22. BAMBI B. SCHIEFFELIN, New York University
Language in Everyday Life
Spring 1993 Tues. 6:10-7:50 Liberal Studies
Bambi B. Schieffelin
509 Rufus Smith Hall
Articles* available for purchase at NYU Bookstore. Books available
for purchase at NYU Bookstore:
Gumperz, J.J. 1982. Discourse strategies. NY: CUP.
Gumperz, J.J. (ed.) 1982. Language and social identity. NY: CUP.
Coupland, N., H. Giles & J. M. Wiemann. 1991. "Miscommunication"
and problematic talk.
Tannen, D. 1990. You just don't understand. NY: Morrow.
Hewitt, R. 1986. White talk black talk: Inter-racial friendship and
communication amongst adolescents. NY: CUP.
Philips, S. 1993. The invisible culture: Communication in the
classroom and community on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
Requirements: Please do all of the readings in the order listed below.
Four short critical writing assignments will be due during the semester
which will help sharpen your analytic skills and make class discussion
more engaging. All are 5 pages typed double-spaced and handed in at
the end of class for a grade. There are 2 Book Reviews - Philips due
week 2; Hewitt due week 9; and 2 essays - one on the concept of Cross
Talk due week 8, and one on Language and Gender due week 14.
Each will count for 20% of the final grade. Focus questions will be
handed out a week before the assignment is due.
In order to provide a reality check and give you some familiarity with
conversational data, there is also a Transcription/Conversation
Analysis Project. This will involve taperecording and transcribing 15
minutes of conversation, and analysing it according to procedures from
conversation analysis. Details will follow. This project is due on
week 6 and consists of the transcript and a report of findings (19 pages
max). This project counts for 20% of the grade.
I. LANGUAGE AND SOCIAL LIFE
1. The nature of language in social life 1/26
* Sapir, E. 1929. The unconscious patterning of language. In D.
Mandelbaum ed, Selected writings of Edward Sapir. Berkely: UC
California. pp. 544-559.
* Ochs, E. & Schieffelin, B.B. 1984. Language acquisition and
socialization: Three developmental stories and their implications. In
R. Schweder & R. Levine (eds) Culture Theory. NY: CUP.
* Jackson, J. 1974. Language identity in the Colombia Vaupes Indians.
In R. Bauman & J. Sherzer eds, Explorations in the ethnography of
speaking. NY: CUP pp. 50-64.
* Cohn, C. 1984. Sex and death in the rational world of defense
intellectuals. Signs 12, 4: 687-718.
2. Variation in language use across social groups 2/2
* Basso, K. 1970. To give up on words: Silence in Western Apache
culture. In P. Giglioli (ed.), Language and social context. Penguin.
Philips, S. 1993. The invisible culture. Waveland Press.
3. Speech stereotyping 2/9 American Tongues (video)
* Haarman, H. 1984. The role of ethnocultural stereotypes and foreign
languages in Japanese commercials. Intl. J. Soc. Lang. 50: 101-21.
II. THE ORGANIZATION OF TALK
4. Taking turns 2/16
* Edelsky, C. 1981. Who's got the floor? Language in Society 10, 3.
* Zimmerman, D. & West, C. 1975. Sex roles, interruptions and
silences in conversation. In B. Thorne & N. Henley eds., Language
and sex: difference and dominance. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
5. Sequencing in conversation 2/23
* Merritt, M. 1980. The use of OK in service encounters. In R. Shuy
& A. Shunkal eds., Language use and the uses of language.
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
* West, C. 1983. Ask me no questions...An analysis of queries and
replies in physician-patient dialogues. In S. Fisher & A. Todd (eds.),
Social organization of doctor patient communication. Washington,
* Cicourel, A. 1981. Language and medicine. In C. Ferguson & S.
Heath (eds.), Language in the USA. Cambridge: CUP. pp. 407-429.
West, C. & Frankel, R. 1991. Miscommunication in medicine. Chap.
9 in Coupland et al.
6. Misunderstandings - Pre's and Repairs 3/2
Ochs, E. 1991. Misunderstanding children. In Coupland et al.
