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Dramatic discourse approached from a conversational analysis perspective: Catherine Hayes's Skirmishes and other contemporary plays

By Roberta Piazza


This study deals with the staged or dramatic discourse of modern theatre. In particular, it looks at the mechanisms for conversational repairs in four plays by C. Hayes, M. Norman, S. Shepard and H. Pinter. These mechanims were coded for each play, using categories developed for the study of natural conversation (e.g., whether they were self-initiated or other-initiated and self-performed or other-performed). The repair framework was expanded beyond purely formal linguistic terms so as to be sensitive to all signals of repair behaviour. From a pragmatic perspective then, this study viewed any utterance as eligible to function as trigger of a repair. The four plays showed different use of repair mechanisms as a reflection of the playwright's assumptions about real-life discourse and a preference for repairs of one type rather than another as a means of suggesting the diverse relationships between the characters in the play

Topics: PN2000
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 1999
DOI identifier: 10.1016/s0378-2166(99)00050-8
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