Dr. Leon James
(c) 1971

Prior section here

Goffman's territiorial model of face work exchanges, all remedial moves deal with the correction of potential "incursive violations" and include accountings (= justifying), requests, remedies, apologies, etc.

#15. Topic oriented moves orient to sequential development of an argument presentation: what comes next, what needs to be said along with this, what's being further specified or identified as topic focus. In transcripts of verbal exchanges, telling something or referring to something (face oriented moves) may involve several sub-moves that are topic oriented moves. Topic oriented moves can be sequenced as sub-moves with an internally complex structure (e.g. DESOCS units) in which case, face oriented moves are often inserted (legitimizers, positive and negative; and others).

#16. A transcript is a convenient record for the analysis of an interchange of moves within an episode involving two or more participants. Transcripts make visible many (but not all) parameters of variability in the coordinated interaction involving a situated transactional exchange. Transcrlpts may be "prepared" in various ways The two-dimensional band script is a time graph outlining what's happening in terms of moves at any particular time (horizontal axis) and relating to each participant(vertical axis). Thus, at time [2 minutes ten and two-tenths seconds] the band-script may show participant A laughing and participant B not vocalizing; two-tenths of a second later, the bandscript may show participant B, still laughing, while participant vocalizes as entered by the notation "But you etc. In this manner, the sequence and organization of moves during the transcripted segment can be studied visually and statistically so long as the investigator is in a position of marking off the beginning and ending of particular moves tthat requires familiarity with practices followed by participants whose interactions are being analyzed).

An illustration of the application of bandscript analysis involves representing its rhythm, i.e, the rate and pattern of moves in a segment of the interchange. For example, one method involves counting the number of sub-moves within "talking turns" that are adjacent and sequenced; patterns of conversational rhythm are thus generated and may be described functionally or inspected visually. Here are some illustrations:

(1) The couplet rhythm: 1/2/1/2/2/2
Al What are you doing tonight?/
Bl: I think we're going to the movies./
B2: What are you doing?/
A2: Uh.../ we haven't decided./
B3: Well.../if you decide to go to the movies, give us a call./
A3: That might be a nice idea./O.K./

(2) The complex rhythm: 1/4/7/2/2/2/2/
Al: Have you read Gaetano's column today?
Bl: Yeah./ Wasn't he a gas./ He must've been stoned...heh,heh..or drunk or something./ He's usually not so loving to rock groups.
A2: Yeah,/ somebody must've juiced all the conservation out of him/. Hey,/ listen to this line:/ "If you want to have a real musical high don't get stoned. Go hear the Fantasticks."/ Oh, that reminds me./ Did you hear the Single Swingers that were at His Majesty's last week?/
B2: No./ Were they good?/
A3: Yeah./ Far out./
B3: Do you wanna have dinner with us tonight?/ Baskin is coming as soon as he finishes studying in the library./
A4: Hey,/ how is that freaky girl friend of his?/ B4: Ah.../she is really okay./


A1: a one-move statement: interrogative form.
Bl: a 4-move utterance:
1. a reply: Yes/No
2. a remedy: Al question calls for more than Yes/No answer (overlay request: "...And what do you think of it?")
3. supportive: accounts for (e.)
note how this breaks 4. supportive: elaboration upon (2.) and (3.)
the couplet rhythm A2: a 7-move utterance
1. supportive: agreeing
2. supportive: elaborating on (1.)
3. topic switching
4. setting-up new topic
5. quote - topic
6. topic switching
7. interrogative move
B2 : a 2-move utterance
1. reply in the negative
2. remedy: interrogative form
A3: a 2-move utterance
1. reply in the affirmative
2. dramatization: strengthens affirmative reply.
B3: a-move utterance
1. invitation
2. supportive: elaborates invitation
A4: a 2-move utterance
1. topic switching
2. inquiry: interrogative form
B4: a 2-move utterance
1. minimization
2. supportive: accounts for (1)

A structural pattern description of these two conversations: (see G. p.175)
(1) the alternating couplet. 5 talking turns 1-3: the strung-out pattern
4-8: the alternating couplet
1 2 3 4 5 Sequence of Turns Moves 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Other "blind" measures include pause distributions, overlap in articulation, length of articulation, co-occurences of patterned distributions, and the like; these may be studied in their own light as natural phenomena in conversational interchanges, and/or they may be correlated with interpretive features relating to what the reader of the transcript may recognize "is going on" in the interchange (e.g. shorter between pauses small talk segment vs. story telling segment, etc.)

#17. The relationship between topic moves and face moves (see #14,15) establish talk as a phenomenon containing a basic duality---as basic duality of matter and anti-matter in the contemporary physics of particles. In conversational exchanges moves function as conventionalized signals containing information: topical information and alignment information. That is, by saying something or displaying a reaction, a participant signals two sorts of information: meaning and intention, topic focus and alignment, assertion and implication, statement and claim. These pairs are elements of the duality of talk. In ordinary terms, we make sure to distinguish between what's being asserted by someone and why that is being asserted. then and there: our relationship to what's being asserted is conditioned or qualified by our stand on the why it's being asserted: to believe or not, to take seriously, or not, to respond to, or not, etc.---these are alternatives occasioned by our aligument on the why issue. Thus, the moves displayed by participants in an interchange count as "strategic" or managed or motivated or habitual or unconscious or deliberate, etc., they always involve the duality that potentially annihilates its very existence. No can mean Yes, what is apparently unintended can be covertly managed, not responding counts as a response, one can talk a lot in order to say nothing, one can sssert the very opposite of what one is doing (see Performative Paradox), and so on. This basic duality can be summarized by saying that all topicalization work goes on within the medium of transactional claim structure. Hence, we can speak of the function of topic in terms that are transactional. What's the point of mentioning this particular thing at this particular time? "Why did he not mention that?". "He pays no attention to what he says'"; "He must be very wise to know that etc. These conversational display moves belong to an open set and illustrate the way in which this basic duality of talk occasions interpersonal dialectics as a psycho-social phenomenon (see SOFW Register or Standard Ordinary Face Work).

#18. The dynamics of moves in a conversational interchange may be analyzed to reveal the micro-structure of transactions and topicalizations. The following illustration may be informative about some possible approaches to be followed in such an analysis:
(1) Where did you say you went?//
(a) (b) (c) (2) Maui// It's one of the islands...// you know?//
(a) (b) (c) (3) Yes.// Well,/ what did you see?//
(a) (b) (4) You mean,/ geographically?//
(5) Yes.//
(a) (b) (c) (6) Nothing.// Absolutely nothing.// There was nothing to
(d) (e) see.// We went from the airport to the hotel./ And that was
(f) (g) it.// We shouldn't have rented a car./ We didn't need it.../
(h) as it turned out.//
(a) (b) (7) Mmm.// Did you have a good time?//
(a) (b) (c) (8) Yes.// I had a wonderful time,/ thank you.//
(9) Have you found a house?//
(a) (b) (c) (10) Disgusting./ There's nothing./ Nothing.// etc.

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