SALSA XII: 2004



Texas Linguistic Forum Vol. 48.
(2005) Austin: Texas Linguistic Forum
Chiho Sunakawa, Tomoko Ikeda, Shannon Finch, Malavika Shetty, eds.



TABLE OF CONTENTS



Keynote Speakers

Susan Ervin-Tripp, Martin Lampert, Elena Escalera, and Iliana Reyes
"It was hecka funny": Some Features of Children's Conversational Development
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Emanuel Schegloff
Whistling in the Dark: Notes from the Other Side of Liminality
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Jürgen Streeck
Candid Bodies: Howard Dean, George W. Bush and the Return of the Body to Political Communication
Abstract

Stanton Wortham
Socialization Beyond the Speech Event
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Presenters

Eugenie Almeida
Changing Discourse Structures in News Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Cati Brown and Don Rubin
Being Frank: Ideology Construction and Intertextuality
in the Tobacco Industry’s “Frank Statement"

AbstractArticle (PDF)

Erin Debenport
Indigenizing Language: Linguistic Purism and Emergent Language Ideologies in Pueblo Revitalization Projects
Abstract

Erin Debenport, Jule Gomez de Garcia, and Melissa Axelrod
The Habit of Being Jicarilla: Subordination, Nominalization and Agency in Jicarilla Apache Narrative
Abstract

Marisol del-Teso-Craviotto
Virtually There: Creating Physicality in Dating Chat Rooms
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Cynthia Dickel Dunn
Japanese Honorific Use as Indexical of the Speaker's Situational Stance: Towards a New Model
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Kevin Heffernan
Retention of Obsolescent Features in Replacing Languages: Okinawans' Struggle to Retain their Voice
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Jeong-Yeon Kim
Direct Correction and Power in Lab Hour Interactions: Nonnative Teaching Assistants and Native Students
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Mai Kuha
Investigating the Spread of "So" as an Intensifier: Social and Structural Factors
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Kris Markman
To Send or Not to Send: Turn Construction in Computer-Mediated Chat
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Yael Maschler
Accepting while Shifting: The Discourse Marker tov ('okay, fine', lit. 'good') in Israeli Hebrew Talk-in-Interaction
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Siri Mehus
The Micro-Organization of Taking a Break: Transitions Between Task and Non-Task Activities at Work
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Shaylih Muehlmann
Conservation and Contestion: In the Crossfire Over 'Diversity.'
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Ila Nagar
Khotis: Gendered Through Language
Abstract

Chaim Noy
From Persuasion to Self-Transformation: Interpersonal Genres of Narration in a Tourist Speech Community
AbstractArticle (PDF)

John P.R. Schaefer
Rhythms of Power: Interaction in Musical Performance
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Erik Schleef
Gender, Power, Discipline and Context: On the Sociolinguistic Variation of okay, right, like, and you know in English Academic Discourse
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Aaron Shield
Ideological Conflict at Group Boundaries: The Hearing Children of Deaf Adults
AbstractArticle (PDF)

Susan J. Szmania
Opening up Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue: An Analysis of Victims' Initial Statements
Abstract Article (PDF)

Sarah Wagner
Gender Construction in Lesbian Family Conversations
Abstract

Andrew D. Wong
Language, Cultural Authenticity, and the Tongzhi Movement
Abstract Article (PDF)

 


Eugenie Almeida
Changing Discourse Structures in News Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

This paper describes a discourse analysis of the newspaper coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the period April through July, 2003. A sample of newspaper stories was collected from five major American newspapers and a discourse analysis was conducted on the linguistic structures, textual properties and stylistic devices of the stories in the sample. The purpose of the research was twofold: (1) to ascertain whether the discourse structures identified in a previous study for the period April through July, 2002, were still being used a year later, and (2) to discover changes in the coverage that may have arisen due to changes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and/or in the network of communication practices which influence the construction of news discourse. The analysis of the news stories in the 2003 sample reveals that news coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has significantly changed from the previous year. The results indicate that the news frame for the reporting of events in Israel and Palestine has changed from a perspective which focuses on the words and actions of civilians to a perspective which emphasizes the words and actions of government officials.


