Our solution is obvious to a social psychologist (even if it might strike the sociologist or social philosopher as simpleminded as well): "Why not look it up ?"
The "it" refers to the identification of the frame/content distinction and the "looking up" procedure involves the Index of the Daily Round Archives. That presumes that every community develops and maintains such a catalogue, but we would like to suggest that that is not an unreasonable proposition, and we'll try to show it in concrete terms. We'd like to show that the keeping of objectified records of one's daily round biography is both a valuable scientific contribution as well as a personally illuminating experience; we call this double- barrelled cornucopia ethnopractice, basing it on the already familiar "ethnoscience. " (see CHART T/2.) However, we recognize that our project is experimental and our claims for it, unproven. To that task we are constantly devoted. (For additional comments and further readings on ethnopractice, see Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975- 77.)
TRANSFORMATION TYPE E thus provides us with an objective definition of the frame/content distinction: in both cases the answer lies in finding the item in an "index." One such index, the Daily Round Archives Index, identifies the physical, temporal, and incidental or circumstantial "places" (viz., pertaining to the circumstances surrounding the incident) in which the event or referent talked about is located: e.g., "in bed before getting up at 7:15 A.M. ", or "While talking to Mother in the department store about my sister's conduct in connection with her boyfriend's father's illness." In each of these two examples, the "content" can then be specified: e.g., respectively, "thinking about how the semester was almost over and feeling panic about my work at school" and "I upset her and she cried. "
The relationship between TRANSFORMATION TYPES D and E, i.e., the frame/content distinction may be seen in ordinary discourse productions. We can illustrate this by inspecting a sample entry in the DRA:
Sample DRA [9. 3. 3. B.iv] Retinal Sensations.
"I am sitting in the living room, studying, without any warning I feel the muscles under my right eye twitching very rapidly and uncontrollably, I put my finger on the area lightly and close my eyes, after sitting there for some time, the twitching stops. "
Figure 5b. The frame/content Distinction in talk.
TRANSFORMATION TYPE E: FRAME
a. [I AM SITTING IN THE LIVING
c . [WITHOUT ANY WARNING]
f. [AFTER SITTING THERE FOR
SOME TIME, ]
TRANSFORMATION TYPE 1x CONTENT
d. [I FEEL THE MUSCLES UNDER MY RIGHT EYE TWITCHING VERY RAPIDLY AND UNCONTROLLABLY,]
el. [I PUT MY FINGER ON THE AREA LIGHTLY]
e3. [CLOSE MY EYES,]
g. [THE TWITCHING STOPS . ]
Note that we have retained the punctuation marks so that the theoretical objects which are the by- products generated by the transformations, and enclosed in square brackets, retain information concerning the usage of the item in the community practices. In other words, the punctuated items or orthographs are indexical entries in the "Catalogue" of community cataloguing practices (CCP's). This entry defines their function: any regular community member understands or recognizes orthographs as possible individual behavior. This fact of universal standardization, or virtually universal if one prefers to be very cautious, is ordinarily and nicely exploited on the daily round, e.g., in public entertainment (TV Drama and Paper Back Fiction, for instance, and in Magazine Ads and Labels, see CHART R/7, E/23) in self- psychologizing (Neuroses and Anxieties, for instance, see CHART R/20), in sectarianism (Legends and Gynaeology, for instance; see CHART R/16, E/3), in law (Depositions and Transcripts, for instance), in industry (Patent Specifications and Packaged Merchandise Instructions, for instance; see CHART R/13), and so on. All of these cases mentioned, and many more, indicate the ordinariness of the community contingency practices that occasion the recognition of orthographs. (See CHARTS T/7 through T/17 for an analysis of this issue. )
The reader may have already guessed the fact that putting these theoretical objects together into a recognizable presentation unit is the task to be assigned to the last of the transformations, namely, TRANSFORMATION TYPE F or situated display. We are referring to the ordinary fact that behavior on the daily round is a sequence of discrete units or micro- units. To each unit or micro- unit there corresponds an appropriate or possible orthograph (ortho=straight, right, appropriate,
conventional, etc.; graph=notation, symbol, chart, representation, etc.). It can now be appreciated that social psychology has a very deep interest in what we'd like to call the "syntax of presentations." As social psychologists, we view the functional analysis of behavior as consisting of the identification of the theoretical parameters that account for the occurrence of particular combinations of orthographs as obtainable from records, observations, archives.
It is necessary to expound on the reasons for isolating this issue as theoretically important for a functional social psychology. In our readings of l9th century literature (e.g., Darwin, W. James, Coleridge, in particular, and secondary sources in Cassirer, Lovejoy), there is a keen demonstration of awareness involving the issue of what we would call in contemporary terms "individual differences. " It was this issue that led Darwin to the principle of natural selection; it was also the principle that preoccupied the limaginative poets' like Coleridge(and his 20th century counterpart, T.S. Eliot, for instance) and led them to a justification (each on their own, to be sure) of both uniqueness and style. In this very synthesis of the universal and the singular (particular, unique, personal), which the poet arrives at with beautiful consequences in recognition (i.e., the appreciative reader), we must find the scientist's solution of the synthesis between individual behavior and universal principle. We suggest that this synthesis maybe achieved by investigating the syntactic properties of framed presentations. Vive Goffman!
The reader will already appreciate the fact that TRANSFORMATION TYPE F generates such presentational units as transcription segments (i.e., annotated transcripts), log entries on the daily round, and paragraph entries relating to descriptions and micro- descriptions of daily round activities. Further examples include conversational episodes, letters, social occasions, activity periods, paragraphs, pages, acts, scenes, stories, songs, skits, transactions, and so on to the multitude of familiar, recognizable units within which behavior on the daily round is organized and channeled.
