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Linguistic considerations of communication in administrative meetings Ferguson, Ian Andrew 1977

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LINGUISTIC CONSIDERATIONS OF COMMUNICATION IN ADMINISTRATIVE MEETINGS IAN ANDREW FERGUSON B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 19?k A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Education) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA • October 1977 (*c*) I 3- 1 1 Andrew Ferguson In presenting th is thes is in p a r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I a g r e e t h a t the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree l y ava i lab le for reference and s t u d y . I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying o f th is thes is for scho la r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department o r by h is representat ives . It is understood that copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f th is thes is for f i n a n c i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my writ ten permission. Department of Education Administration The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 October 11, 1977. ABSTRACT The purpose of the study was to explicate some of the social-organizational features of administrative meetings through an examination of utterances and roles employed by participants during administrative meetings. In considerings some of the social-organizational features of administrative meetings, previous interaction analysis studies were reviewed and considered in terms of linguistic res earch. The core of the thesis was organizaed around the formulation that participants in administrative meetings shoulf be able to mobilize syntactic structures appropriate to a particular speechhsituation. This formulation was investigated by examining data from two separate administrative meetings, and considering some of the linguistic features of those conversations. I t was found that chairmen perform chairmanship utterances differently depending on the social identity of the hearer. The clearest difference was in the performance of the speech function, "formulation". This was performed differently by the chairman of a meeting at which the other participants were a l l non-chairmen, from the way in which i t was performed in the meeting where the hearer was not a multi-person. Confirming data, in the formaof other syntactic devices, were also considered. The findings from each meeting, A and B, were compared i n terms of the findings from interaction analysis studies of meetings and the results noted. The chairman in meeting A was considered to be passive while the chairman in meeting B was considered to be active. The results and implications for further research are summarized in the f i n a l chapter. - i i i -TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT .'i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i LIST OF TABLES vv Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION 1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM 1 THEORETICAL FORMULATION 1 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES OF UTTERANCE ONE 2 THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES OF UTTERANCE TWO 3 COMPARISON OF UTTERANCE ONE AND TWO 5 Multi-person Orientation 5 Use of Tag Phrases 7 Independent Sentence Structures 7 SUMMARY OF THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE 8 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY 9 Language Forms 9 Social Personage 10 Speakers and Language 11 Summary 12 METHODS AND PROCEDURES 13 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY 13 2. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 15 REVIEW OF RESEARCH 15 SPEECH ACT THEORY 15 - i v -Formulating a conversation as a Feature of that Conversation 1? Formulation in the Perspective of a Linguistic Ecology 19 Formulation and Social Meaning 21 Summary 22 INTERACTION ANALYSIS STUDIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE MEETINGS 23 Bales' Observational Teachniques and Analysis .... 23 Barber's Observational Techniques and Analysis .... 28 Summary 32 DESIGN AND OPERATIONALIZATION OF THE STUDY : 3 4 DESIGN 3 4 OPERATIONALIZATION % Data Collection 36 Data Analysis 36 3 . ANALYSIS OF DATA 38 EXPLICIT AND IMPLICIT FORMULATION 38 VARIATIONS IN THE USE OF EXPLICIT FORMULATION 4 0 ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "A" 4 4 BEGINNINGS, SILENCES AND TURN-TAKING 4 4 ''T"T-AM"X:IN:JADMINISW 54-li'GEORMULATION-'TINI iADMINIS.TRATIVEJMEETINGA''AY . 65 ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "BY 69 BEGINNING THE MEETING 69 "TALK IN ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "B" 72 - FORMULATION IN ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "B" 77 COMPARISON OF ADMINISTRATIVE MEETINGS "A" AND "B" ... . 81 SUMMARY 83 FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS 86 FINDINGS 86 INTERPRETATIONS 89 Theoretical 89 Practical 91 BIBLIOGRAPHY 93 LIST OF TABLES Table Page I Barber's Classification of the Chairman 29 II Summary of "Talk" in Administrative Meeting A 55 III Summary of "Talk" in Administrative Meeting B ?2 - v i -AGKN0WLE1DGEMENTS The researcher is indebted to his master's committee for their help throughout his program. Many thanks are extended to Drs. Kelsey, Reeder, and Housego. Their support and continued interest in my course of studies was an incentive to explore new fields of study. One can not make a proper acknowledgement without paying a tribute to the people responsible for bringing him into the world, and allowing him to experience that world. This thesis is dedicated to my parents,,Hugh and Anne Ferguson, who provided me with an opportunity for an education. This thesis i s also dedicated to my sister, Jeanie, whose enthusiasm and pride i n my accomplishments gave me the incentive to look for new horizons. Thank you a l l for your constant love, concern, and encourgement to develop my f u l l e s t potential. Finally, this thesis i s also dedicated to my dog, "Lucky", a companion and friend for fifteen remarkable years who died before i t s completion. He was a true friend and companion who asked for l i t t l e and gave a l o t . -1-GHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Statement of the Problem The purpose of the study was to explicate some of the social-organizational features