* West, C. 1984. Medical misfires: Mishearings, misgivings and
misunderstandings in physician patient dialogues. Discourse processes
Varonic, E. & S. Gass. 1991. Miscommunication in nonnative speaker
discourse. In Coupland et al.
Drummond, K. & R. Hopper 1991. Misunderstanding and its remedies.
In Coupland et al.
III. CROSS-TALK: SPEAKING THE "SAME" LANGUAGE
7. Crosstalk 1 3/9 Crosstalk video tape.
Gumperz, J.J. 1982. Discourse strategies.
Chapter 6 Contextualization conventions
Chapter 7 Socio-cultural knowledge in conversational interference
Chapter 8 Interethnic communication
Chapter 9 Ethnic style in political rhetoric
8. Crosstalk 2 3/23
In Gumperz, J.J. (ed) 1982. Language and social identity.
Chapter 4 Young, L. Inscrutability revisited.
Chapter 8 Akinnaso, N. & Ajiotutu, C. Performance and ethnic
Chapter 13 Jupp, T. C. et al. Language and disadvantage.
*Chick, K. 1985. Interactional accomplishment of discrimination.
Language in Society. 14, 299-326.
9. Interracial communication 3/30
Hewitt, R. 1986. White talk black talk: Inter-racial friendship and
communication amongst adolescents. NY: CUP
*Kochman, T. 1986. Strategic ambiguity in Black speech genres.
Text 6, 2: 153-70.
IV. LANGUAGE SOCIALIZATION
10. Educational consequences 4/6
*Byers, P. & H. Byers 1972. Nonverbal communication and the
education of children. In Functions of language in the classroom. C.
Cazden, V. John & D. Hymes (eds.), NY: TC Press.
*Heath, S. 1984. What no bedtime story means. In Language
socialization across cultures. B.B. Schieffelin & E. Ochs (eds.), NY:
*Michaels, S. & C.Cazden 1986. Sharing time. In The Acquisition of
literacy: Ethnographic perspectives. B.B.Schieffelin & P. Gilmore
(eds.), Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.
V. LANGUAGE AND GENDER
11. Language and Gender 1 "politeness" 4/13
*Goffman, E. 1967. On face-work. In Interaction ritual: Essays on
face to face behavior. NY: Pantheon. (orig. 1955 Psychiatry 18:213-
*Brown, R. & A. Gilman 1960. The pronouns of power and solidarity.
In T.A. Sebeok (ed.), Style in language. MIT, 253-76.
*Lakoff, R. 1973. Language and women's place. Language in Society
*Brown, P. How and why are women more polite: some evidence
from a Mayan community. In Women and language in literature and
society. S. McConnell-Ginet, R. Borker, & N. Furman (eds.). NY:
12. Language and Gender 2 "two cultures" 4/20
Maltz, D. & R. Borker. 1982. A cultural approach to male-female
miscommunication. In Gumperz (ed.), Language and social identity.
Tannen, D. 1990 You just don't understand. NY: Morrow.
13. Language and Gender 3 "power/prestige" 4/27
*O'Barr, W. & B. Atkins. 1980. "Women's language" or "powerless
language" In Women and language in literature and society. S.
McConnell-Ginet et al.
*Trudgill, P. 1983. Sex and covert prestige. In On dialect. NYU
Press. pp. 169-185.
*Sattel, H. 1983. Men, inexpressiveness and power. In Language,
gender and society. B. Thorne, C. Kramarae and N. Henley (eds.).
*Gal. S. 1991. Between speech and silence. In M. di Leonardo (ed.),
Gender at the crossroads of knowledge. Univ Cal Press.
14. Language and Gender 4 4/4
Henley, N. & C. Kramarae. 1991. Gender, power and
miscommunication. In Coupland.
*Goodwin, M. 1980. Directive-response speech sequences in girls' and
boys' task activities. In Women and language in literature and society.
*West, C. 1990. Not just 'doctors' orders: directive-response sequences
in patients' visits to women and men physicians. Discourse & Society
1, 1: 85-112.
*Ochs, E. & C. Taylor 1992 Family narrative as political activity.
Discourse & Society 3, 3: 301-340.
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