* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
ETHNOGRAPHY OF COMMUNICATION ETHNOGRAPHY OF COMMUNICATION The ethnography of communication was proposed by D.H. Hymes in the early 1960s. The ethnography of communication is an approach to discourse that is based on anthropology and linguistics. Not only does it focus upon a wider range of communicative behaviours than the other approaches, but built into its theory and methodology is an intentional openness to discovery of the variety of forms and functions available for communication, and to the way such forms and functions are part of different ways of life. The goal of ethnography of communication is to study the communicative competence of a specific speech community by discovering and analyzing patterns of communication that organize the use of language in particular communicative activities. ETHNOGRAPHY OF COMMUNICATION (Cont’d) The ethnography of communication examines speech events within the social context in which they occur, and in particular, examines patterns of language use in specific groups, communities, institutions, and societies. The aim of the ethnography of communication is to explore the means of speaking available to members of a particular community. This includes the examination of formal, informal and ritual events within a particular group of speakers. It explores language use in particular social and cultural settings, drawing together both anthropological and linguistic views on communication. This examination also includes the varieties of language used within the community as well as the speech acts and genres available to the members of the community. ETHNOGRAPHY OF COMMUNICATION (Cont’d) “The ethnography of communication is not an approach that can simply take separate results from linguistics, psychology, sociology, ethnology, as given, and seek to correlate them” (Hymes, 1974a: 20, fn.6). Rather, it is an approach that seeks to open new analytical possibilities (by finding new kinds of data and asking new questions) and to propose new theories. It seeks to do so by analyzing patterns of communication as part of cultural knowledge and behaviour; this entails a recognition of both the diversity of communicative possibilities and practices, e.g. cultural relativity and fact that such practices are an integrated part of what we know and do as members of a particular culture, e.g. a holistic view of human beliefs and actions. SPEECH COMMUNITY The notion of speech community is the central to the ethnography of communication. Hymes (1986) describes a speech community as a group which share rules for the conduct and interpretation of speech. Gumperz (1986) defines a speech community as a group that has regular and frequent interaction that is characterized by shared patterns of interaction and communication. As Coulthard (1985) observes, this is not always an easy task. For example, speakers who share the same language may have different norms for the appropriate use and interpretation of language. A common language on its own, then, cannot be the only way of identifying such a group. SPEECH COMMUNITY (Cont’d) A number of criteria for identifying a speech community have been suggested by researchers in this area, each of which often interact. These includes: 1. Shared language use. 2. Frequency of interaction by a group of people. 3. Shared rules of speaking and interpretation of speech performance. 4. Shared attitudes and values regarding language forms and use. 5. Shared sociocultural understanding and presuppositions with regard to speech. (Saville-Troike) SPEECH EVENTS Hymes describes speech events often coinciding with what other researchers might term ‘genres’. Speech events, for Hymes, are activities that are directly governed by rules or norms for the use of speech. (1974a:52). Hymes gives stories, conversation, lectures and formal introductions as examples of speech events. In Hymes’ view speech events should be treated as analytically independently of one another, as one speech event (for example, a sermon) may be invoked in another speech event, or situation for a certain effect. COMMUNICATIVE UNITS Hymes (1974:65) describes three units which can be identified to analyze communicative activities as follows: 1. The communicative situation, the context in which the communicative activity occurs. Typically, terms exist in the language by which to label situation, such as: a church, classroom, etc. 2. The communicative event, an event which has the same components throughout, such as: the same general purpose, setting, topic, participants, language variety, tone, and rules for interaction. 3. The communicative acts or ‘stages’ within the communicative event. The communicative act is generally coterminous with a single interactional function, such as: a referential statement, a request, or a command, and may be either verbal or non verbal. HYMES’ SPEAKING GRIDS “Hymes creates a framework which is intended to be used to look at any naturally occurring speech to discover the rules for speaking (modes of speaking, topics, message forms within particular settings and activities).” (Hymes, 1972a, b:55-57) Hymes uses the word SPEAKING as an acronym for the various factors that he deems to be relevant. HYMES’ SPEAKING GRIDS The key elements [SPEAKING] are: 1. The Setting and Scene (S) of speech are important. Setting (physical circumstances) refers to the time and place, e.g. the concrete physical circumstances in which speech takes place. Scene (subjective definition of an occasion) refers to the abstract psychological setting, or the cultural definition of the occasion. 2. The participant refers to the actors in the scene and their role relationships, including personal characteristics, such as: age, sex, social status, and relationships. The Participant includes various combinations of speaker-hearer, addresser-addressee, or sender-receiver. It generally fills certain socially specified roles. HYMES’ SPEAKING GRIDS 3. 4. 5. Ends (purposes/goal/outcomes) refer to the conventionally recognized and expected outcomes of an exchange as well as to the personal goals that participants seek to accomplish on particular occasion. Act sequence (message form and content) refers to the actual form and content of what is said: the precise words used, how they are used and the relationship of what is said to the actual topic at hand. Key refers to the tone, manner, or spirit in which a particular message is conveyed: light-hearted, serious, mocking, sarcastic, etc. The key may also be marked nonverbally by certain kinds of behaviour, gesture, posture, or event department. HYMES’ SPEAKING GRIDS 6. 7. 8. Instrumentalities refer to the choice of particular channel, e.g. oral, written, or telegraphic, and to the actual forms of speech drawn from community repertoire, such as: the language, dialect, code, or register that is chosen. Norms of interaction and interpretation refer to the specific behaviours and proprieties that attach to speaking and also to how these may be viewed by someone who does not share them, e.g. loudness, silence, gaze return, etc. Genre (textual categories) refers to the clearly demarcated types of utterance, such as: poems, proverbs, riddles, sermons, prayers, lectures and editorials, the cultural category of talk (e.g. insults, compliments, apologies). HYMES’ SPEAKING GRIDS What Hymes offers us in his SPEAKING formula is a very necessary reminder that talk is complex activity, and that any particular bit of talk is actually a piece of ‘skilled work’. To be successful, the speaker must reveal a sensitivity to and awareness of each of the eight factors outlined above. Speakers and listeners must also work to see that nothing goes wrong. When speaking does go wrong, as it sometimes does, that goingwrong is often clearly describable in terms of some neglect of one or more of the factors. Since we acknowledge that there are ‘better’ speakers and ‘poorer’ speakers, we may also assume that individuals vary in their ability to manage and exploit the total array of factors. Working with an ethnographic or functional approach, then, we may attempt to specify just what is meant to be a competent speaker of a particular language.