of administrative meetings through an examination of utterances and roles employed by participants during administrative meetings. Theoretical Formulation What effects and contingencies allow chairmen from two different administrative meetings to perform the following conversational opening utterances differently? l(a) ah the agenda i f we may are there any items to add? l(b) Who's adding what to the agenda this time . . . (9 sec.) . . . good, nonone's adding anything to the agenda. From any such chairmanship performance, the addressed w i l l in principle be able to determine what his position i s i n regard to the speaker. That i s , a non-chairman w i l l be able to determine whether he is being ordered to pay attention to the agenda or whether he i s being requested to pay attention to the agenda. Each interpretation of the chairman's opening remark i s important in developing the tone and the atmosphere for the rest of the meeting. In this chapter, the following w i l l be discussed: ( l ) Theoretical Perspectives of Utterance One, (2) Theoretical Perspectives of Utterance Two, and (3) Comparison of Utterance One and Two. -2-Theoretical Perspectives of Utterance One The chairman's opening remark, "ah the agenda i f we may are there any items to add?", is an interrogative statement announcing the formal "beginning of the meeting. He is directing the attention of the non-chairmen to the agenda ("ah the agenda i f we may . . . " ) , but he i s also asking them i f they have any items to add (" . . . are there any items to add?). In other words, the chairman's utterance contains two different types of interrogative statement. The f i r s t type of interrogative statement, "ah the agenda i f we may . . .", i s a very mild request for consideration of the agenda. It contains a reference to the multi-person character of the group signified by the use of "we". However, since the speaker addresses himself to the whole group using the pronoun, "we", i t would appear that the chairman wishes to identify himself with the group and may fee l slightly insecure in the task which he is about to perform. The use of the tag phrase, " . . . i f we may . . .", suggests that the chairman feels rather uneasy about the group. For example, he could have chosen to leave out the tag phrase, and the utterance would have become an announcement followed by an interrogative statement—"ah the agenda. Are there any items to add?". This statement is a more terse utterance, and could even be interpreted as a command indicating authority over the group. The second type of interrogative statement, " . . . are there any items to add?", constitutes an explicit request for information from the group. Its meaning could be considered implicit, since the hearer must be aware of the f i r s t Interrogative statement in order to understand the purposes of the second. An Important aspect of both interrogative statements i s that they run together without the speaker pausing for an answer between the f i r s t and the second. Such a pause would have allowed participants to orientate themselves to what was going on, and would have allowed a hearer an opportunity to say, "I'm not ready yet". However, from the speaker's point of view, he has already been successful asking one interrogative statement, so appears to feel he may continue by asking another. This descriptive analysis indicates ( l ) that utterance l(a) consisted of two interrogative statements, (2) the f i r s t interrogative statement took the form of a mild request and included a reference to the multi-person character of the group, (3) the f i r s t interrogative statement contained a tag phrase and this along with the references to the multi-person character of the group, suggested that the chairman f e l t uneasy about exercising authority,., over the group, (4) the second interrogative statement was an explicit request for information but also contained an underlying meaning, and (5) since the chairman had apparently been successful with his f i r s t interrogative statement , he decided to perform the second interrogative statement without pausing for an answer to the f i r s t . Theoretical Perspectives of Utterance Two The second chairman's opening remark, "Who's adding what to the agenda this time . . . (9 sec.) . . . good, no one's adding anything to the agenda", forms a small couplet—a complete question-answer sequence. The interrogative statement contains two requests for information, that i s , "Who's adding what to the agenda this time . . .". If this statement is to be taken l i t e r a l l y , the chairman is asking for the identification of the speaker ("Who's") and the substance of their business for consideration ("what"). The questions are direct, and no reference i s made to the multi-person character of the administrative meeting. Nor, does the chairman use any tag phrases. The use of the phrase, "this time", gives the Interrogative statement a game-like quality. That i s , the chairman appears to be keeping teack from meeting to meeting who Is adding what type of items to the agenda. This i s similar to baseball, where the individual player's records are computed i n terms of "R.B.I.'s" (runners batted in), home runs, batting averages, or bases stolen. In other words, the chairman (like the baseball statistician) appears to be keeping track of individual players and their performance records. The nine second pause allows the participants of the meeting an opportunity to add items to the agenda and orient themselves, to the meeting. Moreover, the chairman has provided a space for non-chairmen to participate in organizing the meeting. However, since no one chooses to add an Item to the agenda, the chairman takes this as a vote of confidence and proceeds to speak again. The significance of theword, "good", used upon completion of the silence may indicate that the chairman is pleased that there are no items to add to the agenda. The chairman's answer to his questionr-is a statement of his observation, to the effect that no one is adding anything to the agenda. The construction of this statement and the interrogative statement are similar. In both cases, the chairman uses a contraction, "who's" and "one's", and the Verb "adding" appears both times. This consistency i n format gives each of the statements explicit meaning, and allows the statements to function