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English in these areas co-exists with many other indigenous languages. Inevit- ably, there is interference between the codes, with lexical copying and grammatical structures repositioning the English variety. The Indianisation of English is also a global force. Written Indian English uses many features which would be considered very polite, formal or conservative in a British or American setting.

However, social negotiation also has an individual, micro-sociolinguistic aspect. All languages have a range of features available that encode very subtle social and individual relationships, and many areas of sociolinguistics are concerned with encoding power. This suggests perhaps that power is a super-determinant in sociolinguistics.

In other languages, speakers are aware of the choice to be made: French signals it with the verbs vousvoyer and tutoyer; German with duzen and siezen and a little ceremony to mark the shift in the relationship. Speakers have the choice of:! There are cultural variations within this, of course. French and Italian speakers are more likely to use T to friends than Germans, but Germans are more likely than them to use T to distant relatives.

Norwegian schoolchildren can use T to teachers, but German and Dutch tend not to do so. Male Italian students are likely to use T to female students, but then in general Italians use more T than French or Germans. One influential model of politeness Brown and Levinson is based on the notion of face.

This is the social role that you present to the world. Negative face is your desire to be unimpeded in your actions; positive face is your desire for identifi- cation with the community. Any chance of borrowing yours? Mismatching the expected norm will be seen as rudeness, over-familiarity, aggression, or over-formality, obsequiousness or sarcasm. Of course, you always have the option of just asking, plainly and baldly, without any redressive politeness, for the thing you want, but usually only those with either extreme power or extreme intimacy can get away with this.

Accommodation All of these linguistic facilities are available for social negotiation. Participants also evolve their strategies and choices in the process of interaction. The most interesting is the phenomenon of accommodation, in which participants converge their speech styles.

For example, in mixed sex conversations, men and women tend to use fewer features of their genderlects and tend to move towards a common norm. In Britain, however, men tend to accommodate more towards women, whereas in the US, women tend to move further towards the male norm. Just about every conversation anyone ever has exhibits some element of accom- modation at this interpersonal level the term also encompasses wilful or resistant accommodation which is manifested as divergence in accent or register mirroring.

There is obviously a power dimension to take into account with interpersonal accommodation, with the most powerful individual likely to be the focus of any convergence. Such interpersonal accommodation tends to be temporary. Such dialect contact can be a factor in language change. The unit of analysis in other linguistic disciplines such as syntax or semantics is usually taken to be the clause; in socio- linguistics, the organising unit of conversation is the turn.

Some cultures North American Indian, Japanese, and even Quaker communities in Britain regard long pauses in conversation as normal and polite. In other cultures, silence can be taken as hostile, rude or submissive. In British, American and Australian English, for example, conversations often consist of pairs of turns in which a direct question or elicitation is expected to be answered immediately by a response turn. Such an elicitation-response pattern is known as an adjacency pair, and the pair is rarely divided by a long pause.

Since conversation even argumentative or obstructive speech is organised to produce conventional responses in the interlocutor, it can be said to be charac- terised by recipient design. Here, for example, is a real example from one of my more obstructive friends: A: What time is it? B: What? B: Sure. A: Thanks. This sequence was followed by another initiated by B: B: What do I do? B: OK. In real conversations, however, patterns are often more complex. Here is the example given in full: A: Can you give me a hand? Any chance of a hand here?

C: Yeah, be there in a minute. Can you? B: What do I do? The adjacency pairs and feedback have been interrupted with other turns. This final answer was dependent, for B, on the answer to the insertion sequence pair. The conventions of turn-taking are so strongly embedded within any given speech community that power can be asserted, maintained or relinquished by the organisation of turn-taking in conversation. Taking a turn in a conversation is often simply a matter of speaking first in a silence. However, anticipating silences is an incredibly precise ability, and hearers can be observed drawing breath as the syntax of the current speaker winds towards a clause-boundary.

Where the conversation is non-competitive, speakers might keep their turns short, signal the end of their turn by slowing down their speech or using syntactic forms which signal completion. They might even invite another turn by asking a direct question, by naming the next speaker, nominating them with an open facial expression, direct gaze or indicative hand-gesture. So catching his eye, anticipating a clause boundary and jumping in, inserting your hand into the social space of the conversation, or simply beginning to talk simultaneously but faster or louder will often prove successful in taking your turn from him.

Other common strategies include making backchannel noise or latching but speeding it up and converting it into substantive content so that you take the turn. Politicians are very adept and are often trained in these techniques. However, sociolinguistics as the broad field represented in this book demonstrates a concern for politics, ideology and engagement that applies itself to the world more directly than many other disciplines within linguistic study.

I have often been struck by how many sociolinguists themselves speak with non-standard and often stig- matised accents. Many sociolinguists begin their studies as graduate students by researching their home town, or a feature of language that correlates with a social variable that is personally significant for them. Many sociolinguists are involved in advisory capacities for their governments or local councils, bringing their expertise to bear on issues that they care about and that they wish to influence. In short, sociolinguistics is strikingly a humane discipline within the social and human sciences, both in its method and in its practitioners.

Taking a broad and socially engaged view of the discipline is characteristic of many though by no means all of those who regard themselves as sociolinguists. Where the field ends and other disciplines begin is a debatable matter. There are clear overlaps in sociolinguistics with areas in pragmatics such as politeness, or stylistics in register, or discourse analysis in conversation, and so on. In this final unit of section A, I would like briefly to sketch a few of the many fields that sit across the boundaries of sociolinguistics, or have strong connections with sociolinguistic concerns or practices.

In placing these here, I have not avoided political assertions or contentious claims: these too, for me, are part of sociolinguistic debate. Critical discourse analysis The field of critical linguistics developed in the s as linguists looked above the level of the clause and connected their approach with work being produced in anthropology and cultural studies.

Critical linguists argued that as members of the society in which they worked, they had an ethical responsibility to use their expert linguistic knowledge in socially useful and just ways. However, critical linguistics came under attack for two related reasons. First, most critical linguistic work was explicitly left-wing and progressive in orientation, leaving the discourse of the left itself relatively unexamined.