Our preliminary findings concerning the analysability of the DRA data shows promise with respect to several areas of interest to social psychology: e.g., Cognitive Processes and Individual Differences (style, competence), Culture Training and Communication (attribution theory, cross- cultural homogeneity and heterogeneity), Language Teaching and PsychoLinguistics (oral and written literacy, discourse analysis). We shall treat each of these areas and show the specific import of particular methodological solutions to their empirical investigation.
[220.127.116.11] The Syntax of Presentations: PMNS. We shall illustrate some procedures that are possible with the data on paragraph unit entries involving reports of emotionalizing episodes on the daily round. We should perhaps discuss the significance of data of this sort for social psychology. Reports of conscious experiences and feelings are indicative of at least two sorts of information that is valuable to a scientist. One is information concerning events that are independent of the reporter's observations: e.g., physical symptoms as reported by a patient to a doctor are indicative of underlying physiological activities that are independent of the client's observations). Similarly, in the determination of what happened in an accident, the parties involved in the attribution of fault or Witnesses, make depositions or reports that are independent of the physical events in the incident (hence: the need to evaluate the report). The other sort of information available to a scientist from a report deals with events that are traceable directly to the reporter, namely, his style of presentation, the particular content of the assertions, their sequence, their punctuation, and perhaps others to be specified. The first sort of information- - reports as anecdotal factualities- - is classified by social psychologists as subjective. The second sort of information- - reports as behavioral presentations- - are ethnographic, and hence objective.
Thus, the presentation of a paragraph entry in the DRA Assignment Questionnaire yields objective data on presentations. This tautolofical statement is necessary to emphasize the importance for a functional social psychology of presentations as framed behavioral sequences. In one sense, this is implicitly recognized in the practices of contemporary social psychologists: the vast literature on "subjects" (college students, volunteers, captive audiences, survey households, etc.) in the social sciences depends largely on the verbal report and the written instructions. Much of contemporary social theory on interpersonal behavior, group conflict, attitude change, communication, seeking behavior, are based directly on subjects' oral or written report, and/or involving subjects' comprehension of the experimental conditions set- up in the instructions given them by the experimenter. In this sense, framed presentations given by subjects constitute the principal data of experimental social psychology.
In the case of experimental set- ups, the subjectivity of subjects' reports is counteracted by the objectivity of the analyses and the replicability of the experimental conditions. Hopefully, replicability will more often than not, covary with validity, though of course there is no guarantee to this, as is well known in the experimental literature. As an antidote to vacuousness, social psychologists rely on traditional past knowledge and up to date theories for selecting important and valid parameters for investigation. As well, subjects' reports are crossreferenced with non- verbal behavioral measures, some of which depend on verbal instructions while some do not, or do so minimally. Ultimately, however, the subjects' interpretations of the situation itself cannot be and need not be avoided. This is so because subjects' reports are spontaneous behaviors. What accounts for the regularities, the dependencies on replicable conditions of observation, are the functional contingencies of social settings. In this sense, all observable behaviors are indicative of situational contingencies: this is so in a functional account by definition since behavior is viewed as the outcome of situational forces. Thus, presentations are appropriate units for social psychology.
The syntax of presentations refers to an account of the structure of social behaviors and their appropriateness given a situational frame. Since presentations are spontaneous both in their verbal and non- verbal modalities, paragraph presentations on emotionalizing episodes (among other things) are to be viewed as containing structural units of behavior strung together in a sequence according to principles or rules that characterize the practices of a particular community. In this, we follow the usual functional analytic techniques to be found in linguistic and anthropological work of such pioneers as Boas, Bloomfield, Fries, Timberger, Zipf, piaget, Freud, Osgood, Barker, Sacks, and others who used contrastive methods for analyzing naturally occurring distributions of behavior, verbal and non- verbal. In this work, and in the work of our predecessors, the premise is that the particular regularities observed in the data preparations or corpus, is part of another, more general activity: it is this larger pattern that operates or routinizes the smaller patterns observed in the detailed descriptions of presentations treated as analyzable data.
We would like to present a notation system called Paragraph Matrix Notation System (PMNS) for the preparation of data involving paragraph presentations within the context of DRA depositions. We shall first present five samples of the entry Emotionalizing Episodes, which is entry number five within the category of Interior Dialogue, which itself is part of the general entry of My Standardized Imaginings. Following this, we shall derive a table corresponding to each of the presentations; this table presents a formal matrix which defines the paragraph in terms of the PMNS or the special notation system we propose.
Sample One [9.3.4.A.v] Emotionalizing Episodes
"I am at work running the press machine. All of a sudden something goes wrong and the copies I am printing come out all black. I say to myself, "Oh No! Why me?" I try to adjust and fix the press so it will work right. I spend about one hour trying to fix it then I finally remember I forgot to do something before running the press. The thing I forgot to do, caused the press to run junk. I say to myself, "You dumb, stupid idiot. You wasted one nerve racking hour trying to fix the press, plus all that wasted paper, just because you forgot to do one little thing, I feel really pissed off."