Cati Brown and Don Rubin
Being Frank: Ideology Construction and Intertextuality in the Tobacco Industry’s “Frank Statement"

This paper uses critical discourse analysis methods to examine the linguistic construction of the tobacco industry's 50-year battle against public health science. It does so by examining the evolution of a key tobacco industry document, the Frank Statement. Ideology construction and intertextuality comprise the two main research threads of this paper. First, how is language in the Frank Statement manipulated in order to impart an ideology of rational risk appraisal? To that end, this paper examines the presuppositions exhibited in the Frank Statement about an idealized smoker (addressee). Second, how does the Frank Statement function intertextually? How has the tobacco industry recycled phraseology over the years so as to normalize its claims? In order to investigate intertextuality, we have located numerous linguistic strings from the Frank Statement in other documents.The Frank Statement was commissioned as a response to evidence of smoking health risks. It set the tobacco industry's discursive agenda, apropos public health, by questioning experimentation, rejecting statistics, and conveying an image of the tobacco industry as a rational party. This paper elucidates the discourse strategies of the Frank Statement and traces how those strategies diffused into the wide-spread campaigns of misinformation and manipulation in the intervening years.


Erin Debenport, Jule Gomez de Garcia, and Melissa Axelrod
The Habit of Being Jicarilla: Subordination, Nominalization and Agency in Jicarilla Apache Narrative

This paper examines a range of narrative styles in Jicarilla Apache in order to explore the use of clause combination in expressing speaker agency and subjectivity. Specifically, we will examine two ways in which speakers are able to utilize nominalizing and subordinating markers in the construction of oral narratives, and how such forms can serve as resources for Jicarilla speakers in the creation of texts reflecting Apache language ideologies. The data, which consists of three types of texts: narratives outlining a procedure, personal narratives and folktales, demonstrate that clause-combining with the nominalizing ?i suffix and the subodinator ?go are central components of a style that is characterized by a marked withdrawal of responsibility for the events being related in the narrative. Speakers judge narratives told using these devices to be stylistically more Jicarilla, and that using these constructions helps them to "get into the habit of being Jicarilla." Elicited narratives show the least amount of nominalization and subordination, while personal narrative and more spontaneous speech show a great deal more of these more complex constructions, enabling the speaker to distance him or herself from the claims being made within the speech event.


Erin Debenport
Indigenizing Language: Linguistic Purism and Emergent Language Ideologies in Pueblo Revitalization Projects

Recent efforts at language revitalization at both Sandia and Nambe Pueblos in New Mexico have focused primarily on dictionary creation, with the goal of documenting the particular form of Tiwa or Tewa, respectively, used at each pueblo. Concomitantly, importance has been placed on only including lexical items agreed to be indigenous to each language, resulting in purging loan words from English, Spanish and other native languages of the area, or creating new forms to replace those currently in use. This approach seemingly contrasts with efforts at promoting heritage language use at Cochiti and Acoma Pueblos, both of which have rejected using written materials and have stressed emersion in the Keres language as the central tenet of revitalization. This paper examines these divergent techniques used by Pueblo tribes, arguing that all projects reflect components of a shared linguistic ideology of purism, but that this ideology is exhibited in different approaches. However, the projects at Sandia and Nambe Pueblos are also informed by ideologies indexing the relationship of language to sovereignty and the privileging of the referential function of language. Thus, the maintenance and shifting of both traditional and emergent language ideologies can be used to explain these four efforts at revitalization and the varying methods used by these Pueblo tribes to promote heritage language use.


Marisol del-Teso-Craviotto
Virtually There: Creating Physicality in Dating Chat Rooms

Although Internet chat rooms seem body-free spaces, participants tend to embody the interactions that take place in cyberspace (Sunden, 2002). By examining what people do in and with their talk, I examine the construction of physicality as it unfolds in conversations taking place in five dating chat rooms. The analysis shows a variety of linguistic and graphic strategies that result in three types of physicality that break the boundaries between the real and the virtual. Some strategies, such as age/sex/location schema, self-descriptions, or references to actions performed by bodies, bring the real, material body to the foreground. Other strategies, such as the use of graphic features, provide a visual and aural dimension to the written messages, which results in discursive bodies that are as close to material bodies as they are to virtual bodies. Finally, screen names and alter personae construct virtual bodies that are detached from the people they supposedly represent and inhabit a space that is purely interactional. My study contributes to a better understanding of the linguistic practices of Internet chats, provides evidence of the blurry line between material and virtual bodies, and underscores the idea that bodies are a physical as well as a discursive reality.