Second and more importantly, critical linguists often talked as if the discourses of the media were a distortion of a true version of events. Of course, this simply places one discourse in a prestigious position and in many ways was regarded as an outdated view of language, based on the idea that some meanings were fixed and determinate. In response, the discipline has become a critical discourse analysis CDA , drawing in sociolinguistic methodology and rigour, and a greater philosophical sophistication from social theory.

Critical discourse analysts treat all linguistic representations as motivated ideological choices, with no pre-linguistic truth that is thinkable. See B12 for more. Sociolinguistic evidence has been deployed by politicians to demonstrate the need for reform in raising standards of schooling, and has been produced also by critics of those initiatives in order to show why the policy was faulty or misplaced. Sociolinguistics, then, has played a part in both national educational policy and in the training given to teachers. The ideological sensibility brought to socio- linguistics by CDA has resulted in studies of the classroom in which language is central, and the variety of language used is related to its social factors outside the boundaries of the school.

From being regarded as an individual psychological skill, literacy has come to be sociolinguistically defined as a social and functional skill. See A3 and C3 for more. Identity and community Like literacy, identity is usually regarded as a purely psychological notion, but socio- linguistic work has demonstrated precisely how individual identity is socially bound up and mutually determined. Judy Dyer points out three phases in socio- linguistic treatments of identity.

Early sociolinguistic studies focusing on quantita- tive methods addressed the accent and dialect usage of individuals defined in relation to large social categories age, class, gender. Later, more ethnographic research emphasised the place of individual identity within speech communities. Lately, sociolinguistics has focused on the social meaning of language usage, where identity is constructed from linguistic features and the individual is performed through language, socially. Throughout the history of sociolinguistics, the social importance of individual identity has been central.

Without becoming simply a branch of social psychology, sociolinguistics has explored the continuities of accents, dialects and languages across geographical boundaries. The ways that politeness norms have become established, or how speakers accommodate towards each other in extended conversation, or how political, gendered, ethnic or age groupings are built and maintained have all been the fruitful ground of sociolinguistics.

Identity is pivotal in all this, such that the notion is increasingly regarded as being as much a social factor as a psychological one. Governments throughout history have seen the political value and significance of language planning, whether that has involved supressing the language of rebellious groups or encouraging ideological standards in discourse conventions.

Language planning involves surveying the state of the language across large social groups, and then taking interventionist measures to shift usage in desired directions. There are positive and negative consequences of this. Nationalism usually encourages a national language, with standardisation as the main process.

This produces mutual intelligibility among peoples, but also often serves to wipe out the richness of dialectal variation. Standardisation of the language and its codification in the education system creates an equal ground for any with access to schooling, but sociolinguistics has shown how the language background of students can influence their performance in this system. Almost all administrative, legislative and political arms of government anywhere in the world have a language policy, whether explicit or implicit, drawn from a combination of actual research, folk-mythology and shared intuitions about the state of the language of the state.

Some of these professional studies are repre- sented in section D. Students setting out to investigate language and society use the published work and concepts to structure their own explorations, and to provide a disciplined framework within which to conduct and present their study. In this section, I will outline the work of my own recent undergraduate students in socio- linguistics. The intention in doing this is to encourage you, if you are new to the area, to have confidence in your own skills and thinking.

Each study is linked to the corresponding numbered area in section A. The students who conducted each study also read theoretical work and case studies in their area of investigation. In contextualising their work for this book, I have added my own comments. You will find further reading in the area at the end of the book.

Some of the data for your own analysis in section C also comes from fieldwork studies collected by my students. Finding an area for study The most successful studies tend to be those that are done by students with a direct interest in the area of investigation. In a theory-driven investigation, students are introduced to key ideas and debates within an area, and are led to further reading of published material.

A useful way of doing this is to assume a sceptical attitude towards every claim made in a book or article, unless direct evidence or reasoning is provided. Students are encouraged to examine closely every detail of the presentation, and also to think in general about what theoretical assumptions and positions underpin the writing. Encouraging students to seek out these frameworks and discuss them directly is often a successful way of getting them to the heart of a discussion, and to engage seriously with the research.

Theory-driven work is often the only practical way a British-based student can investigate, for example, African or Pacific pidgins and creoles, or diglossia, or cross-cultural politeness norms, and so on. For example, many of my international students choose to investigate community multilingualism, personal bilingualism and code-switching, or examples of language loyalty towards new Englishes, and so on. By far the most popular area for study amongst English students at the moment is language and gender. The danger in exploring a familiar area, of course, is that the work becomes anecdotal and over-subjective.

They should also be encouraged to apply the same sort of sceptical rigour to their own draft work as they would apply to published studies. It should be clear by now that the decision as to whether a study is theoretically led or practically led is a matter of emphasis rather than exclusiveness. Theoretical discussions tend to be poor if they have no data for evidence, and presentations of data are often rather meaningless unless you know what you are doing with the information.

Planning the study Once you have decided on an area for study, it is important that you spend some time planning the investigation. At this point, practical considerations will come into play: how long have you got to complete the fieldwork; do you have any resources, such as friends to help with interviewing, or cash to pay informants; how easy is it for you to get at the data you are interested in; is this the only research work you are engaged in, or are you splitting your time with other subjects?

Introducing Mahasadashiva & Multiple Dimensions of the Universe - Royal Sacred Secrets

A key question often asked with a fieldwork sample is: how many people should I involve? This is not straightforward. Sociolinguistic studies tend to operate with larger numbers than, say, psycholinguistic studies, but that is partly because the nature of the fieldwork requires more depth typically in other areas. The crucial factor to bear in mind is to make sure that the claims you make arising from the data that was available to you are neither immodest nor overblown.

Given the practical parameters of your circumstances, the design of your field- work should be entirely directed at answering a research question. This should be framed in your own mind as precisely as possible. Ideally, you should set down exactly what you are trying to discover as a hypothesis — your educated guess as to what exactly you expect to find. Your study will then be designed to prove or disprove this hypothesis. If you have the luxury of time, you can conduct a pilot-study, a small-scale version of your eventual study, that will help you to refine your hypothesis and might even bring to light some flaws in your fieldwork plan that you did not anticipate.

