Sunday, September 26, 2010
THE MEANING OF UNNHHH!
The following comes from Emanuel A. Schegloff, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, and while I definitely wouldn’t say no to a chair of countercultural studies at some cozy college, it’s exactly the kind of thing that really worries me about academia. (Sadly Blogger cut off the Hulk's exclamation of "Unnhhh!" Sorry about that.)
"The underlying theme is that accounts for what gets done and gets understood in talk-in-interaction must take into account not only its composition, but also its position-not only with respect to the grammar of sentences, but also with respect to the organization of turns at talk, of action sequences encompassing multiple turns at talk, and of occasions of talk, all of which are demonstrably oriented to by speakers in their production of the talk and by recipients in their analyzing of the talk. It has been noted that "Uh"s and/or "Uhm"s in linguistic, cultural and situational settings can perform varying functions not only according to their timing and their intonation, but also dependent on their position in a sentence. The professor clarifies again – "In adding to the ‘what'-ness of ‘uh' and ‘uhm' (the ‘composition' element) a ‘where'-ness or positional element, we need to go beyond syntactic structure and speech-production processes; it turns out that the conversationally sequential is inescapably consequential for understanding what ‘uh' and ‘uhm' are being used to do, both by co-participants and by investigators." (Click here for more if you really have to.)
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Posted by Mick at 9/26/2010 01:31:00 AM