English Language Essay on Spoken Text

Text B is an interview on television show conducted by two presenters with the purpose being to conceive as much information as they can from J. K. Rowling, a famous author on her newest Harry Potter book. The audience here would predominantly be avid young readers of the book who want to know about the book and regular followers of the show. The dominant speaker in this text B would be the interviewers and the chat show is based on adjacency pairs.

Using a false-start and contradiction in “no, I don’t – yes I do” illustrate aspects of spoken language although there are clear elements where the audience might know the interviewers had a basic idea of what was to be asked before-hand. The lack of non-fluency features more clearly suggest the questions were previously prepared, for example, when Richard says “All the papers that have been promoting this interview today clearly want us…” This tells us research was undertaken on what sort of questions the audience or readers wanted answered.

The change of tone at the end of a sentence suggests spontaneity and cues the other speaker’s turn to speak. For example, “But of course the last one at the moment is residing in your safe”, portrays the change in tone at the end. Judy, the interviewer used more interrogatives like “two much loved ones? ” while Richard uses ellipsis to try and create spontaneity and confidence, “you told your husband, obviously you confide in him all things…” allowing turn-taking.

The interviewee also seems a little uninterested through her short answers such as “He did one of the, yeah”; to perhaps show she isn’t in the mood or the fact she’s trying to be careful so as to not reveal any information thus considering her words. Text C is a play script from American Buffalo by David Mamet, with the purpose primarily being to entertain. The audience here would be predominantly educated theatre going audience.

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The play script is structurally organized through the use of adjacency pairs, with interrogatives being a main aspect. Don is portrayed as the dominant speaker as he controls the conversation and asserts his position through speech. Don’s speech is also longer and more authorative to further portray his higher status than Bob. The use of turn-taking and the informal setting gives way to colloquialism such as “well she was real mad at him”, “jewed” and “yup”.

Don also uses “Bobby” to show familiarity with the other character as well as it being a little patronizing to represent their distinctive positions and relationship. Don also instigates topic shifts structurally as he tries to teach Bob about business, “Things are not always what they seem to be”, shows how a cliche to perhaps portray Don’s maturity and wisdom in comparison to the youth and naivety of Bob.

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