Your full study design after this can then be improved. Writing the study It is also part of the learning process in sociolinguistics that you develop your skills in academic writing. Though it is possible to set out the linguistics of academic prose and teach it, selecting the most appropriate conventional register is best learnt by reading lots of professional sociolinguistic studies. The key to ensuring both this and a high level of rigour in evidence is to insist upon accurate and thorough referencing of all material read for the study.

The model for setting this out is used in this book. Irritating footnotes and other scrappy asides are thus avoided. Review of published work In which you collect the existing state of knowledge, commenting on it, evaluating it for the rigour of its procedure, and identifying the gap which you are about to fill with your own work.

Fieldwork design Here you set out the terms of the study, your method of collecting the data, the nature of the popu- lation you are investigating, the linguistic feature under analysis, and the procedure you adopted. Alter- natively, you can thread your results through a discussion of the significance of your findings, informed by your knowledge of the field as already indicated in your Review section.

Conclusion Here you circle back to pick up the frame of reference of your Introduction, to show that your study did what you said it would do. You summarise the key findings, and point to further work that might be done in the area.

3 Mindbending Implications of Our Multidimensional Universe

Sometimes you might want to indicate some of the potential flaws in your own study, but it is obviously a bad tactic to dwell on these too much! Make sure you have planned your investigation so well that any problems that arise will have been ironed out long before this point. You should set this section out very precisely see the References at the end of this book for a model. Accuracy and fullness of referencing is your best firewall against any suspicion of plagiarism. Obviously you write the Introduction and Conclusion last, and you probably write the Review section first. Your tutor, assessor or editor will tell you whether this is possible.

Never throw anything away. Replications are a key element in scientific discovery: they test out whether an original investigation is still valid; they can indicate a change over time; and they are good places to start your own sociolinguistic study. Evaluative reactions to accents As part of my sociolinguistics course, Sarah Wood researched original work done by Giles and Powesland and others which used a method of data elicitation known as the matched-guise technique.

These might include their sense of the attractiveness of the speaker, how communicative they were, what their social status seems to be, and so on. In this way, a pattern of common stereotypical associations in attitude to accents is built up. The original studies used a range of British accents northern, southern, rural, urban and RP and some foreign-accented English American, Italian, Indian, German, French, and so on , and used informants from south Wales and the south-west of England. The findings were that, for many people, standard accents such as RP were more likely to be considered as belonging to prestigious, aesthetically pleasing and intelligible articulate speakers.

Rural accents were considered aesthetically pleasing, but subordinate to RP on the dimensions of social status and intelligibility. Much of this work was conducted in the s, and Sarah Wood was concerned with discovering the current situation. All speakers and informants were female students in their early twenties, to control for gender, age and some class variation, and the informants included two northern speakers, two southern speakers, and a Midlands speaker.

Sarah ensured an easy comparability of data by setting a written, multiple-choice questionnaire, as follows: Q1 Please name the accent you have just heard. Sarah presented her detailed results as a table, and then contrasted her findings with those of 30 years previously. Though the RP speaker was judged more intelligent than the others, they were judged equal in social status, and the RP accent was judged as being less pleasing.

The northern accents came out worst in the prestige judge- ments, with the urban accents more stigmatised than the rural ones. It is interesting that there was largely a consensus across informants, which suggests that language loyalty was only a small factor in this study though the northern informants did rate the northern accents slightly higher.

Furthermore, judgements tended to parallel each other across the dimensions: so an accent tended to be judged consistently either prestigious or stigmatised across all the questions. First of all, replication studies are a very useful means of investigating language change: in this case, changes in attitude to accents. It is thus a contribution to the methodological discussion of the field. In general, the sort of lexicogrammatical choices made at this level are based on the selection of words and sequencing them in particular ways.

Selection can be seen as a sort of metaphorical system, since one word is chosen to fill a linguistic slot in place of another word. Idioms the individual words and phrases peculiar to a language variety — see B12 often rely for their meaning on metaphorical interpretations. Conversely, euphemism can be seen not so much as a lexical replacement by a dissimilar word as a replacement by a closely associated word a metonymy rather than a metaphor.

Euphemisms for taboo areas still sex, death, war, defecation, and all manner of social unpleasantnesses are a useful area for the sociolinguist to map social relationships and attitudes. What was immediately noticeable in this small corpus of data was that the word for death was often omitted entirely omission is itself a form of euphemism.

Vicki discusses her data using work done by Paul Chilton , in which he identifies in the ideological field a point similar to the notion of a face threatening act see A He calls such moments, when the dominant ideology is potentially transparent, a critical discourse moment CDM. Talking about death is a CDM, a taboo area that needs to be linguistically negotiated.

The result, claims Vicki, is a prototypical form of discourse a naturalised register for announcing deaths in newspapers that is designed to comfort rather than confront social concepts of death. She asserts that the obituaries simultaneously evade its reality, respect its significance, and conform to an accepted but implicit social format.

Register and code One of the reasons sociolinguistic study is so important is that thinking about the link between language and society is also the ground for language planning by governments largely through the education system. Performance in linguistic skills literacy in reading and writing, oracy in listening and speaking is taken as an indicator of educational level and intelligence, and provides access to the whole range of education in the first place.

The way that the links between language, education, social class, wealth, family background and gender are made involve theoretical and ideological frameworks that can be made explicit by sociolinguists. The discipline is inescapably bound up with political thinking in this respect. I also believe it is our ethical responsibility to use this special training and knowledge to influence current thinking and policy. Some of the most influential work in the area of educational linguistics has been done by Basil Bernstein and his colleagues.

