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La construcción de la imagen social en dos pares adyacentes: Opinión-acuerdo/desacuerdo y ofrecimiento-aceptación/rechazo: Un estudio de la conversación familiar sueca y española
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.
2015 (Spanish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The construction of face in two adjacency pairs: Opinion-agreement/disagreement and offer-acceptance/rejection : A study of Swedish and Spanish family conversations (English)
Abstract [en]

The main purpose of this study is to conduct a contrastive analysis on a corpus of Swedish and Spanish family conversations with respect to two adjacency pairs: opinion-agreement/disagreement (OADs) and offer-acceptance/rejection (OARs). On one hand, from a structural perspective, based on the methodology of Conversation Analysis, one of the objectives is to observe how (dis)preferred turns of the OADs and OARs are managed by the interlocutors. On the other hand, from a functional perspective, based on the methodology of Sociocultural Pragmatics, the intention is to study how face is constructed and how politeness is managed by the family members when expressing OADs and OARs.

The structural analysis of OADs and OARs shows that the majority of agreements and acceptances follow the rules for preferred turns proposed by orthodox conversation analysts, i.e. they appear directly after the first part of the adjacency pair (opinion or offer), and they are brief and unambiguous. However, the structural analysis also reveals that 70% (Swedish corpus) and 72% (Spanish corpus) of the disagreements as well as 64% (Swedish corpus) and 70% (Spanish corpus) of the rejections have a tendency to not follow the proposed rules for dispreferred turns, i.e. they are not delayed or accompanied by hesitations, justifications, etc. and nor are they evaluated as dispreferred by the participants. This indicates that social perspective, especially face, has to be considered when deciding what is considered (dis)preferred.

The functional analysis of the OADs indicates that the majority of the disagreements in both Swedish (68%) and Spanish (79%) corpus are not mitigated, but rather are expressed in a fairly direct manner. Swedes tend to avoid disagreements, and therefore we expected to find a major difference between the two groups. One explanation could be that family members enjoy close relationships, and therefore the Swedes feel free to express their disagreements. As for the impact on the family members face, in both groups, it is both autonomy face and affiliation face that are influenced when OADs are expressed. As for agreement, for example, it is usually autonomy face that is affected. We interpret this as a way for the participants to show that both speakers and listeners have valuable opinions that deserve to be both voiced and commented on. This reveals the more discursive (rather than ritual) nature of OADs.

In addition, the functional study of OARs shows that acceptances and rejections in both corpora are expressed using both ritual and attenuating politeness according to the norms required by the situation. Concerning the impact on face, autonomy face has different requirements in the two cultures: in the Swedish conversations, it is important to offer food without insisting several times, and in the Spanish corpus, it is important to offer food more than one or two times, and there is also a tendency to refuse the offer several times before accepting it. Therefore, according to one’s situational role, one has to know how to both give and receive offers, which points to the more ritual nature of OARs.

Finally, we want to emphasize that by adding a social perspective to the structural one, we can interpret the meaning of the conversations in a way that provides a broader understanding of what is being said as participants express OADs and OARs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Romance Studies and Classics, Stockholm University , 2015. , 288 p.
Keyword [en]
adjacency pairs, (dis)preferred turns, opinion-agreement/disagreement, offer-acceptance/rejection, autonomy face, affiliation face, role face, politeness, Conversation Analysis, Sociocultural Pragmatics, Swedish and Spanish family conversations
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119490ISBN: 978-91-7649-183-6OAI: diva2:846325
Public defence
2015-09-17, hörsal 6, hus C, Universitetsvägen 10 C, Stockholm, 10:00 (Spanish)
Available from: 2015-08-26 Created: 2015-08-15 Last updated: 2015-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Henning, Susanne
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