Sample Two [9.3.4.A.v] Emotionalizing Episodes
"I'm at the airport waiting to pick up my folks. While waiting, I see a family who just saw a loved one go. I feel sad for them. I know how it feels to miss someone deeply. My eyes get teary, too. "
Sample Three [9.3.4.A.v] Emotionalizing Episodes
"Once as I was telling my friends about the accident we saw, I got carried away and started using my arms and making noises that were similar to the cars in the accident. My friends saw that my emotions were getting carried away so they calmed me down before I made a fool out of myself. "
Sample Four [9.3.4.A.v] Emotionalizing Episodes
"My mother is telling me that she has asked my sister to move out of the house. I am slightly perturbed but I feel nothing else. My mother is ashen- faced and her voice is quivering slightly. She says to me: "I am so disgusted and upset that I just don't care any more!" I tell her that I don't want to hear about it and this upsets her more. The emotions are so intense in the room that I get up and leave. I go up to my own room and turn on the radio. Strangely, the blaring music soothes me and I feel relaxed again. "
Sample Five (9.3.4.A.v] Emotionalizing Episodes
"The water is very clear off Black Point, and I am spear fishing with my friend Albert. The fish swim away quickly as I approach them, and my friend is far away. I hear someone yelling! I look above the water and hear him. The whole school of fish is headed towards me! Wow! ! Now's my chance to spear a huge Uhu! Quick, dive down to the bottom. Stay still now, gotta hold my breath. Over there to the left, to the right, wow, there's so many fish. They're corning right at me ! ! I don't know what to spear, they're darting around too fast. A big blue one, right in front of me, it stopped! Shoot, shoot now, quick! ! Oh you ass hole, you missed. Shit they're gone now. "
It will be recalled that orthographs are topic nominal constructions enclosed in square brackets, including punctuation marks as contained in the original presentation of the transcription data deposited to the DRA. Applying the same procedure to the five entries above generates a definite number of items which catalogue the paragraph exhaustively. A simple instance would be to itemize the sentences of the paragraph by numbering them successively with the first sentence receiving the number 1 and the second sentence receiving the number two, and so on. It can be noted that the five paragraphs above have the following number of sentences in them: 7, 5, 2, 8, and 16, respectively. Though a sentence is a presentational
unit at one level of paragraphic structure, other structural levels are more nearly of interest in any cataloguing goal. This is obvious when one considers the likelihood of encountering identical sentences in samples of discourse. Except for expletives, ellipticized utterances, and recitations the probabilities are extremely low as one may convince oneself by trying to find two identical sentences in any presentation unit: conversation, book, paragraph, etc. (For examples showing the PMNS technique applied to sentences and paragraphs, see CHARTS R/2, R/9, R/12, R/13, R/24.)
Since sentences are virtually unique in construction they cannot provide us with a unit of analysis that is germaine to a functional social psychology. Instead, we propose a unit that is contained within sentences. We have already referred to such units as topic nominals and as orthographs enclosed within square brackets. These smaller units have a number of characteristics which are consequences of their selection from the data corpus. Though this requires further theoretical work, we can present some preliminary solutions which seem to us to show a lot of
promise. We present the following four operational conditions for the PMNS:
Condition A. Each item selected from the data corpus must have a formally defined status; in this case, we propose a matrix location for each item, where each paragraph has a uniquely specifying matrix.
Condition B. Each item must be a combinatorial unit, which means that it can combine with other units, though which ones are not specified; suffice it to say that combinatorial capacity of items is given by usage or occurrence of the items in the corpus.
Condition C. Each item must be a referable activity or behavior sequence; referal capacity of items is again given by usage and occurrence within the corpus.
Condition D. Each item must have a location on the Index of Community Cataloguing Practices; otherwise the items are to be added to the Index following the prescribed procedures.
Applying these four conditional rules to the first of the five paragraphs given above, we obtain the following exhaustive catalogue of orthographs:
[I AM AT WORK] 1/0; [RUNNING THE PRESS MACHINE] 1/a1; [ALL OF A SUDDEN,] 2/0; [SOMETHING GOES WRONG] 2/a1; [AND] 2/a2; [THE COPIES I AM PRINTING] 2/a3; [COME OUT ALL BLACK. ] 2/a3bl; [I SAY TO MYSELF,] 3/0; ["OH NO! WHY ME?"] 3/a1; [I TRY TO ADJUST AND FIX THE PRESS] 4/0; [SO] 4/a1; [IT WILL WORK RIGHT.] 4/a2; [I SPEND ABOUT ONE HOUR TRYING TO FIX IT] 5/0; [THEN] 5/a1; [I FINALLY REMEMBER] S/a2; [I FOR GOT TO DO SOMETHING] 5/a3; [BEFORE RUNNING THE PRESS.] 5/a3b1; [I SAY TO MYSELF,] 6/0; [YOU DUMB, STUPID IDIOT."] 6/a1; ["YOU WASTED ONE NERVE RACKING HOUR"] 7/0; ["TRYING TO FIX THE PRESS,"] 7/a1; ["PLUS"] 7/a2; ["ALL THAT WASTED PAPER,"] 7/a3; ["JUST"] 7/a4; ["BECAUSE"] 7/aS; ["YOU FORGOT"] 7/a6; ["TO DO ONE LITTLE THING,"] 7/a7; ["I FEEL''] 7/a8; ["REALLY PISSED OFF."] 7/a9//