Cynthia Dickel Dunn
Japanese Honorific Use as Indexical of the Speaker's Situational Stance: Towards a New Model

Traditional analyses describe Japanese honorific use as determined by situational factors such as formality and the social status of the addressee or referent. The traditional model is inadequate to account for actual patterns of honorific use in which speakers rountinely shift honorific levels within a single situational context. This paper analyses the use of humble forms for self-reference in the context of speeches at Japanese wedding receptions. Rather than consistently using humble forms throughout their entire speech, wedding speakers shifted between humble and non-humble verb forms to index shifts in their stance towards the speech situation and the social role of wedding speaker. Humble forms were used for speech acts in which the speaker announced his/her actions in the conventionalized role of wedding speaker. By contrast, speakers shifted to non-humble forms to distance themselves from and comment upon their performance in the wedding speaker role. The data demonstrate that the use of humble forms cannot be accounted for solely by external situational factors, but rather indexes the speaker's stance towards the situation and the social persona s/he wishes to project.


Susan Ervin-Tripp,Martin Lampert, Elena Escalera,and Iliana Reyes
"It was hecka funny": Some Features of Children's Conversational Development

In adults laughter can mark political solidarity and relieve grief. In adult comedy or adult humorous turns in conversation one can see placement of humor in the conversation, addressing shared perspectives and issues, picking a target every ally can share, using code switches effectively, deploying style features either to mimic someone or to allude to social features or values, and taking risks to self-presentation or to social relationships when the key of the conversation clearly implies irrealis. By examining the development of peer humor in children from three to ten we can find the emergence of these features in monolingual and bilingual boys and girls when adults are not participants. Child bilinguals use code switching as a kind of pragmatic marker just as monolinguals use prosodic and lexical discourse markers. In humor, switches have added values for conveying social features, providing a special window onto pragmatic development.


Kevin Heffernan
Retention of Obsolescent Features in Replacing Languages: Okinawans' Struggle to Retain their Voice

This study demonstrates that the prosody of an obsolescent language, Okinawan, has affected the prosody of the replacing language, Standard Japanese (SJ), resulting in the creation of a new dialect of Japanese. A study of the pitch-accent system of 90 speakers from the Yaeyama area of Okinawa, Japan showed that the number of speakers demonstrating the acquisition of the SJ pitch-accent system increases among the younger speaker cohorts. However, for all age groups the most common prosodic system was a simplified system that eliminated phonological contrast by using a falling pitch (common to both SJ and Okinawan) for every noun class. Surprisingly, although the number of speakers using the simplified system initially showed a decreasing trend, there is a sudden increase in popularity among the youngest speakers, with the simplified system winning out over the SJ system. This increase coincides with changing attitudes towards the Okinawan popular culture among both the Okinawans and the mainland Japanese, suggesting that the new dialect is here to stay. These results open new ground on obsolescent languages, as previous research has overlooked cases where the obsolescent language has a persistent and apparently permanent influence on the replacement language.


Jeong-Yeon Kim
Direct Correction and Power in Lab Hour Interactions: Nonnative Teaching Assistants and Native Students

A lab hour, a major instructional setting of engineering and science departments of many U.S. universities, provides a special conversational event in which nonnative teaching assistants (NNS TAs) teach native English-speaking (NS) students. The NNS TAs are frequently engaged in one-on-one interactions with NS students while answering questions and/or helping to complete projects or assignments. While possessed of better knowledge of content areas, a NNS TA's L2 competence hardly reaches the native level. This qualitative study examines cases in which NS students opt to directly correct their TA's production and input. Specially focused are the questions of how NNS TAs coordinate verbal and non-verbal interactional resources contingent upon this often-dispreferred interactional behavior in the course of meaning negotiation, and more importantly, what consequences the participant's actions bring to participant alignment and power relationship. From the video-taped data of spontaneous one-on-one interactions in which 5 Korean and 4 NS TAs participate, this microethnographic study examines sequential organization of repair (Schegloff, Jefferson, & Sacks, 1977).