He distinguished two types of linguistic patterns used by school- children: restricted code and elaborated code. Bernstein claimed that middle class children have access to both codes, whereas lower working class children only had access to restricted code. Nevertheless, his approach presents a linguistic explanation for educational attainment and failure. In fact, the patterns typical of restricted code are common in the discourse of any closeknit group with their own norms of jargon, register and style: airline pilots, lawyers, drinking buddies and football teams all use their restricted codes.

Bernstein has gone on to suggest that these respective linguistic choices are dependent on family background. A student of mine, Vicky Bristow devised a classroom-based experiment with two groups of year-old boys, one from a fee-paying school F and one from a state school S , in neighbouring areas of Nottingham.

She used the sensitivity to social status and readiness and ability to pay for education as an index of social class. In the experiment, she discussed a moral beast fable with the two groups, and transcribed the discussion. Further- more, group F used only 28 pronouns, compared with the 40 pronouns used by group S. High pronoun usage, then, is treated as part of the implicit, context-bound restricted code, with an implication that it is also cognitively limiting. This would seem to be a universalistic feature more associated with elaborated code.

After all as Stubbs also points out , in a face-to-face interactive dis- cussion, the use of implicit and particularistic meaning is entirely appropriate, and elaborated code is rather redundant. One explanation could be that group F saw the task as a test-situation and group S as a simple discussion, and each acted accordingly. The second example, though shorter, completes the conditional clause and gives a reason for the proposition. The problem, as Vicky ends by pointing out, is that qualitative evaluations of this type cannot measure cognitive ability simply by a surface linguistic analysis.

Studies in educational linguistics need to be theoretically aware and sophis- ticated if the consequences in educational policy and pedagogic practice are to have any value. The university sits in a park with Polish and Ukrainian bilinguals on one side, and bilingual speakers of Punjabi and English, and Patwa and English on the other, living alongside the main student areas in the city. Within the campus there are many more temporary multilingual communities, as international and exchange students form their own groups. In the city and university, then, there are many opportunities for my own students to investigate multilingualism.

The essay in question would have been written in English, and the two Germans were standing in a British university. Since Chris is a part of the speech community under investigation, the method employed is one of participant observation see B5. He recorded several exchanges within the German student community — previously all living in monolingual Germany or Austria but now living as a bilingual minority in a predominantly English-speaking culture. Only he was aware that the conversations were being recorded for a sociolinguistic study. Chris surmises this tag-switch might simply be because the speaker lacked the necessary vocabulary in English for the previous word.

Short pause. Even this occurs at a clause boundary rather than mid-clause. He found that the published studies did not match up to his intuitions as a native German speaker, and he suggests that the sociolinguistic situation in this area is changing very rapidly. He talked through 18 questionnaires with German-speaking students studying in Britain. All were 19—25 years old, 13 from Germany including five from the eastern part of the country , four Austrians and one of Swiss origin but living in Germany.

The questionnaire asked a series of open-ended questions such as:! With which form are you normally addressed? Which form do did you normally use? All 18 approved. Martin discusses his findings in relation to the published literature, identifying the dimensions of power and solidarity, especially in terms of age, in his data. Finally, he also considers the situation within his own dialect of Vorarlberg in Austria. Diglossia My student, Tim Knebel re-examined the situation in the Middle Ages using a mod- ern sociolinguistic framework.

The following characteristics of diglossia from Ferguson were applied convincingly to medieval society:! H is written;! H is the medium of education;! H has greater prestige than L;! H vocabulary is often copied into L;! French was the dominant written and literary form in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and was taught alongside Latin and Greek. This situation lasted almost years, with Francified English maintaining its prestige in parliament, government, law, administration, ecclesiastical and culinary domains. Tim pointed out that modern diglossic situations have been shown to come to an end in the same way as did medieval diglossia.

Ferguson gives the following reasons:! All three of these can be discerned in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century English life. A strong factor against such a collapse, however, is the prestige attached to the H form of classical Arabic in religious form it is the language of the Koran.

The advantages of a social network approach are: it is a useful tool for studying small, self-contained groups in detail; it is useful in situations such as immigrant communities, or amongst schoolchildren where the concept of social class is either irrelevant or not clear-cut; and it is based on the relationships between individuals rather than subsuming individuals into group averages, and so it is fundamentally inter-subjective. Milroy developed a network strength score based on the nature of social network connections within a group of people. This had two main dimensions:!

A very close-knit community will be both dense and multiplex and thus have a high network strength score. Milroy was interested in how stigmatised vernacular norms mainly accent variants were maintained in local communities. She found that the highest incidence of the vernacular norms occurred in those communities with the highest network strength scores in the Belfast communities studied, this was among Protestant men in Ballymacarrett who both worked together and lived in the same neighbourhood, and young Catholic women in the Clonard whose partners were mainly unemployed, isolating the community even more.

His participant observation technique involved attending Tottenham Hotspur games and making covert recordings amongst the crowd at both home and away matches. His findings and analysis are as follows. This meant that particularly stereo- typical accent features were adopted, even by speakers who were observed outside the ground with more standardised accents. These areas are also linguistically maintained to preserve group-identification. Entering the highly-specified domain of a football ground renders many registers inappropriate, and limits the sociolect of the crowd.

Unusually, the crowd repertoire is smaller than the repertoire of individual people. James notes that unlike in society at large, there is no prestige to be gained by exhibiting a large repertoire; prestige lies in conformity to and knowledge of the group codes. The accent features of football chants, for example, are never considered appropriate in any other context.

Equally, a register which in any other domain would be perceived as aggressive and hostile is downgraded to the level of normative discourse in the ritualised code of the stadium. This applies to football fans though, curiously, the crowd could well be com- posed of non-dense and uniplex social network groups: people whose only relation- ship is attendance at the game.

It seems that a further dimension is needed to add to density and complexity in social network texture, and this is the perceived value of the network link. This is a strong consequence of solidarity and reciprocity. All of these social roles are linguistically encoded.

A smaller number and variety of chants are heard at national games. All of these findings illustrate that even an apparently highly codified speech community can reveal sociolinguistic complexities on closer examination. Changes in RP The prestige dialect Standard English is spoken by around 15 per cent of the popula- tion of Britain; the prestige accent Received Pronunciation is spoken by no more than 5 per cent of the population Holmes Two studies by my students show the prestige value of RP today.

