Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

The Dramatic Discourse

Academic journal article International Journal of Communication Research

The Dramatic Discourse

Article excerpt


Many studies on discourse analysis start from the basic presumtion concerning the communicative properties of language in general and the nature of speech interaction in particular. According to the Romanian Explanatory Dictionary, (2012) the interaction is defined as: reciprocal action (of objects or phenomena); mutual influence; influence, mutual conditioning between facts, events etc. [ interaction]. In the dramatic opera the interaction occurs between characters within the dialogue through which something is transmitted, conveyed. The communication always takes place in, a physical and cognitive environment enabling the relationship between the characters, namely the transmission and reception of the message.

In this regard, D. Schiffrin, in his study Discourse Markers (1987) remarks that any interaction occurs in a context. The notion of context could be divided into three categories that overlap in any interaction:

- the physical context refers to the environment in which the interaction takes place - at home, at work, in a public place. Spoken language generally occurs in face-to-face conversations, the speaker and the listener sharing the same physical context.

- the personal context refers to the social and personal relations of people/characters who interact. The personal context also includes a group membership, the social and institutional roles of speakers and listeners, and the relative status and social distance that are relevant to participants.

- the cognitive context refers to the environment they belong to and the knowledge shared by the participants in the interaction. The cognitive context, which is likely change as the interaction progresses, also extends on past experiences, cultural knowledge and the world perspective of the speaker.

Claire Kramsch in Context and Culture in Language Teaching (1993) emphasizes the importance of context in teaching, the variety and divesity of interactive activities in meaningful contexts provide "food for thought.... If communicative activities are not only to meet the needs of social maitanance, but potentially to bring about social and educational change, then we have to search for ways of explicitly varying the parameters of the interactional context. "1*

There are different ways in which can be explained how speech is organized, however all approaches must take into account the importance of context in the study of discourse. One approach is to focus on how the discourse is structured, the linear way of organizing it and how the components are linked together. A structural analysis seeks to explain how the elements of verbal exchanges, the replies are formed. For example, how the questions predict the answers, the statements predict the confirmations, the acknowledgments, how the requirements predict the reactions.

Another way would be the study of discourse in terms of the strategy, the attention being focused on how speakers use different interactive tactics in certain moments of the discursive sequence.

In the following example we have three types of discourse with the same structure:

l.-Open the window. (The other person opens the window)

2 - Will you open the window, please? (The other person opens the window)

3.- It's so hot in here! (The other person opens the window)2 (P. Simpson, 1997)

In all three verbal exchanges we deal with a requirement followed by a reaction, but the discourse strategy is different from a direct addressing, a requirement to be fulfilled (order), example 1, to a less direct requirement, mostly polite, example 2 and in an indirect way, example 3. The three forms of speech are marked both grammatically - imperative sentences as well as concerning spelling - using punctuation.

The speakers use different discourse strategies while speaking, formal/informal language depending on the context, the issuer of a message, the speaker knows what to say, how to say, when to say in a certain context, this knowledge being what Dell Plymes calls communicative competence, that is, the adequate expression in a particular context. …

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