Mai Kuha
Investigating the Spread of "So" as an Intensifier: Social and Structural Factors

So has a well-established use as an intensifying adverb modifying adjectives (That is so cool!). For some speakers, it is gaining the ability to modify verbs (I am so going to flunk this test, I so need a nap). Research is needed to determine in what order the new structural environments emerge, who the speakers adopting the change are, and how social factors influence the process. This paper reports on exploratory research in order to generate hypotheses for more systematic research.
Observed use of so shows that it can occur wherever traditional verb-modifying intensifying adverbs occur. Naturalness judgment data suggest the following patterns to investigate. One way in which so begins to spread may be that it remains in position after a BE verb, but comes to be viewed as a verb-modifying intensifier, so that elements other than adjectives follow (You're so lying right now). However, BE followed by so and a noun phrase seems to be a later development, as does negation. Modals might provide an alternate starting place for the spread of so, but auxiliary HAVE followed by so emerges later. Finally, findings suggest that speakers do not adopt so structure by structure, but by means of specific expressions.


Kris Markman
To Send or Not to Send: Turn Construction in Computer-Mediated Chat

As new communication technologies have become increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, researchers have begun to explore the various ways we use these technologies for social interaction. Recently researchers have begun to look beyond the content of online interactions, into the structure of electronic communication, in order to describe how people make sense of conversation in this new medium. One emerging approach to this problem is to employ methods derived from Conversation Analysis. This paper will add to this small but growing line of research by investigating the turn construction process in a computer-mediated chat environment. I analyze and describe the turn construction activities of one member of a team of undergraduate students enrolled in a group communication course. I examine the process she underwent as she followed the conversation and responded to the other members of the team, and decided how to construct each turn and when to hit send, the electronic equivalent of claiming the floor. Using data from a computer screen capture, video recordings of the meeting room, and the proceedings of the chat itself, I will describe how this team member engages in self-repair and turn monitoring by analyzing her editing changes, pauses, and external distractions.


Yael Maschler
Accepting while Shifting: The Discourse Marker tov ('okay, fine', lit. 'good') in Israeli Hebrew Talk-in-Interaction

The Hebrew word tov is listed in Even-Shoshan's dictionary (1986) as an adjective meaning good, as an adverb, a noun, a verb, and as a word of agreement and affirmation meaning eyes, fine. The present study focuses on this last meaning of tov in Israeli Hebrew casual conversation, as well as on another meaning, not listed in any of the dictionaries. In both of these uses, tov comprises a discourse marker (Maschler 2002). In the corpus examined, 46.7% of tov tokens are employed by the addressee and function in the interpersonal realm as (1) agreement, (2) acceptance, (3) third turn receipt, (4) concession, or (5) ironic agreement, i.e. disagreement; while 38.3% of tov tokens are employed by the speaker and function in the textual realm to mark transitions (1) at beginnings of major narrational or elicitational topics (Chafe 1994), (2) between episodes or sub-episodes of a narrative, (3) returning to an interrupted action, or (4) at the end of a topic/action. Another 15% of the tokens perform both interpersonal and textual functions simultaneously. Those tokens functioning simultaneously in both realms are particularly illuminating for my research on discourse markers, as close examination of the contexts in which they occur suggests how a particular marker might come to serve both interpersonal as well as textual functions. This study, then, explores the functions of tov in Israeli Hebrew casual conversation in order to reveal the functional itinerary followed by this discourse marker, thus contributing to cross-language studies of grammaticization of discourse markers (e.g., Fleischman & Yaguello 1999, Traugott & Dasher 2002).