Setting: daytime 81 per cent; evening 11 per cent; night-time 8 per cent;!

Key: the tone of the event 75 per cent light-hearted; 23 per cent serious; 2 per cent i. Instrumentalities: choice of speech-style RP 70 per cent; other accents 20 per cent; music only 10 per cent;! Norms: all choice of language was non-deviant and appropriate to the setting;! Genre: advertising. Analysing the accents in the adverts, Judith found that RP was generally used to advertise expensive products, electrical goods and financial services, and regional accents were used for natural products, especially food.

Furthermore, 63 per cent of voices were male, against 37 per cent female; and women tended to have RP accents, with men showing the regional variation. A similar analysis of seven hours of television advertisements over one week, conducted by Lynne Senior, also revealed a bias towards RP usage.

RP was used in 60 per cent of the adverts, with Scottish, Irish, Yorkshire, American and Cockney accounting in almost equal part for another 25 per cent. These are also mainly prestigious accents. Lynne discussed the claims made by Wilkinson and Giles and Powesland that there are three bands of prestige in British accents: first RP; second the rural regional accents and educated Irish, Welsh and Scottish; and finally the modern urban accents. Since then, like every other linguistic code, RP has changed along with changes in the social environment of its speakers.

RP users between age 35 and 65 tend to speak general RP, while younger users speak a more casualised advanced RP.


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Working with a couple of his best graduate students at the California Institute of Technology, Thorne worked out the equations showing that, indeed, there was a way: a stable, traversable wormhole, or even a system of such tunnels linking different areas of space-time. An advanced civilization could build a system of wormhole-dependent tunnels connecting different points of the space-time fabric, essentially drawing the departure and arrival points in the fabric into close proximity to one another through a 4 th dimension. If we could do it, we could have an entry portal nearby, somewhere in the inner Solar System, that leads to an exit point at our destination, for instance a nearby star system with an Earth-like planet.

Because of mathematically complex findings derived from equations in general relativity known as the Einstein field equations, technology that can warp space, whether for warp drive or traversable wormholes, would require a phenomenon called negative energy. Intuitively it is difficult to visualize what negative energy is, but its existence is consistent with a well-established area of physics known as quantum field theory. In fact, using the technology of quantum optics and a phenomenon called the Casimir effect, physicists have actually produced a kind of negative energy already in tiny quantities negative vacuum energy.

According to Eric Davis, Senior Research Physicist at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, Texas, who is an expert on faster-than-light propulsion concepts, the most promising way to do this is with a quantum optic device called a Ford-Svaiter mirror. It would concentrate the negative vacuum energy. If you do it with a small Ford-Svaiter mirror, it would produce a mini-wormhole, but Davis says that the device could then be scaled up to make wormholes bigger and bigger, eventually big enough for a spaceship to enter.

We could explore that star system, and no doubt we would do so particularly if it contains a habitable planet that we could colonize, but we could also use it as a staging point to go further. Thus, little by little, we could create wormhole network of sorts, in our little corner of the galaxy. Disadvantages, Bad Side Effects. Juxtaposes is to place side by side. Polemic is contentious rhetoric that is intended to support a specific position by aggressive claims and undermining of the opposing position. It's important that you know the reasons why you approve of something, or disapprove of something.

Don't generalize your reasons or pretend to understand the facts. Just tell people what you truly know, or don't know. And don't hand pick facts that can be misleading. Tell the whole story , even if you only know one chapter. Some people are like a unique puzzle. Some puzzles can not be solved unless you approach it in the way that it was designed.

Meaning, some people communicate differently. Unless you modify your communication methods, you will always struggle with communication with that particular person. Some people don't know which questions to ask. A contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement. A discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal. A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning , without assumptions.

Make your Case means to give arguments supporting your position or ideas. Rebuttal is the speech act of refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument. Refuting is to prove to be false or incorrect. Repudiation is rejecting or disowning or disclaiming as invalid. The exposure of falseness or pretensions.

Debunking is the exposure of falseness or pretensions. Expose while ridiculing, without pretentious or false claims and ideas. Reductio ad absurdum is a form of argument which attempts either to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion , or to prove one by showing that if it were not true , the result would be absurd or impossible.

Just Complaining is not an Argument Contentious is something that is likely to cause controversy, or cause a dispute and disagreement. Don't hurt back when feeling unloved or misunderstood. In some circumstances it can be safely assumed that if a certain event had occurred, evidence of it could be discovered by qualified investigators. In such circumstances it is perfectly reasonable to take the absence of proof of its occurrence as positive proof of its non-occurrence. Argument from ignorance asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false or a proposition is false because it has not yet been proven true.

Argument from silence is to express a conclusion that is based on the absence of statements in historical documents, rather than their presence. Just because there is no evidence that something happened, this does not necessarily mean that nothing happened. And just because there is evidence that something happened, this does not necessarily mean that it was the only thing that happened, or that it was the cause of what happened.

Don't Assume. You can make your argument seem more appealing using rhetoric that invites an emotional response. Just stating the facts may not be enough. Ethos is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. Logos is the logic behind an argument, which tries to inform an audience using logical arguments and supportive evidence. Pathos represents an appeal to the emotions of the audience, and elicits feelings that already reside in them.

Pathos is a communication technique used most often in rhetoric where it is considered one of the three modes of persuasion , alongside ethos and logos , and in literature, film and other narrative art. Emotional appeal can be accomplished in a multitude of ways: By a metaphor or storytelling, commonly known as a hook. By passion in the delivery of the speech or writing, as determined by the audience.

Personal anecdote or short account of an incident. Not the Whole Truth. What are the Facts and Evidence? What is the current situation now? What is expected to happen in the future? How do people feel? Deliberation is a process of thoughtfully weighing options, usually prior to voting. Deliberation emphasizes the use of logic and reason as opposed to power-struggle, creativity, or dialog. Group decisions are generally made after deliberation through a vote or consensus of those involved. In legal settings a jury famously uses deliberation because it is given specific options, like guilty or not guilty, along with information and arguments to evaluate.

