invention. Instead of saying ‘I didn’t really mean what I said I was laughing or at least smiling when I wrote what I just wrote’ once could simply put :) which on most computers becomes J to say it short and simply.
Replacement repairers switch the direction of upcoming talk through substitution of part of a prior talk – the turn-taking utterance before.
Shifting in the intention of the ‘speaker’ - compare this to the meta-linguistic phrases found if they exist in the chat
Focus on properties of the code (on ‘langue’) as well as speech used in speech situation.
Ethno-methodology focuses attention on the common sense procedures used by individuals to construct social worlds. ‘Ethno’ is the Greek word for a people or nation and its usage in our study will be the methodology used for the linguistic behaviour patterns of chat room participators.
Finding recurrent patterns of morphemes – independent of either their meaning or their relationships to non-textual interactions –
The illocutionary force of an utterance is often signalled by particles, conjunctions, and interjections.
A performative verb[ii] specifies all of the illocutionary force whereas particles and conjunctions usually specify only some parts of the illocutionary force.
Table one are the types of phrases used (ie. Greeting, answers etc) in the Britney Spears chat room.
Table two denotes abbreviation, emoticon and the beginning of threads of conversation in the Britney Spears chat room.
Table three are the user names of the participants in the Britney Spears chat room.
Table four is the raw data as it occurred in the Britney Spears chat room.
Table five lists the utterances used without user name or other coding devices in the Britney Spears chat room.
Table seven are all words in the Britney Spears chat room separated in order of appearance in the chat room. Table eight are the words in alphabetic order as well as number of occurrences for each word and word type.
[ii] Performative Verb - A term used in philosophy and linguistics for a type of verb (apologize, forbid, inform, promise, request, thank) that can explicitly convey the kind of speech act being performed. In saying I apologize for my behaviour, someone is making an apology, which could also be done in part at least without such a verb: My behaviour was utterly deplorable. Generally, the performative verb in such sentences is in the simple present active and the subject is 1, but the verb may be in the simple present passive and the subject need not be 1: Smoking is forbidden; The committee thanks you for your services. A test for whether a verb is being used performatively is the possible insertion of hereby: I hereby apologize; The committee hereby thanks you. In hedged performatives, the verb is present but the speech act is performed indirectly: in saying I must apologize for my behaviour, the speaker is expressing an obligation to make an apology, but implies that the acknowledgement of that obligation is the same as an apology. In contrast, I apologized is a report, and Must I apologize? is a request for advice. The Oxford Companion to the English Language, © Tom McArthur 1992 http://www.xrefer.com/entry/443329
James, William. Pragmatism: A new Name for some Old Ways of Thinking. New Yhork: Longmans, Green, 1907. P. 45.
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