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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Linguistic Construction of Character Relations in TV Drama : Doing friendship in Sex and the City Add Dissertation
Author: Claudia Bubel Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Bloomsburg University, English Linguistics
Completed in: 2005
Linguistic Subfield(s): Discourse Analysis;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Neal Norrick

Abstract: The study attempts to answer the question how the audience
in front of the screen knows what kind of relationship
characters on screen have from overhearing their talk.
Hence, it has two major focal points: dialogue scripted
for the screen and the linguistic construction of
interpersonal relations. Assuming a process view of friendship
relations and developing a model of screen-to-face discourse,
which takes Goffman’s notion of the “overhearer” as a starting
point and stresses the audience’s central role in the co-
construction of meaning, this study pins down the textual cues
which lead to the viewer’s formation of a relationship
impression. The patterns of the interaction order commonly
termed “alignments” are shown to be fundamental to the friendship
process in which a balance between association and dissociation
needs to be achieved. Focusing on the conversational contexts
in which they accumulate, the workings of two particularly
interesting and versatile alignment practices are described:
familiar terms of address used in direct address and question-
answer-sequences. Familiar terms of address occur in contexts
characterised by a temporary suspension of some fundamental
component of friendship relations and function to assuage this
disequilibrium by signalling affiliation. Questions predominantly
initiate and maintain extended affiliative sequences such as
intimacy pursuits and humorous exchanges and have thus a more
active part in friendship processes. Analyses of the complex
alignment practices in the women’s conversations reveal that
the women shift between aligning and disaligning – often even
creating temporary interactional teams – and that these shifts
accomplish micro-transformations of social structure, which in
turn construct social relations on the macro-level. The study
shows that the flexibility of the interaction order brought
about by shifting alignments allows for criticism and disagreement
in a friendship group and also for an intragroup differentiation
with more central and more marginal members in the sense of
a community of practice. The study hence not only contributes
to the fields of linguistic stylistics and media studies, but
also to relational communication and discourse analysis, in
particular through revising the concept of alignment.