In " deliberative democracy ", the aim is for both elected officials and the general public to use deliberation rather than power-struggle as the basis for their vote. Deliberative Rhetoric is a rhetorical device that juxtaposes potential future outcomes to communicate support or opposition for a given action or policy. In deliberative rhetoric, an argument is made using examples from the past to predict future outcomes in order to illustrate that a given policy or action will either be harmful or beneficial in the future.

Epideictic praise-and- blame rhetoric that deals with goodness, excellence, nobility, shame, honor, dishonor, beauty, and matters of virtue and vice. The "components" of virtue according to Aristotle , were "justice, courage, self-control, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, practical and speculative wisdom" or "reason". Vice was the "contrary" of virtue. Syllogism is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at a conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

Rhetoric in Aristotle is an ancient Greek treatise on the art of persuasion , dating from the 4th century BC. Debating Debate is a discussion in which reasons are advanced for or against some proposition or proposal. The formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it, usually followed by a vote.

To argue with one another and to think about something carefully and weigh the good against bad and to discuss the pros and cons of an issue. Debating is a point that is asserted in argument where there is a lack of agreement. A conflict of people's opinions or actions that have a disagreement. A formal discussion of subjects before a public assembly or legislature. To express opposing view points with facts that do not manipulate the truth or lie or cherry pick data. Public Debate is debating by the public usually in a Public Forum. Comments - Criticism - Listening.

Chatham House Rule is a system for holding debates and discussion panels on controversial issues. Talking Point in debate or discourse is a succinct statement designed to support persuasively one side taken on an issue. Such statements can either be free standing or created as retorts to the opposition's talking points and are frequently used in public relations, particularly in areas heavy in debate such as politics and marketing.

The Great Debaters Film Debates wiki - Debate Moot is a hypothetical case that law students argue and think about carefully as an exercise. Something that is open to argument or debate and is of no legal significance or something that has been previously decided. Public Forum Debate debaters argue a topic of national importance. Public Participation. Lincoln Douglas Debate is a type of one-on-one debate with a format that emphasizes logic, ethical values, and philosophy. Argumentation Theory is the interdisciplinary study of how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning; that is, claims based, soundly or not, on premises.

It includes the arts and sciences of civil debate, dialogue, conversation, and persuasion. It studies rules of inference, logic, and procedural rules in both artificial and real world settings. Argumentation includes debate and negotiation which are concerned with reaching mutually acceptable conclusions. It also encompasses eristic dialog, the branch of social debate in which victory over an opponent is the primary goal. This art and science is often the means by which people protect their beliefs or self-interests in rational dialogue, in common parlance, and during the process of arguing.

Argumentation is used in law, for example in trials, in preparing an argument to be presented to a court, and in testing the validity of certain kinds of evidence. Also, argumentation scholars study the post hoc rationalizations by which organizational actors try to justify decisions they have made irrationally.

Evidence Based Argumentation Ransberger Pivot is a debate technique from by Ray Ransberger and Marshall Fritz in which the speaker attempts to find common ground with the person they are trying to convince of their view. Once a person objects to the speaker's ideas, the speaker employs the technique in three stages.

Dialectic is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. Mirror Image Rule states that an offer must be accepted exactly with no modifications. The offeror is the master of one's own offer. An attempt to accept the offer on different terms instead creates a counter-offer, and this constitutes a rejection of the original offer. Offer and Acceptance analysis is a traditional approach in contract law. The offer and acceptance formula, developed in the 19th century, identifies a moment of formation when the parties are of one mind.

This classical approach to contract formation has been modified by developments in the law of estoppel, misleading conduct, misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. Successful Negotiation is not about getting to yes, it's about mastering no and understanding what the path to an agreement is. The more little yeses you get, the more likely you are to say yes to a big yes. The flipside question to that instead is, "Do you want me to fail?

Selected Speeches by Valedictorians From Around Long Island

Digressions can be used intentionally as a stylistic or rhetorical device. Devil's Advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position they do not necessarily agree with or simply an alternative position from the accepted norm , for the sake of debate or to explore the thought further. Heckler is a person who harasses and tries to disconcert others with questions, challenges, or gibes. Interrupts a public speaker with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse. Booing is an act of showing displeasure for someone or something, generally an entertainer, by loudly yelling boo!

People may make hand signs at the entertainer, such as the thumbs down sign. If spectators particularly dislike the performance they may also accompany booing by throwing objects traditionally rotten fruit and vegetables onstage, though the objects may not be meant to physically hurt the performer. Internet Troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

Critics - Bullies - Skepticism Discussions - Conversations - Discourse Discussion is an extended communication often interactive dealing with some particular topic. An exchange of views on some topic. Debate - Argue. Avoiding Invalid Reasons valid , sound, persuasive, conditionals , consistent Dialogue is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people , and a literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange.

Social Learning. Conversation is a form of interactive , spontaneous communication between two or more people. Typically, it occurs in spoken communication, as written exchanges are usually not referred to as conversations. The development of conversational skills and etiquette is an important part of socialization. The development of conversational skills in a new language is a frequent focus of language teaching and learning.

Conversation analysis is a branch of sociology which studies the structure and organization of human interaction, with a more specific focus on conversational interaction. Discourse is an extended interactive communication dealing with some particular topic. To consider or examine in speech or writing. Carry on a conversation and talk at length and formally about a topic. Discourse denotes written and spoken communications such as: In semantics and discourse analysis: Discourse is a conceptual generalization of conversation within each modality and context of communication.

The totality of codified language vocabulary used in a given field of intellectual enquiry and of social practice, such as legal discourse, medical discourse, religious discourse, et cetera. Discourse is the use of language in context. Students learn meanings of scientific terms through engagement in discourse and practices.