Siri Mehus
The Micro-Organization of Taking a Break: Transitions Between Task and Non-Task Activities at Work

This paper examines the collaborative accomplishment of transitions between work and breaks in a small architectural firm, showing that such seemingly unstructured events are in fact subtly organized and socially coordinated. Examination of these moments suggests that taking a break is a social activity, but one that is rarely coordinated explicitly. Rather, employees make their actions visible (and audible) to one another and monitor each other for uptake. In doing so, they make limited use of verbal cues, relying primarily on their bodies and material objects to signal their intentions. I contend that these moments are relevant for the study of professional identity and organizational structure. Through the way that they manage these transitions, architects display their attitudes towards the activities on either side?work and breaks. The ability to do so appropriately is arguably an important element of professional competence. In addition, these moments can constitute sites at which the hierarchy of the organization is enacted: frame-by-frame analysis of one instance shows how the shift to a new activity hinges on actions of the principal architect. This suggests that these junctures can reveal much about the social organization of a workplace and the micro-practices through which it is produced


Shaylih Muehlmann
Discourse of Diversity

Recent work in Anthropology has examined the current fascination with biodiversity in both academic and popular discourses (Escobar, Brosius 1999, Bamford 2002). These critiques have argued that while the term ostensibly describes an objective reality it simultaneously constructs the threat to the environment in a particular way, prescribing the role that certain actors should play. In the following I will argue that when the concept of biodiversity, and the notion of ecology it extends to, are brought to bear on the language advocacy movement the threat to linguistic diversity is similarly constructed in a particular way. Using Williams' (1976) notion of a keyword as a site at which the meaning of social experience is negotiated and contested, this essay combines both textual and visual analysis of the literature on the endangerment of linguistic diversity. Specifically, this essay explores the ambiguities and contradictions that arise as these environmental discourses are deployed, appropriated and transformed in the literature on language endangerment.


Ila Nagar
Khotis: Gendered Through Language

The idea that gender is constructed through performance (Butler 1990; West & Zimmerman 1987) has been further developed by work showing that the construction of gender is to a large extent culture-dependent as far as performance of gendered identities is concerned (Ong 2001, Feminism and Race). Using linguistic data from khotis, a sexual minority of India, I provide evidence in support of the claim that the verbal construction of gender and sexuality must be understood as specific to Indian culture. I focus on how naming practices, choices of linguistic features and interactional style are involved in the construction of membership in the gendered group referred to as khotis. Using data from my 2003 fieldwork in Lucknow and New Delhi, I show that Farasi plays an important role in the construction of khotis' sexual identity as distinct from males, females, gays, and lesbians.
I also focus on the khotis' practice of referring to themselves and one another using the feminine markers. I argue that feminine self-reference are used to perform the discourses of powerlessness and submission. My argument is that gender is not only a social construct but it is also a culture dependent social construct.


Chaim Noy
From Persuasion to Self-Transformation: Interpersonal Genres of Narration in a Tourist Speech Community

In this talk I explore how tourists travel-narratives performatively implicate their audience in their taleworlds vis-a-vis persuading them to travel and establishing an experience of self-transformation. The implication is discursively achieved vis-a-vis the creation of a dialogical-intersubjective realm wherein the narrators' identity claims are persuasively performed, and into which the audience is drawn. Through listening to their stories, it is argued, the audience partakes in a practice which is part and parcel of the constitutive rituals that are at the core of the speech community. Storytelling, and storyhearing, are not a byproduct of the adventurous travel, then, but rather share the same ritualistic realm of eventful practices, in which the trip is also a narrative event. Through this fusion of narrated events with the event of narration, between referential and performative communicative capacities, conversational storytelling creates a profoundly eventful impression. In it the interviewer-audience is positioned as a novice who seeks knowledge, and the conversation is constructed as the commencement of her or his own process of self-transformation. Enacted dialogically, persuasion and self-transformation genres show how personal narratives are interpersonally co-produced, and how an intersubjective realm of experience is linguistically created within the narration performance.


John P.R. Schaefer
Rhythms of Power: Interaction in Musical Performance

This paper applies methods of interactional analysis to the video recording of a musical performance in Fez, Morocco, with the understanding that performance is most essentially a communicative phenomenon (Bauman 1984). Music and interaction has been approached in Monson's groundbreaking work (1996); nevertheless, much of her analysis is restricted to social context at the expense of sequential context, particularly the openings and closings that are so ripe for analysis. Here, I am interested in ways hierarchies and power relations (Keating 1995) are imposed, reinforced, and challenged within the frame of the musical performance. I focus on relevant participatory discrepancies, slightly off-tempo rhythms that serve to communicate with other players (Keil 1995), as the specific places at which participants initiate openings, closings, or repair. Since no voices can be discerned on the video recording, I restrict my analysis to gesture and adapt Goodwin's (1986) method for distinguishing relevant gestures. The video documents a performance given by Gnawa musicians in Fez in July 2001. The troupe of five musicians is led by the m'eallim, a teacher and leader who directs this tourist performance, although in another context he is a facilitator of all-night medico-religious therapeutic gatherings. Tentatively, I conclude that interactional analysis shows evidence of particular regimes of power in communication.