The reader may note that each item selected from the corpus has been given a notation identiflcation in accordance with Condition A. Note that the items selected fall into three categories as defined by the sequential operation that generates them. For instance, the first item [I AM AT WORK] is the paragraph opener, i.e., the first part of the first sentence of the paragraph. It always receives the notation I.D. "1/0" which may be read as "Sentence 1, Zero Order Element. "The next item in sequence, [RUNNING THE PRESS MACHINE.], receives the notation I.D. of "1/a1" which may be read "Sentence 1, first item of First Order Element x" or "Sentence 1, Item 1 of First Order Element a. "Note the period within this orthograph: it indicates a restrictive usage for it, i.e., it may occur only at the end of a sentence. The third item, [ALL OF A SUDDEN,] is identified as "2/0" which is read "Sentence 2, Zero Order Element. " Again, the designation "Zero Order" indicates that it is the first or initial part of a sentence, in this case, the second sentence, and therefore not a paragraph opener. Hence item 2/0 may not appear at the beginning of a paragraph. Note that sentence 2 has five sub- components, namely, 2/0; 2/a1; 2/a2; 2/a3; 2/a3b1. This means that there are three morphological units making up the sentence: one Zero Order unit, three units of Element a which is a First Order unit, and one unit of Element ab which is a Second Order unit. The latter can be viewed as a sub- unit of Element 2/a3. Theoretically, there is no known limit to these constituents; however, practically, there undoubtedly is, and we expect that the structural order of presentations units follow definite lawful limits as defined by Community
The notational identifications given in the above paragraph may be tabulated as a matrix; in that case, the paragraph in question will now have a corresponding "paragraph matrix" as follows:
Paragraph Matrix for DRA Sample One
1/0 l/al... O O ...O
2/0 2/a1... 2/a3 2/a3b1 ...0
3/0 3/a1... 0 0 ...0
4/0 4/a1... 4/a2 0 ...0
5/0 5/a1... 5/a3 5/a3b1 ...0
6/0 6/a1... 0 0 ...0
7/0 7/a1... 7/a9 0 ...0
This matrix can now be readily read off, giving an exact specificaion of all the formally defined components of the paragraph. Thus, it may be seen for instance, that the paragraph in question has 7 Zero Order Elements, 26 First Order Elements. (= a), and 2 Second Order Elements ( = ab). Furthermore, the matrix specifies the location of each orthographic element. Note that both second order elements in this matrix (i.e., 2/a3b1 and 5/a3b1) are restricted to terminal positions in the sentence through the inclusion of a "final" period within the orthograph ([COME OUT
ALL BLACK.] and [BEFORE RUNNING THE PRESS.]). There is of course a practical limit to the number of elements in a presentation unit or sub-unit. This is known as the information capacity of the channels in use and there has been much speculation in the literature on the information capacity limits of the human organism. George Miller, a Psycholinguist of repute at Rockefeller University and the man who, as President of the American Psychological Association, coined the motto that imbues the profession today- - Let's Give Psychology Away- - , away to the people, and thus referring to our accountability to the community, has argued with interesting and baffling numbers about the information capacity of man, and has come up with what's known in the literature as "the magic number 7, plus or minus two," which is the title of G.A. Miller's famous article on the matter (Miller, 1956). Whether or not social presentations on the daily round contain as many as 7 ordered elements remains to be
seen. It is possible that this may be a feature of individual differences and variation, in which case it needs appropriate theoretical treatment.
Applying the four Conditions stated above for the PMNS system to the remaining four paragraphs presented above generates the following four paragraph matrices, each being a unique and exact representation of its referent paragraph.
Paragraph Matrix for DRA Sample Two
Part I: Selected elements and their tags
[I'M AT THE AIRPORT] 1/0; [WAITING] 1/a1; [TO PICK UP MY FOLKS.] 1/a1b1; [WHILE WAITING,] 2/0; [I SEE] 2/a1; [A FAMILY WHO JUST SAW A LOVED ONE GO.] 2/a2; [I FEEL SAD FOR THEM.] 3/0; [I KNOW HOW IT FEELS] 4/0; [TO MISS SOMEONE DEEPLY. ] 4/a1; [MY EYES GET TEARY,] 5/0; [TOO. ] 5/a1//
Part II: Paragraph Matrix derived
1/0 1/a1... 0 1/a1b1 ...0
2/0 2/a1... 2/a2 0 ...0
3/0 0 ... 0 0 ...0
4/0 4/al... 0 0 ...0
5/0 5/al... 0 0 ...0
Paragraph Matrix for DRA Sample Three
Part I: Selected elements and their tags
[ONCE AS I WAS TELLING MY FRIENDS ABOUT THE ACCIDENT WE SAW,] 1/0; [I GOT CARRIED AWAY AND STARTED USING MY ARMS AND MAKING NOISES] 1/a1; [THAT WERE SIMILAR TO THE CARS IN THE ACCIDENT.] 1/a1b1; [MY FRIENDS SAW THAT] 2/0;
[MY EMOTIONS WERE GETTING CARRIED AWAY] 2/a1; [SO] 2/a2;[THEY CALMED ME DOWNl 2/a3; [BEFORE] 2/a3b1; [I MADE A FOOL OUT OF MYSELF.] 2/a3b2 //
Part II: Paragraph Matrix derived
1/0 l/al... O l/albl... O
2/0 2/al... 2/a3 2/a2bl... 2/a2b2
Paragraph Matrix for DRA Sample Four
Part I: Selected elements and their tags
[MY MOTHER IS TELLING ME] 1/0; [THAT SHE HAS ASKED MY SISTER] 1/a1; [TO MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE.] 1/a1b1; [I AM SLIGHTLY PERTURBED] 2/0; [BUT] 2/a1; [I FEEL NOTHING ELSE.] 2/a2; [MY MOTHER IS ASHEN- FACED] 3/0; [AND] 3/a1; [HER VOICE IS QUIVERING SLIGHTLY.] 3/a2; [SHE SAYS TO ME:] 4/0; ["I AM SO DISGUSTED AND UPSET"] 4/a1; [THATl 4/a2; ["I JUST DON'T CARE ANYMORE!''l 4/a3; [I TELL HER THAT] 5/0; [I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT] 5/a1; [AND] 5/a2; [THIS UPSETS HER MORE.] 5/a3; [THE EMOTIONS ARE SO INTENSE IN THE ROOM THAT] 6/0; [I GET UP AND LEAVE. ] 6/a1; [I GO UP TO MY ROOM] 7/0; [AND] 7/a1; [TURN ON THE RADIO] 7/a2; [STRANGELY,] 8/0; [THE BLARING MUSIC SOOTHES ME] 8/a1; [AND] 8/a2; [I FEEL RELAXED AGAIN.] 8/a3; //
Part II: Paragraph Matrix derived
1/0 l/al... 0 l/albl ...0
2/0 2/al... 2/a2 0 ...0
3/0 3/al... 3/a2 0 ...0
4/0 4/al... 4/a3 0 ...0
5/0 5/al... 5/a3 0 ...0
6/0 6/al... 0 0 ...0
7/0 7/al... 7/a2 0 ...0
8/0 8/al... 8/a3 0 ...0
Paragraph Matrix for DRA Sample Five
Part I: Selected elements and their tags
[THE WATER IS VERY CLEAR OFF BLACK POINT,] 1/0; [AND] 1/a1; [I AM SPEAR FISHING] 1/a2; [WITH MY FRIEND ALBERT. ] 1/a2b1; [THE FISH SWIM AWAY] 2/0; [QUICKLY] 2/a1; [AS I APPROACH THEM,] 2/a1b1; [AND MY FRIEND IS FARAWAY.]