Scientific discourse includes some unique features, derived from the highly specialized nature of the epistemic communities constructing these discourse processes and practices. Discourse Analysis is a general term for a number of approaches to analyze written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic event. Critique is a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially a literary, philosophical, or political theory. Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic study of a written or oral discourse. Although critique is commonly understood as fault finding and negative judgment, it can also involve merit recognition, and in the philosophical tradition it also means a methodical practice of doubt.

The contemporary sense of critique has been largely influenced by the Enlightenment critique of prejudice and authority, which championed the emancipation and autonomy from religious and political authorities. Dialectical Reasoning is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing to establish the truth through reasoned arguments. Socratic Method is a form of cooperative argumentative dialogue between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions. It is a dialectical method, often involving a discussion in which the defense of one point of view is questioned; one participant may lead another to contradict themselves in some way, thus weakening the defender's point.

Conversation Analysis is an approach to the study of social interaction, embracing both verbal and non-verbal conduct , in situations of everyday life. As its name implies, CA began with a focus on casual conversation, but its methods were subsequently adapted to embrace more task- and institution-centered interactions, such as those occurring in doctors' offices, courts , law enforcement, helplines, educational settings, and the mass media. As a consequence, the term 'conversation analysis' has become something of a misnomer, but it has continued as a term for a distinctive and successful approach to the analysis of social interactions.

Questioning - Skepticism - Presuming - Hypnotic Language There are some conversations that you just can't have with certain people. Some ideas can seem offensive to some people. You want to challenge peoples thinking, but you don't want to freak people out. Some people will over react and assume things, so you have to be ready.

It's better to ease some people into a conversation by introducing an idea in a way that asks questions instead of giving possible answers. And if people attack your view without having any evidence of their own to back them up, then it's better to change the subject, unless you have a point to make. But if someone is not willing to listen, then there is no point, and there is no point talking to some people unless you are trying to help them.

People need to have Long Meaningful Conversations. People will never learn enough if they never talk enough, listen enough, or think enough. But not all conversations are productive or meaningful. So every school needs to educate students on how to have meaningful conversations, effectively and efficiently.

Without this skill, people will never learn enough, or never understand the process of research and development. Most people never have meaningful conversations, and a perfect example of that is most parents don't know their own children, which is not the parents fault because schools don't teach students how to communicate on a personal level.

So how is a person supposed to learn how to communicate effectively? And how is a person supposed to know that they can actually learn how to communicate better, and learn how to understand themselves better, and also learn how to understand other people better? People don't always know when they are being lied to.

And people don't always know how to effectively react to lies, or know what to do when they hear lies. This is a big problem. American people are being manipulated and lied to everyday, especially in schools, and most people are not doing anything about it. People get mad when a family member lies to them. People get mad when a friend lies to them. But people don't always realize when they are being lied to , or aware that they are being lied to. And sometimes people just ignore the lies the hear or see, and people sometimes ignore the lies they tell themselves.

Interlocutor is a person who takes part in a dialogue or conversation. Small Talk. An opinion is never just an opinion , because there's always more to an opinion. An opinion is an observation that may not be based on facts and knowledge, but who's facts and knowledge are we talking about, the person giving the opinion or the person receiving the opinion? This is why you must be able to clearly explain your opinion, other wise it's just empty words thrown around as if to be communication something. People talk, but they're not communicating fully enough or listening clearly enough.

People have to learn how to have constructive conversations, if not, then societies and people all over the world will continue to suffer from the horrible side effects of disputes that arise from communication failures, like war, crimes, corruption and pollution. All people overreact , some more than others. Most people jump to conclusions , they over exaggerate things, they under estimate things and they contradict things they claim that they know.

Every human under estimates the importance of human language and communication. This is the reason why we have so many problems. And this can easily be corrected by giving people access to knowledge and information that would allow people to improve and progress in all aspects of human development and communication. I noticed throughout my life that hardly anyone ever has a meaningful or deep conversation.

No one takes the time to ask questions that would help them to truly understand someone or the world around them. There's no real investigations into reality.

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People just see the surface and pretend that they know what's underneath it all. There for, there is very little learning going on. It's easy to overlook things when you don't know they exist. To assume is to live a lie. Negotiation - Compromise - Conflict Resolution - Dispute Management Diplomacy - Public Hearing - Reasoning - Activism Clear the Air is to remove the bad feelings between people by talking about it in order to clarify an angry, tense, or confused situation. Having a discussion to make things more comfortable and easy to deal with.

But don't just talk for the sake of talking. Be masterful when speaking. Stay focused and enjoy listening. And don't forget to follow up when the moment is appropriate. If you don't listen, you don't learn. Try to quite your Internal Monologue or inner voice so that you are truly listening and not just waiting to speak.

Keep Silent when Listening. Give full Attention and correctly hear and understand someone's messages. Sometimes it's hard when someone's talking and you have a question to ask, but you want to be polite and wait until a person finishes speaking. And then you have to decide if the question that you want to ask is appropriate at this time? Because you first want to acknowledge that you heard the person correctly before you ask questions that might lead in a different direction.

Sometimes hold your questions for another time. Have a Psychological Connection. Do not create resistance in the listener. It's hard to listen to things that you don't understand. But don't pretend that you understand the subject. Tell the person that you're not sure that you understand them completely, but you're definitely interested in what they're saying.

Trying to condense an experience or piece of knowledge is risky, because you can easily be misunderstood. And trying to give too many details can also backfire, because the message could easily be lost within all those details. Also, try not to get caught up in the heat of an argument or conversation. And remember, many things can distract us. So the skills needed to focus , listen and to be aware need to be practiced and deliberately used when needed, which is most of the time. Listen to understand and not just be waiting to reply. Active Listening is a communication technique used in counseling, training, and conflict resolution.

It requires that the listener fully concentrate , understand, respond and then remember what is being said. This is opposed to reflective listening where the listener repeats back to the speaker what they have just heard to confirm understanding of both parties. Open-Mindedness is being receptive to new ideas without being biased or stubborn and without jumping to conclusions. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others.