Emanuel Schegloff
Whistling in the Dark: Notes from the Other Side of Liminality

Although it is no news that humans are members of many categories, the consequences of this fact for social scientists have not been adequately addressed. One of the consequence appears to be this: that some person is in fact a member of some category (such as male or elderly) is by itself not an adequate warrant for so referring to them, for they are always also in fact a member of some other category as well. Something else has made the particular formulation that is employed relevant. This is so both for parties to ordinary interaction and for the investigators who study it. Some investigators have resisted the challenge by claiming that it virtually requires that interactional participants enunciate the categories to which they are oriented in their speaking. But no such insistence is in fact entailed by the stance sketched above. In this talk I will describe a number of ways in which analysts can warrant their use of categorical terminology in analyzing talk-in-interaction by grounding it in the demonstrable indigenous orientations of the participants in the interaction being analyzed. Not only will the equivocality of the current analytic practice of formulating the participants be circumvented; the analysis itself can be enriched.


Erik Schleef
Gender, Power, Discipline and Context: On the Sociolinguistic Variation of okay, right, like, and you know in English Academic Discourse

This presentation examines the sociolinguistic distribution and the functions of the question tags okay?, and right? as well as the discourse markers you know, like, okay and right in the academic speech of women and men of various academic disciplines in the lecture and seminar context. Contradictory findings on male and female communicative behavior in academia warrant a more refined investigation of the nature of academic speech and the way various academic contexts and conversational roles influence the use of question tags and discourse markers. I propose that not one single factor - e.g. gender or power - but rather a constellation of the following factors is responsible for the use of these structures: 1) conversational tasks in different academic disciplines, 2) gender, 3) power and conversational roles, (4) context, and 5) educational level. The data for this project is drawn from the MICASE corpus on academic speech compiled at the University of Michigan. My data suggest that among instructors the structures under investigation vary by discipline but not gender. However, in the less powerful conversational role of student, gender variation can be found in the seminar context in all academic disciplines.


Aaron Shield
Ideological Conflict at Group Boundaries: The Hearing Children of Deaf Adults

The hearing Children of Deaf Adults (codas) represent an interesting contradiction within the Deaf community. They often possess close ties to and extensive cultural knowledge of that community but are physically and experientially separated from it. This paper focuses on the narratives of four codas in an effort to uncover how Deaf ideologies shape coda identity. Coda participation in the Deaf community is simultaneously legitimated and policed; their blood relationship to Deaf people and ability to sign are keys to acceptance within that community but they are never fully accepted as members through active marginalization and exclusion from Deaf institutions and activities. Furthermore, complex ideological rules govern coda behavior within the Deaf community. For example, they must disclose that they are hearing with any Deaf interlocutor. Such an ideology serves the purpose of keeping power and linguistic authority in the hands of Deaf people, highlighting the importance of issues of linguistic ownership and self-determination to the Deaf community. Thus, even though Deaf people most often base their identities on a cultural or gemich view of themselves, the outsider, medicalized view of their physical condition eschewed by most Deaf people is used as justification for exclusion from the community.


Jürgen Streeck
Candid Bodies: Howard Dean, George W. Bush and the Return of the Body to Political Communication

While there were periods in human history when the body language of political leaders during public oratory was subject to intense scrutiny and debate (even though no technology to properly document it existed yet), contemporary research of embodied interaction has by and large avoided public figures as objects of study. However, this year's democratic presidential campaign with its focus on "electability", and specifically the rapid demise of the Dean campaign, suggest that public and pundits do react strongly to the facial and gestural comportment of "talking heads" and that these reactions may influence their voting behavior. The paper seeks to diagnose, in light of the present presidential campaign, whether our field has anything to offer to the public and its representatives, journalists, who ask us to interpret politicians' body-language for them. It examines samples of public speaking by some of the candidates during debates and interviews, focusing mainly on Howard Dean and George W. Bush, and discusses what we can and cannot assert about these candidates and their interactions with us, given our accumulated empirical knowledge about people and their bodies in social interaction.


