Ulrich De Balbian - - Oxford: UK as second appendix.
Culture is leaving conversation analysis, but is it really gone? Recently, more and more authors seem to cautiously refrain from considering culture in their linguistic studies.
Although verbal expression is by far not the only mode of communicating identities, linguists tend to claim that the analysis of spoken language will provide major insights into the role of culture in interaction. While in the U. As a consequence, many linguistic concepts that so far had claimed a worldwide and a universal applicability underwent a kind of culture-relativist reform, and linguists who were interested in intercultural communication had produced valuable insights into manifestations of culture in conversation in the s and in the s.
This research on culture in conversation seems to have been approaching a deadlock over the past decade. The paper at hand will trace this retreat of linguistic research from looking at culture too closely. It will try to find reasons for this pullback by looking at contemporary debates on cultural theory in the social sciences in general.
As a hypothesis, it may be said that linguistic research has followed contemporary critical views on culture in the field of cultural anthropology. Since this turn in cultural theory, linguistic research still seems to hesitate to again follow and adopt alternative ways of integrating culture into their theory.
Culture in conversation Although the rise of cultural philosophy Cassirer, actually had been inspired by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and Russian semiotician Roman Jakobson Jakobson and Halle,linguists themselves continued to develop their ideas on linguistic pragmatics in a culture-free atmosphere since WWII.
As late as in the s, linguists have started to receive intercultural research, and within the next two decades a wide variety of concepts had been developed to consider culture in linguistics.
Busch has presented a matrix to categorize theoretical approaches on a first rough level: Accordingly, culture can be conceived from a primordialist vs. Furthermore, researchers may capture culture from an etic vs. To give just a few examples, Scollon and Scollon listed quite a number of levels of verbal interaction that may be differ across cultures.
Since this knowledge is seen as culture-specific, Rehbein used this approach to explain miscommunication in intercultural settings. All these approaches assume that culture is primordially given and that it will emerge in interaction as group-specific forms of knowledge.
Essentially, Blum-Kulka et al. Building on this concept, Spencer-Oatey and Jiang added that people from different cultures will share the same basic values but that they will attribute different relevances to these values.
Wierzbicka went even further, and from an emic perspective she claimed that values underlying communication are completely culture-specific. However, Wierzbicka assumed that these values will be visible in conversation without any additional disguise through culture-specific communication.
In contrast to primordialist approaches, constructivist approaches assume that culture does not pre-exist but that they will be always be created in situ and through interaction.
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