26.1977, Diss: English; Applied Ling, Socioling: Di Ferrante: 'Small Talk at Work: A Corpus Based Discourse Analysis of AAC and Non-AAC Device Users'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-26-1977. Mon Apr 13 2015. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 26.1977, Diss: English; Applied Ling, Socioling: Di Ferrante: 'Small Talk at Work: A Corpus Based Discourse Analysis of AAC and Non-AAC Device Users'

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Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 22:21:49
From: Laura Di Ferrante [laura.diferrante at gmail.com]
Subject: Small Talk at Work: A Corpus Based Discourse Analysis of AAC and Non-AAC Device Users

 
Institution: Texas A&M University-Commerce 
Program: PhD in English 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2013 

Author: Laura Di Ferrante

Dissertation Title: Small Talk At Work: A Corpus Based Discourse Analysis of
AAC and Non-AAC Device Users 

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                     Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)


Dissertation Director(s):
Robin Anne Reid
Salvatore Attardo
Eric Friginal
Lucy Pickering

Dissertation Abstract:

This work is an analysis of small talk in the workplace. The study is intended
to fill two main research gaps in the relatively young field of small talk in
the workplace studies: On one hand, the lack of quantitative data that would
account for the dimensions and the proportions of the elements of small talk
interactions; on the other hand, the lack of an organic, systematic, and
comprehensive research on a small talk in the workplace corpus in U.S.
workplaces. The methodology of this research consisted of both a quantitative
and a qualitative analysis of the Small Talk at Work (STW) sub-corpus, culled
from the AAC and Non-AAC Workplace Corpus (ANAWC, Pickering & Bruce, 2009).
The STW is an only-small talk sub-corpus of 423 interactions and almost 50,000
words. The quantitative analysis is based on a methodological protocol devised
ad hoc and accounts for the typologies and frequencies of the characteristics
of small talk engaged by workplace community members. The picture resulting
from the analysis, the averages, and the frequency peaks, allowed us to
formulate an identikit of the prototypical small talk interaction against
which any interaction can be compared. The qualitative analysis was run in
parallel to the quantitative one, offering a further interpretative key to the
frequency analysis and some linguistic and structural patterns in the distinct
interactions. Finally, the observation of Augmentative and Alternative
Communication (AAC) device users' access and use of small talk constituted a
crosswise variable to the whole analysis whose results contributed to
understand the strategies through which AAC device users build and consolidate
their membership in their workplace community. The results confirmed some of
the data obtained by the analyses of previous studies, but also refuted some
standard stereotypes on small talk structure, contents, and functions.




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