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Title: Making suggestions in business meetings
Author: Sode-Woodhead, Karin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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In problem solving and decision making discussions, proposals and suggestions are crucial elements of the interaction. In analysis it is not a straightforward task to identify the acts of ‘suggesting’. Traditional speech act typologies are inadequate because they tend to assume that categorical boundaries exist between different act types. In this thesis, therefore, I first establish a method of identifying SUGGESTIONS. I suggest that we use a system network in which different copatternings of paradigmatic choices constitute different types of directive acts. From the potential choices in the network, SUGGESTIONS are defined as acts in which the speaker proposes a future action which is optional and presented as beneficial or desirable to the addresses, the group, or the company in general (often all three at the same time). Next, I investigate how these elements, in particular the evaluative meanings of benefit and desirability, are marked linguistically. The indicators are primarily lexical while some coincide the modal expressions indicating other modal meanings (e.g. Necessity, Obligation, Ability, etc.). The modal meanings of Benefit/Desirability and other modal meanings conflate, modifying the latter in the process. Meanings of Benefit and Desirability in lexical choices are generally only recoverable through reference to textual context (i.e. what previous speakers have said about the topic in question) and the situational context of the speech event (i.e. business meetings and relevant values). Status and tact influence the constellation of modal meanings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available