Susan J. Szmania
Opening up Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue: An Analysis of Victims' Initial Statements

For this project, I transcribed the videotapes of five Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue sessions utilizing Craig and Tracy's (1995) grounded practical theory. I focused specifically on victims' opening statements in order to investigate the dilemma presented to the victims for initiating discussion with offenders who murdered a family member. Then, I addressed the communicative strategies that the victims made use of to mange this dilemma. Strategies for engaging offenders in dialogue included: (1) thanks and tokens of appreciation; (2) acknowledgment; (3) discussing spirituality; and (4) expressing direct and/or indirect forgiveness. Finally, I critique the communicative practices observed in this context.

 


Sarah Wagner
Gender Construction in Lesbian Family Conversations

In their 1992 "Father Knows Best" study, Ochs and Taylor observed that fathers regularly took on the role of family judge, evaluating others' speech and actions as they told stories about their day. Mothers, meanwhile, set their husbands up in the role of evaluator, and in the end often became targets of their husband's commentary. In this talk I intend to discuss my study, which takes a new look at the gendered nature of these power dynamics by examining the conversations of seven lesbian couples with children. In most of the families, the type of hierarchical power structure seen by Ochs and Taylor is in place. I show that the use of negative evaluations in this setting, therefore, is not necessarily a gendered power tactic. The findings from the study confound the gendered divisions that Ochs and Taylor saw because here women are acting in a variety of more and less powerful roles. The conclusions of the study can help us continue the discussion of the nature of gender construction in speech, and how using these powerful speech forms might allow women to "defy, subvert or deliberately seek to redefine gender norms." (Cameron, in Bergvall, et al. 1996:46)


Andrew Wong
Language, Cultural Authenticity, and the Tongzhi Movement

Based on interviews and participant-observation, this paper explores how gay rights activists in Hong Kong adopt two linguistic strategies to underscore the cultural authenticity of same-sex desire in Chinese societies. One strategy is the appropriation of Chinese revolutionary discourse, a prime example of which is activists' use of tongzhi 'comrade' to refer to sexual minorities. A common address term among Chinese revolutionaries, tongzhi was appropriated by gay rights activists in the late 1980s. Drawing on its discursive history, activists use tongzhi to present a public, collective and political front. The use of tongzhi is also a symbolic gesture against Western gay ideologies; it underscores the differences between the home-grown gay movement and gay movements in the West. The appropriation of stories about Chinese historical figures is another common strategy. By locating same-sex desire in China's past, activists argue that it is indigenous to Chinese culture. This strategy is a necessary step toward constructing a meta-narrative which provides the raison d'etre of the tongzhi movement. I suggest that rather than take authenticity as a given, researchers should investigate how it is created through language and other symbolic resources.


Stanton Wortham
Socialization Beyond the Speech Event

School socializes children into institutional and academic practices. Because socialization occurs over time, it cannot be analyzed simply by describing typical speech events that occur in school. In addition, we must analyze trajectories of events across which schoolchildren become different kinds of people. This paper analyzes the social identification that occurred in one ninth grade U.S. high school English and history classroom over an academic year, tracing events across which one student developed a distinctive social identity. The analysis attends to more widely circulating categories and practices, but also describes how these were contextualized and sometimes transformed both in the local classroom ecology and in particular events. The paper first describes a robust local model of gender identity, through which teachers and students identified the girls as academically promising and the boys as academically unpromising. It illustrates this model by showing how the prototypical boy was identified across the year. Then the paper describes the transformation of a normal promising girl into an atypical, unpromising girl over several months in the middle of the academic year. The analyses follow this girl through many speech events across these months, tracing how her classroom identity changed. These analyses show how an account of socialization must move beyond typical speech events to trajectories of events across timescales.