[18.104.22.168] Aspects to the Theory of Talk. We use for this title a parallel form to Noam Chomsky's classic Standard 1964 Version of generative linguistics, Aspects to the Theory of Syntax (Chomsly, 1964). We hope to convey by this famous parallel our belief that we are treating here some of the most basic principles that need to be treated if the study of talk is to take off the ground so to speak and be able to claim a methodology and a data bank. We speak of course from the perspective of a social psychology, and within that, of a method that yields functional relationships between individual behavior and setting variables.
We have delineated in the previous Section [8. 5. 5. 2] a notational procedure for formally defining object "C, " called a conversation, using third order derived data independent of topic or meaning. We shall now present a theoretical rationale that would link formal objects like "C" and its components (like [AY + RT ]) to features of a social episode that are directly marked in the displays of the conversationalists. Directly marked displays are the visible products of the phenomenon of conversational episode. For instance, referring to some object or event is a conversational behavior that is visible on a transcript through identifying the words that were spoken at any particular time during the episode. We call these collectivities of words used to refer to something topic nominals. For instance, looking at the transcript segment presented in Section [22.214.171.124], one can list the topic nominals to be found in every talking turn; e. g.,
1. [ Come inside], [.]
2. [Hey], [.]
3. [Hey], [long time no see]
4. [stage direction], [Cough, cough]
5. [Sit down], [.]
6. [Ay] [,], [da kind],[.]
7. [Where you was], [?]
8. [Where they going], [?]
9. [I don't know], [,], [they just told me], [,], [they told me for come inside here], [,], [and see what's happening], [,], [and then go back out there], [,], [they just], [,], [they just came to pick us up too hea], [.]
10. [Oh], [,] [you came with somebody], [?]
1. [Like], [when we were at that Waikiki Hotel], [?]
2. [What Waikiki Ho], [...]
3. [Third Floor], [ or], [...], [ stage direction]
4. [I've never been to the Third Floor], [.], [stage direction]
5. [The Point After], [...], [not the Third Floor], [but the restaurant on the bottom], [.], [Summit House], [,], [Summery], [...]
Note that topic nominal covers a designation that includes word groupings and their boundary markers; the latter are ordinarily marked by orthographic symbols (e.g., the period, the comma, the question mark, the three dots, etc.). Thus, talking turn 7 for Individual A's transcript segment contains two visible topic nominals: one, the word collectivity recognized as [Where you was], and the other, the punctuation mark [?] . (See also the discussion on orthographs in Workbook.)
Here again, we are confronted with a very basic issue concerning the nature of a conversation: what are the visible units that constitute it? This problem has remained stubbornly resistant to objective analysis as a whole, though we wish to recognize the efforts of others which continue to be motivated by largely independent propositions or sub- theories. We believe that the reason for this difficulty has been the idee fixe or fixated idea that a transcript is an incomplete or impoverished record of the conversation.
We too, were quite naturally biased in favor of that reductionistic (if not disparaging) notion of a transcript, and along with others in this field, have looked to videotape recordings for saving some of the important visible features of the conversation that were not included in the audiotape, and hence, in the transcript. However, at some point it became apparent to us that we were dealing here with two different and separate technical issues.
One issue was indeed properly seen as "hardware" technique, namely the physical recording of visible and audible information that constitute the display modalities of conversational behavior. However, when faced with a videotape of a conversational exchange one does not, as an investigator, escape any of the software problems of transcription and analysis that one was faced with the audiotape. If anything, the investigator's task becomes more technically complex, requiring more complex notation systems for their analysis. Thus, what we came to realize was that the technical limitation imposed by the available notation system was equally, if not more crucial than the physical recording. While the latter was improving by an order of magnitude, the "software" notation difficulties imposed limiting factors on the power of analysis.
We shall try to show that the study of talk is not currently being retarded by technical hardware, but rather by the unavailability of a full blown notation system methodology. This situation, as we sense it, is analogous to the case of linguistics, which prior to the formalism of generative grammar, did not have a notation system for referring to linguistic phenomena; instead, there existed a notation system called "the tree structure," which was made of elements that were fixed in number, and hence, taxonomically available. There was no question of researching them since they were given by definition. In 1957, following the work of Harris and others, Noam Chomsky first proposed a notation system that contained non- taxonomic symbols called transformations. These new markers did for linguistics what the zero did for mathematics; at this point, linguistics became an experimentally researchable field. This research, as it rapidly and very successfully evolved during its first two decades, centers around issues that are called notational;
this means that the investigator proposes various specific representations of linguistic phenomena and then examines their empirical validity by finding corresponding facts in sentences, phrases, and relations between them. (For a useful review of that literature, consult Steinberg and Jakobovits, 1971.)
