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LINGUIST List 23.55

Wed Jan 04 2012

Diss: Discourse Analysis/Socioling: Szabó: 'Learning, Following and...'

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        1.     Tamás Péter Szabó , Learning, Following and Disseminating Language Rules as a Topic in the Metalinguistic Knowledge of Students and Their Teachers


Message 1: Learning, Following and Disseminating Language Rules as a Topic in the Metalinguistic Knowledge of Students and Their Teachers
Date: 02-Jan-2012
From: Tamás Péter Szabó <sztpnytud.hu>
Subject: Learning, Following and Disseminating Language Rules as a Topic in the Metalinguistic Knowledge of Students and Their Teachers
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Institution: Eötvös Loránd University
Program: Hungarian Linguistics Programme
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Tamás Péter Szabó

Dissertation Title: Learning, Following and Disseminating Language Rules as a Topic in the Metalinguistic Knowledge of Students and Their Teachers

Dissertation URL: http://sztp.hu/tezis-angol-20110307-egybe.pdf

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): Hungarian (hun)

Dissertation Director:
Jenő Kiss

Dissertation Abstract:

Hungarian is a standard language culture (cf. Milroy 2001). Other-initiated
repair - the reformulation and evaluation of the utterances of the
conversational partner - plays an important role in standard language
cultures. Formal training takes aim at disseminating standard language use.
Taking these issues into consideration, the dissertation focuses on
other-repair by the analysis of metalanguage.

Analysing other-repair within the theoretical framework of language
ideologies and discursive social psychology is rather new in the context of
Hungarian sociolinguistics. This can be regarded as an innovation of the
dissertation.

The data collection was carried out in 2009 in elementary and secondary
schools. Students of year 1-4, 7 and 11 and their teachers of Hungarian
language and literature were investigated. Methods of data collection: (1)
questionnaires (N = 1195), (2) classroom observation (N = 61 lessons), (3)
semi-structured research interviews (N = 133 interviewees; 47.7 hours of
recorded speech; 346,500 transcribed words).

The dissertation examines metalinguistic discourses and the emergence of
ideologies in the context of formal education. In the dissertation
metalanguage is conceptualized as a socially constructed, (self )reflective
discourse on language as a system or as a communication practice (cf.
Laihonen 2008).

The analysis of other-repair in classroom discourse concluded that teachers
often use other-repair as a means of the reconstruction of three dominant
positions: (1) more competent speaker, (2) primary knower and (3) discourse
manager. If repair was completed by a metalinguistic explanation or an
explicit evaluation, it was analysed as a secondary legitimizing act of the
repair (the primary legitimation comes from the position of the teacher
guaranteed by the hierarchical structure of school system). The same was
the case in the research interviews when one of the informants repaired the
speech of another and he or she explained what he or she did.

A more complex analysis was possible in the case of the interview data.
Argumentation techniques and the basis of argumentation varied in a wide
range. Arguments were often altered (in cases, argument 1, 2 and 3 were
presented subsequently, by the same speaker, in the same turn). The
ideology construction was a dynamic process in which the quotation of other
persons (Aro 2009) and reference to other discourses was common. In such a
construction activity, the interviewer played an important role. The
analysis of agency concluded that in ideology construction and ideology
learning, quoting and the assimilation of other people's voice both have
special impact (cf. Aro 2009; Karasavvidis et al. 2000).

Analysing questionnaire data, the dissertation argued that answering a
question in formal training context means only that the informant has
practice in the discourse initiated in the questionnaire. This can be
projected to formal training processes. During the formation years students
practise techniques of deconstruction and reconstruction of ideologies by
reading, listening and repeating - later assimilating - metadiscursive
texts or text fragments. The only thing an answer in an exam shows is that
if the student has (or has not) practice in the de- or reconstruction of
the given ideology, or rather if he or she continues the construction of an
ideology initiated by the teacher.




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