Role of Utterance

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Role of Utterance

  • Express the point of view of the speaker and the minds that shaped his

  • w/ in a context

  • language is NOT abstract speaking act- language is tied to its use

  • language changes social relationships (ex: insulting)

  • this includes silence (when you are silent, you are also saying something) and pauses

  • speech only exists as concrete utterances

  • Translinguistics- broken down into two categories: voice and dialogicality


Who is doing the speaking?

Who is being addressed?

  • Intonation

  • Personality

  • Mood

  • “An utterance, spoken or written, is always expressed from a point of view (a voice), which for Bakhtin is a process rather than a location. Utterance is an activity that enacts difference in values. On an elementary level, for instance, the same words can mean different things depending on context: intonation is the sound that value makes” (p.51).

  • “voices always exist in a social milieu” (p.51).

  • ADDRESSIVITY (the voice of the speaker responds to the voice of the listener)

  • “An utterance reflects not only the voice producing it but also the voices to which is it addressed” (p.53).

  • “Understanding strokes to match the speaker’s with a counter word” (p.52).

Dialogicality and Multivoicedness

  • All speech depends on dialogue

  • The more someone else responds, reflects greater understanding.

  • Interpersonal vs. intrapersonal (between people, vs. inner dialogue)

  • Addressivity- one persons utterances are adapted in advance to another’s.

  • Parody- “a process in which one voice transmits what another voice has said but does so with a “shift in accent” (p.55)… 2 voices- dialogue.. mimic someone else voice of another with a shift in accent

  • Ex: Bushes speech when he says, “p.63 repeating what Dukakis already said “creating good jobs at good wages”

  • (Nacirema written as a parody)

  • one can connect a particular voice with the person that said it, and then always connect that word with that person (ex: inoperative p.55)

Social Languages “the way in which various languages in a cultural setting are employed” p57

  • Is not a not a national language

  • Adding context in language.

  • p.57 a discourse particular to a specific situation of society at a given time..”

  • Different kinds: “social dialects, characteristic groups behavior, profession jargons..” p.58

  • used in different settings

  • an utterance is individual

  • hard to recreate an utterance- it is unique

  • rules of language… we cant just use random words

  • there is still an underlined structure

  • ventriliquation (defined p.59) taking someone else’s words and adapting it to your own intentions.

  • one voice saying one thing (speaker), then the role of other influences

  • hybrid construction (2 perspectives): the juxtaposition of two different social language in one utterance i.e. mixing black and white to get grey

Speech Genres

  • Typical form or type of utterance

  • Kind of expression

    • Situation of speech communication and theme

    • Circumstances

  • Utterance have definite and stable typical forms of construction of a whole

  • Forms- named forms of speech within the national language. Used by members of a culture.

    • Songs

    • Speeches

    • Stories

    • Prayers

    • Poem

  • General form is the same, but content can be different

  • Genre of speaker is anticipated or guessed by the listener- indexing another genre, rather than a hybrid

  • We speak in genres without knowing that they exist (known by expectations)u7

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