We feel that the study of talk also needs an empirical notation system that would allow theoretical objects and processes to be validated against visible facts. This much is no doubt agreed upon by all. But now, the alternative we propose to the current trend in the study of conversation as social behavior contains the notion that a transcript is not an incomplete record but rather a theory specifying a notation system.
This definition would thus relegate the purely technical issues of physical recording to another arena, perhaps the applied arena of "interpretive evidence" as practiced in legal and literary investigations of just what did happen? For such purposes, it is clear that technical improvements in the recording of data is a key factor. However, we must recognize that even such purely applied issues would benefit from a more general, less particularistic, methodology for investigating the basic phenomena of talk, as they manifest in their visible features. This issue is what we have designated as the notational issue in the study of talk.
The concept of topic nominal, as introduced above, illustrates some of the issues that are to be empirically investigated in the continued improvement of notational solutions to the problem of representing and identifying the facts of talk. In other words, the notational solutions in the form of Rules or Procedures for transforming data about talk constitute explanations of visible information. For example, the common practice of writing down spoken utterances makes use of a functional notation system that insures a demonstrable correspondence between what witnesses can hear auditorily and what they can read visually. This correspondence is a functional identity; the written version is not seen as a degraded form of the spoken, but rather a representative of it. This ambassadorial function is full ledged: thus, if we need to know the time, we can rely equally well on a person's writing it down for us as saying it out loud, perhaps even more!
Of course, if we had to know the tone of voice or style of delivery or momentary situational factors of an implied nature, we would be helped perhaps even in crucial ways by the availability of such additional information. Undoubtedly the nature of talk allows great leeway, i.e., works within very broad informational limits. We typically make something sensible, i.e., interpret, even if the available information is fragmentary. Furthermore, we do so equally well whether or not we know the size of the fragments or the number of missing parts. In other words, it is part of ordinary behavioral competence on the daily round to reintegrate and to reconstruct situations on the basis of data that are fragmentary and fragmentary to an unknown extent. Thus, a transcript or notational transcription of discourse is fragmentary rather than incomplete or degraded.
Thus, it became clear to us, that our search need not be hampered by fragmentary records of conversational behavior. This realization also told us of a basic feature of conversational phenomena; namely, that they ordinarily and naturally get transformed as they occur. In other words, conversation is a performative or presentational phenomenon (see Austin, 1962). This means that the facts to be recorded and represented (i.e., notational issues), lie in strictly derivative considerations rather than being interpretive. In other words, what counts in a conversation is not so much what physically happened as what happened to be noticed! In still other words. the noticeability of conversational events is the likely arena for finding the explanations for the observed behaviors rather than in the arena of physical recordings. In fact, it is theoretically possible to devise a purely notational system usable by a single investigator to record symbolically the interesting features of any transactional exchange- - a theoretical position that justifies the existence of engineering. In day to day practice, such things as notes, instructions, and letters, can simulate such a notation system, though the simulation is quickly uncovered when a foreigner or non- regular is interposed as a medium; one discovers then that much more is implicit and understood through "background information" than can be stated (see Garfinkel's 1967 definitive discussion of this very basic issue).
Needed, then, is a notation system that is sufficiently sensitive to precisely those second- order facts that are not on the audio- or video- tape! We call these derivative facts and obtain them through a process of formal transformation of data. We shall now describe some of these methods and discuss their theoretical implications.
[126.96.36.199.1] Notational Definitions for Prepared Transcript Data. For theoretical considerations outlined elsewhere in some detail (Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975; 1976; 1977), we are led to propose the following universal or general features of talk, i.e., features that are applicable to talk in its several modalities, namely, conversation, discourse thinking or interior dialogue, annotation, standardized imaginings, microdescription, notation system, and others to be fully defined as research uncovers their existence. The following schematic figure indicates all the components of the system we propose:
A Hexagrammatic Notation System for the Study of Talk
I. Objective Pre- topical Trigram.
Formally Designated Label
Operational Definition of Parameters
I. D. of Talking Participants and Non- talking participants counted as talking turn interventions and arranged in serial order. (For example, see Figure 1, p. 24. )
Alignments or groupings of participants having a special shape designated "C" and fully represented by a matrix. (&e Figure 2a, 2b, pp. 25, 27.)
Zones identified through distributional features of talking turn interventions; zones must contain constant membership, i. e., the same I. D. of talking participants throughout the zone. (See Figure 3, p. 28.)
II. Objective Topical Trigram.
Topic nominal constructions that are empirically identified and catalogued as noticeables; all entries drawn from preestablished practices in the community for referring to what is noticeable (see Community Cataloguing Practices, 1977) (see Figure 4, p . 38 ) .
Officially designated labels for specifying the location of activities or events on the daily round, e. g., see daily round logs in Archives [(a) and (c)]; labels are conventionalized in each community and used for referring, keeping track, noticing; (see Figure 5,p.41).
