A Conversation Analysis Inspired Investigation of Stylistic Variation

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Submission Summary

This study aims to reveal how the participant accommodates his speech, interactional resources he deploys, and his motives for exhibiting (non-)accommodative behavior. First, 5 hours of naturally-occurring dyadic interaction was transcribed and analyzed. Then, a semi-structured interview was conducted to deepen the knowledge about the motivation behind his accommodative behavior.

Submission ID :
AILA40
Submission Type
Abstract :

It has been already shown that variation does not only exist among people from varying regions, social status, or ethnic groups, it is also observable within an individual’s speech which is called stylistic variation (Bell, 1984; Giles, 1973). To be able to have and maintain successful social interactions individuals tend to accommodate their speech style verbally and nonverbally in a conscious or unconscious way (Giles, Scherer, & Taylar, 1979; Dragojevic, Gasiorek, & Giles, 2016). There are various explanations on why people speak differently under different situations and motivations underlying this change. However, there are a very limited number of micro-analytic studies conducted on this issue. To address this gap, this study aims to reveal how the participant of the study accommodate his speech according to his interlocutors, interactional resources he deploys for accommodative behavior, and his motives for exhibiting (non-)accommodative behavior. For this purpose, 5 hours of audio-recorded naturally-occurring dyadic interaction has been transcribed and moment-to-moment analysis has been conducted on the data. Following this, a semi-structured interview has been conducted to get deeper knowledge about the motivation behind his accommodative behavior. The results reveal that he displays certain changes in his style based on his interlocutor such as changing certain letters (i.e. Changing “a” into “e” in various parts of the word (esger (asker/soldier), ehraba (akraba/relatives), tene (tane/particle)), using lexical items pertain to Erzurum variety (hee (tamam/okay), terek (mutfak rafı/dresser)), and using a distinctive intonation pattern pertain to Erzurum. Analysis of the transcription of interview demonstrate that the motivation behind his style shifts can be the idea of receiving approval from the interlocutor(s) and from a certain speech community, feeling closer to the interlocutor, and making interlocutor feel comfortable about using his/her own variety which are also suggested in previous research (Acton & Potts, 2014; Giles, 2016).

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AILA Solidarity Awardee
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Bartin University
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