ERIC Number: ED462859
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Reference Count: N/A
"That's Too Bad": Hedges and Indirect Complaints in "Troubles-Talk" Narrative.
Ouellette, Mark A.
Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, v19 n1-2 p107-122 Spr-Fall 2001
In many cultures, the "troubles-talk narrative" is a speech event which builds solidarity between interlocutors through the indirect speech act of complaining and through face-saving strategies such as speaker "hedges" and listener "commiserative responses" as backchannels. The manner in which speakers perform such narratives may differ. This study examines the discourse structure of troubles-talk narrative by comparing how female speakers of English, French, and Korean indirectly complained in separate language groups in English. Participants were females ages 25 to 30 years old from a large, urban, intensive English program. Participants were placed into one of three conversation groups (native speakers of American English, native speakers of French, and native speakers of Korean), then left alone and videotaped discussing five topics. Results reveal a similar structural pattern across subject groups. The amount and proportion of hedges and indirect complaints for each group suggested group differences concerning the relationship between these two narrative elements. The differing lengths of narratives for each group suggested that the quality of troubles-talk may involve not merely the amount of complaining or hedging, but also the extent to which these elements spread across the relative length of the discourse unit. Appended are transcription conventions. (Contains 28 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A