Quotation and annotations or stage directions correspondent to or representing a prepared transcript or graph thereof (not necessarily relevant to what happened in a single case);
Procedures for deriving the Pre- topical Trigram have already been discussed in [188.8.131.52]. It will be recalled that [1.AY] or [20. L] identify the place of a talking event and who the participant doing the talking is; they are instances of TRANSFORMATION TYPE A and define the FORMS of conversational phenomena, i.e., taking a turn at talk. In linguistics, FORM designates elementary particles of the compound ["S"l such as [NP] or "noun phrase" or [A] for "article" and so on. Included in the definition for FORM are microdescriptions of atomic elements or components; in linguistics such objects as phoneme, inflection, suprasegmental, morpheme, and so on. In the Notation System of ESNOSYS (see 1977), we designate microfeatures of talk using forms such as punctuation marks, topic nominals, transactional idioms, argument syntax, and others, in addition to talking turn location and participant I. D.
TRANSFORMATION TYPE B has been illustrated in Figure 2a on p. 25 and Figure 2b on p. 27. Every conversation has a STRUCTURE whose separate components are given by the groupings that
actually occurred in the course of the talking turns from beginning to end of the transcript record. Thus far, only structures of three or more participants have been investigated. Additional refinements to our proposal is needed to include dyadic conversational structures. Of course, dyadic structures occur between talking participants since one or more may be non- talking participants. (E. g., [T + L + W] is a triadic structure designating all three members as talking participants, while [ L + W] is a component thereof designating L and W as talking participants and T as non- talking participant.)
For TRANSFORMATION TYPE C we have already presented procedures for marking off zones of varying span (see Figure 3, p. 28). Functional zones are delimited through talking turn locations, e.g.,
[AY + RT + EK ] 89 --> 95=7
designates a functional zone of a span size of 7, located between talking turns 89 through 95 and consisting of AY, RT, and EK as talking participants and one other as a non- talking participant (LT).
TRANSFORMATION TYPE D has already been illustrated in the two modalities of oral and written literacy discussed in [184.108.40.206] above. For instance, from the entries presented on pp. 19- 20 for Individual A, we derive such topic nominals as [GETTING THE OLD GANG TOGETHER FOR SOME FUN] and [I BEGAN TO REMEMBER THE OLD DAYS], [I BEGAN TO REMEMBER THE OLD DAYS WITH MY DOG], or more derivative transformations such as [I DECIDED TO COOK SOMETHING] for "I decided to bake some chicken for dinner." as well as for "I think about the stake... and I go downstairs... I heat up the steak," which is a derived topic nominal from entry A#3 B. (v), shown on p. 20. Further work is needed to specify the rules for deriving general class labels like [I DECIDED TO COOK SOMETHING]
and the paraphrastic set of topic nominals that fully define it (see Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975- 77 for further discussion on topic morphology)
TRANSFORMATION TYPE D is the first of the Topical Trigram, i.e., the first parameter that includes content and meaning. This is the theoretical significance of the "double line" in Figure 4. Further work is needed to develop the
notational issues that are involved here, and this task constitutes the chief focus of our work in ethnosemantics (Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975- 77). However, empirical work can proceed even if the theoretical status of the double line is left unspecified, so long as the parameters specified for each transformation type in the derivation of transcript data are operationally defined in objective terms.
On this account, the objectivity of TRANSFORMATION TYPE D rests on the availability of a community index which we have called "CCP" or Community Cataloguing Practices. We have already discussed above in several places the nature or format of the entries in such a taxonomic inventory. The current format specifications used as written instructions to students for reporting their daily round biography represents our current understanding of what such a taxonomy or cataloguing system ought to look like (for more detailed discussion on this, see "ethnosemantic outlines" in Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975- 77).
In the meantime, an adequate pragmatic approach to the objectification of TRANSFORMATION TYPE D would seem to us to be the use of what we call labeled topic nominals. For example,
[EXHIBITS SOME APPREHENSION]
[WONDERING OUT LOUD]
[GETTING THE OLD GANG TOGETHER FOR SOME FUN]
[I DECIDED TO COOK SOMETHING]
These represent category labels for sets of topic nominals. The structure of the labels correspond to the structure of other topic nominals but they are marked in addition for the function of category designation; they serve that function by virtue of their status in the community; in other words, they are so recognized given the community's practices in recording or keeping track of things. These accounting practices, as Garfinkel calls them, are of major theoretical significance to a social psychology that looks for functional dependencies between individual display behavior and setting defined in terms of reinforcement contingencies, i.e., psychosocial practices that matter or make a difference to the individual. Only within such a system of explanation does the notion of community- cataloguing- practices assume a causal status; that is, we must assume that an inventory of what is being noticed or kept track of in a particular community or group constitutes an objective representation or map of the actual contingencies of reinforcement operative there.
The above issue is fundamental and constitutes in our view the major significance of the new methodological paradigm known as ethnomethodology. Harvey
Sacks, in his unpublished mimeographed lectures (ca. 1966?), presents a most remarkable treatment of this basic issue, all of his lectures being dedicated to this one theme and varying it in prodigious proportions, all of them illuminating
as to the real nature of conversation. He continually points to organizational features, i.e., STRUCTURE, of talk that are mechanical (i.e., algorhythmic, formal, exact) consequences of blind (i.e., pre- topical) parameters. For instance, he points out that the problem of when to intervene in a conversation as a talker, i.e., the problem of deciding when to talk, is, in the majority of cases, a mechanical consequence of the Talking Turn Rule: the latter can be stated as follows:
Rule 1a. Only one participant talks at a time.
Rule 1b. The current talker may select the next one.
Applying these two contingency rules represents the ordinary practice in many setting in this community, though significantly, they do not represent ordinary practice in some settings (e.g., as we go down the age groups from old to young, we have observed that the rule is applied or practiced less and less, thus making mixed adult- child conversations quite divergent in pattern).