Receptive is willing to consider or accept new suggestions and ideas. Able or willing to receive something different. Non-Conformist is a person whose behavior or views do not conform to prevailing ideas or practices. Not only do people not listen effectively to people and to the world around them, people also do not listen effectively to the world inside them. Interpretation - Processing - Action. Reflective Listening is a communication strategy involving two key steps: seeking to understand a speaker's idea, then offering the idea back to the speaker, to confirm the idea has been understood correctly.

It attempts to "reconstruct what the client is thinking and feeling and to relay this understanding back to the client". Reflective listening is a more specific strategy than the more general methods of active listening. Focusing upon the conversation by reducing or eliminating any kind of distraction. By engaging in a non-judgmental and empathetic approach, listeners encourage the others to speak freely.

Mirroring the mood of the speaker, reflecting the emotional state with words and nonverbal communication. This requires the listener to quiet his mind and focus fully upon the mood of the speaker. This mood will become apparent not just in the words used but in the tone of voice, posture and other nonverbal cues given by the speaker.

The listener will look for congruence between words and mood. Responding to the speaker's specific point, without digressing to other subjects. Repeating the procedure for each subject, and switching the roles of speaker and listener, if necessary. During the reflective listening approach, both client and therapist embrace the technique of thoughtful silence, rather than to engage in idle chatter.

Empathic Concern is the ability to accurately listen and understand someone in need. To empathize and respond to another's perceived emotional state by experiencing feeling of a similar sort. Other emotions include feelings of tenderness, sympathy, compassion , soft-heartedness, and the like. Empathic concern or sympathy not only include empathizing, but also entails having a positive regard or a non-fleeting concern for the other person. Listening Skills: Patience and Tolerance , avoiding Alarm Fatigue and crying wolf, confirm listening.

Undivided Attention is to listen carefully to someone and care about what that person is saying. It is the act of focusing on just listening without having your attention divided or split, which could cause distractions or decrease your ability to listen accurately. Listen is to hear with intention and to pay close attention to someone when they are communicating with you. Listening is a skill so you have to learn and practice how to listen.

Hear is to perceive sound via the auditory sense. Get to know or become aware of, usually accidentally. Listen and pay attention. Receive a communication from someone. Examine or hear evidence or a case by judicial process. Expresses enthusiastic agreement. Discover, Learn, Notice, Comprehend. Hearing Problems.


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Receiver is a person who receives signals from something or someone. To get something or come into possession of something, something like information. A receiver is also an earphone that converts electrical signals into sounds. Transmitter radio Talk is to exchange thoughts and convey ideas. Talking is to express in Speech and use Language to reveal Information. A conversation or a discussion Speech is the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience. Communication by word of mouth or by other means. Turn-Taking is a type of organization in conversation and discourse where participants speak one at a time in alternating turns.

In practice, it involves processes for constructing contributions, responding to previous comments, and transitioning to a different speaker, using a variety of linguistic and non-linguistic cues. Selective Auditory Attention is a type of selective attention and involves the auditory system of the nervous system. Selective hearing is characterized as the action in which people Focus their Attention on a specific source of a sound or spoken words. The sounds and noise in the surrounding environment is heard by the auditory system but only certain parts of the auditory information are processed in the brain.

Most often, auditory attention is directed at things people are most interested in hearing. How sounds going into our ears become words going through our brains. You're walking along a busy city street. All around you are the sounds of subway trains, traffic, and music coming from storefronts. Suddenly, you realize one of the sounds you're hearing is someone speaking, and that you are listening in a different way as you pay attention to what they are saying. Neuroscientists have understood for some time that when we hear sounds of understandable language our brains react differently than they do when we hear non-speech sounds or people talking in languages we do not know.

When we hear someone talking in a familiar language, our brain quickly shifts to pay attention, process the speech sounds by turning them into words, and understand what is being said. We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. We can listen to words a minute, but only speak words a minute. Being able to truly listen to someone takes awareness , focus and knowing what to listen for by knowing the person and by knowing the different ways that people use to communicate.

To emphasize a word, we briefly raise our pitch ; this alone can change the meaning of a sentence. Tang et al. They discovered that intonational pitch is represented by a highly specialized and dedicated neural population in the auditory cortex. Discrete cortical sites extracted intonational information in real time from the speech signal.

These sites were overlapping with, but functionally independent from, sites that encode other critical aspects of speech , such as the phonemes and information about the speaker. Speakers of all human languages regularly use intonational pitch to convey linguistic meaning , such as to emphasize a particular word. We used high-density electrocorticography to record neural population activity directly from the brain surface while participants listened to sentences that varied in intonational pitch contour, phonetic content, and speaker.

Cortical activity at single electrodes over the human superior temporal gyrus selectively represented intonation contours. These electrodes were intermixed with, yet functionally distinct from, sites that encoded different information about phonetic features or speaker identity. Furthermore, the representation of intonation contours directly reflected the encoding of speaker-normalized relative pitch but not absolute pitch. Deliberate Listening. Passive Listening. We listen to understand. We listen for enjoyment. We listen to learn. Stop Talking: Don't talk, listen.

Limit your own talking. If you are thinking about what you are going to say next, then you're not listening. Avoid making unwarranted assumptions about what is going to be said. Listen and learn. When somebody else is talking, listen to what they are saying, do not interrupt, or talk over them or finish their sentences for them. Stop, just listen. When the other person has finished talking, then you may need to clarify to ensure you have received their message accurately. Prepare Yourself to Listen: Prepare in advance. Remarks and questions prepared in advance , when possible, free your mind for listening.

Focus on the speaker. Put other things out of mind. Turn off your own worries. Personal problems or worries not connected with the subject at hand form a kind of internal "static" that can blank out the real message that you are tuning in. Concentrate on what you are hearing. Focus your mind on what the speaker is saying. Practice shutting out outside distractions when listening.

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Put the Speaker at Ease: Help the speaker to feel free to speak. Remember their needs and concerns. Nod or use other gestures or words to encourage them to continue. React to ideas, not the person. Try not to respond to these distractions.