Telephone conversations revisited: : A cross-cultural study of conversational mechanisms employed over the telephone in Ecuadorian Spanish and British English.
This thesis is a proposal for a new approach to the investigation of the language of
telephone conversations. It strives to integrate the framework of analysis advocated by
conversation analysts (originally the first to examine these conversations) and that of
pragmaticists, in an attempt to provide description and explanation of telephone
behaviour. It is based on the examination of telephone talk in Ecuadorian Spanish and
Such an approach requires the examination of these conversations at four levels - the
level of their underlying structure which is analyzed in terms of skeletons, paths and
moves, the linguistic realization of moves in relation to features of context, the
politeness orientations behind moves and their linguistic realizations, and finally, the
socio-cultural motivations behind linguistic choices and politeness orientations.
In addition, this thesis constitutes a study in cross-cultural communication in that it
attempts to determine basic similarities and differences in the organization of
telephone conversations in two languages and cultures, which can provide insights into
broader differences in the linguistic and politeness systems of those two languages.