TRANSFORMATION TYPE D, as here proposed, has further theoretical significance which ought to be briefly mentioned. In particular, we wish to draw attention to its relevance to the problem of speech modality, or as we call it, register modalities (see Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975- 77). The format specifications we use for the Daily Round Archives includes the following samplings from the many modalities of talk (i.e., MEDIUM):
- recitation, e. g., quotations and annotations or comments thereon (see annotated transcripts (e)).
- framing, e. g., daily logs specifying what happens when where (see (a)) and inventories of territoriality (see (c)).
- reference, e . g., the labeled topic nominal s habitually used in microdescriptions, and in reports of what one keeps track of (b and d).
These three modalities of TRANSFORMATION TYPE D thus account for the current structure of the Daily Round Archives. Future
research needs to determine further refinements and developmental directions. Indeed, we see the problem of indexing the materials in the Daily Round Archives as the chief goal of ethnosemantic investigations .
One final issue to be mentioned here concerning the theoretical significance of TRANSFORMATION TYPE D is the notational issue involved in interrelating the modalities of talk. This problem is encountered in linguistics in the definitional status of grammar as syntax, i. e., grammar viewed through the register of formal relationships, hence "syntactic patterns" and "morphophonemic constituents,"
which are used to talk about the apparent order of word collectivities and their interrelationships. That is another way of saying meaning, or alternately we can say that the study of meaning is operationally defined as the study of syntactic patterns and their functional relationships. It is most significant that current as
well as past work in linguistics has defined "functional" in the previous sentence by reference to understanding language or comprehension of sentences. We can say therefore that allowable syntactic patterns are constrained by functional relationships to community cataloguing practices ("comprehension" or "comprehensibility" which etymologically implies "grasping together or in common," cf. "common sense" and "sensible"). In linguistic terminology current today, one would say that meaning sound relations constitute the research work of linguists and that they are prosecuting that task through the intermediary of a syntactic notation system (called "generative") which is pre- topical, though not pre- semantic (see the interesting and thoughtful article by Maclay, in Steinberg and Jakobovits, 1971).
In our situation, we encounter in the study of talk methodological issues that have been debated and researched in linguistics at various times and in various ways. We are planning to reconstruct the relationships implied here, both historically and morphologically, though not here (see Jakobovits and Nahl, 1975- 77). In this instance, the linguist's problem of meaning is encountered in the social psychologist's problem of reference. We use reference in the sense of behavior, which is to say that the data represent situated displays, i.e., records of a sequence of behavior that occurred in some place and time. In this sense, we can assert that reference is the problem of cataloguing topic nominals used habitually in a particular community. Thus, the problem of reference is located theoretically at the level of TRANSFORMATION TYPE D.
Consider now the issues that are involved in inter- relating the three modalities of talk sampled in the Daily Round Archives, i.e., recitation, framing, and reference. Suppose the occurrence of the identical labeled topic nominal in two register modalities, e.g., transcript and microdescriptions of interior dialogue:
Figure 4: The MEDIUM of Transcripts
[TALKING ABOUT THE SALAD BAR]
9. 3. II. 2.1 - 2A]/Breakdown of Topics
T asks me about the salad bar and I explain it to her because of my previous experience there. T is not very fond of salad and exhibits some apprehension as to what is being offered by way of meats.
[9. 3.II]/My Talk: Transcript
(19 secs. space)
11.T: So salad comes with the meal ? We go to the salad bar.
12.L: Or you can just go to the salad bar for
13.T: Do they have meats up there ?
14.L: Yeah, cold cuts . . . very nice.
15.T: Forget it. (interrupting)
16.L: Turkey, ham ...
17.T: I want real meat.
18.L: You're so carnivorous. (13 secs. space)
The labeled topic nominal [TALKING ABOUT THE SALAD BAR] is a habitual and recognized conventional reference on the daily round in this, and no doubt other communities. It can therefore serve as a category label that includes a set of items, and the more probably, sets of items in each register modality of talk. Thus, one variation of this topic nominal used for reference occurs in the register modality of microdescriptions of paragraph length on breakdown of topics, (as shown on the left of Figure 4, "T asks me about the salad bar...", and on the right" 11.T: So salad comes with the meal?...",). This alternate version occurs in the register modality of preparing a transcript.
Figure 4 represents the definition of the MEDIUM of talk. No attempt is made for the present to account for the obvious relationship between the two events pictured namely conversational discourse and written descriptive or expository discourse. The relationship is most visible in the juxtaposition notation adopted in Figure 4, i.e., the experimental correlation between selected segments and one can see that the organization of the Archives catalogue is a theory about social organization and individual behavior.
Note as well in the sample in Figure 4, the occurrence of other topic nominals such as:
[...AND I EXPLAIN IT TO HER BECAUSE OF MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE THERE]
[EXHIBITS SOME APPREHENSION]
Note the relationship between description or expository elements as in the topic nominal on the left in Figure 4-- such as the above two--and the topic nominal on the right, namely,
[12.L: Or you can just go to the salad bar for four-fifty]
[13.T: Do they have meats up there?]
It is clear that there is a relationship between these two paris, such that the elements from the right (in Figure 4) are referents for the elements on the left. Another way os saying this is that descriptive reference constructions are occasioned by transcripted data, a common situation on the daily round where talking about other people's talking is a major occupation in the community.
TRANSFORMATIONS TYPE E yields conventionalized topic nominal constructions that map the frames of what's being noticed, kept track of, or referred to. Composition teachers, writers, and editors are explicitly aware of the complementary relationship between what's being said and how it's being introduced. Title and headline are two common techniques used for framing content. Other common techniques include Table of contents, Preface, Introduction, Introductory paragraph, Introductory or "lead in" sentence, marginal or parenthetical comment or note, footnote, italics, Epilogue, Appendix, Index--all of these being publication frames for written discourse.
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