independently. This makes the transition between the sentences easy for the hearer—even after a nine second pause. This analysis indicates then, that ( l ) utterance 1(b) consisted of two sentences forming a question-answer sequence, (2) the sentences appeared to have a game-like quality about them, since the chairman appeared to be keeping track of who was adding items to the agenda and what those items were, (3) the nine second pause was useful for non-chairmen to orient themselves to the meeting, and (4y}the question and the answer had a number of similar properties including the use of contractions and the use of the word, "adding". Comparison of UtteranceBOne and Two In determining what position the hearer is i n with regard to the chairman, i t would appear that utterance 1(b) i s more direct and more commanding than utterance 1(a). From the preceding analysis, a number of reasons for this difference begin to emerge. The differences w i l l be considered below under the following sections: ( l ) Multi-person orientation, (Z) Use of tag phrases, and (3) Independent sentence structures. Multi-person orientation. The use of the word, "we" in utterance 1(a) indicates that the chairman is concerned with more than one i n d i v i d u a l i n the s e t t i n g . The establishment of the m u l t i -person o r i e n t a t i o n by the chairman suggests that he i s aware of a na t u r a l d i v i s i o n of labor within the s e t t i n g . Such a d i v i s i o n of labor may consist of chairmen and non-chairmen, since each has a d i f f e r e n t job to perform during the opening of the meeting. In both meetings, the chairman made the formal announcement of beginning the meeting and the non-chairmen were asked to contribute to that beginning i n terms of adding items to the agenda. The force of the request f o r a beginning by the chairman serves to i n d i c a t e how he proposes to deal with the multi-person o r i e n t a t i o n of the group. In the f i r s t instance, the chairman chose to issue a mild form of request which Included a tag phrase. However, the second chairman began by asking an e x p l i c i t question. In other words, each statement was In the i n t e r r o g a t i v e form; however, the f i r s t utterance 1(a) was an imperative cloaked i n an i n t e r r o g a t i v e form. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of each of these forms can not be judged at t h i s point; however, i n t u i t i v e l y the d i r e c t " e x p l i c i t question issued by chairman two appears l i k e l y to be more e f f e c t i v e i n f o r c i n g non-chairmentto come to order. Moreover, the use of the d i r e c t form, such as i n 1(b), suggests that the chairman has co n t r o l over the non-chairmen. However, the use of the mild i n d i r e c t form of i n t e r r o g a t i v e found i n 1(a) may i n d i c a t e that the chairman wants c o n t r o l over the group, but does not yet possess i t . In other words, each of the two chairmen have chosen to deal with the multi-person o r i e n t a t i o n of the group d i f f e r e n t l y , and i t has been suggested that each chairman w i l l experience a different degree of effectiveness with the non-chairmen. Use of tag phrases. Although a tag phrase only appears i n utterance 1(a) ("if we may"), i t s importance i n gauging the relation-ship "between chairman and non-chairmen would appear to be significant. The tag phrase, in utterance 1(a) is an addition to.«the sentence which adds nothing to i t s l i t e r a l meaning, however, i t appears to contribute to i t s social meaning. In conversations, the social meanings of words and phrases are important because they indicate social distance between speakers and hearers. For example, a decision to c a l l a person by his t i t l e such as, Mr. President, or by his f i r s t name, "Jimmy", indicates indicates a certain degree of familiarity and a reduction of social distance between speaker and hearer. Tag phrases l i k e " i f we may", indicate a formal gap in the social distance between speaker and hearer. The avoidance of tag phrases In utterance 1(b) indicates that the chairman does not want to change the social distance between speaker and hearer. Moreover, his use of explicit phraseology confirms this. Independent sentence structures. A comparison of utterances l(a) and 1(b) indicates that each chairman chooses to structure each of his sentences differently. Although each chairman uses two-barrel utterances, utterance 1(b) includes a number of repeat words such as "adding" and "to the agenda". This type of construction i s easier to follow, since there i s a resonable amount of transition between -8-thpughts. Moreover, the hearer does not have to depend upon the meaning of the meta-conversation surrounding the utterance i n order to obtain i t s meaning as in the case of utterance 1(a). The use of the subordinating question found in utterance 1(a) may be seen as indication that the speaker is not sure of the appropriate course of action, since the meaning of the question i s cloaked with other (social) referents i n the f i r s t sentence. If the hearer Is unable to connect the two sentences, then the meaning of the second sentence:" is lost and so is the purpose of the question—to s o l i c i t items for the agenda. Summary of Theoretical Perspective The purpose of this section has been to i l l u s t r a t e how talk in administrative meetings may be analyzed. By contrasting utterance 1(a) and 1(b) i t has been possible to discover what an opening remark by a chairman is and to consider how a hearer would react to each of the chairman's remarks. The results of the analysis indicated that each chairman -;e performed his opening differently by constructing his remarks i n different ways. Utterance 1(a) was considered to create more social distance between the chairman and the non-chairman than utterance 1(b), because 1(a) contained a tag phrase which indicates social meaning as well as l i t e r a l meaning, and a subordinate question in implicit form. Utterance 1(b) was considered to minimize the degree of social distance existing between speaker and hearer, since i t was construced in explicit form and used a number of phrases twice to minimize the amount of interference created through transition. As a result, i t may perhaps be concluded that chairman two (utterance 1(b)) exercised more authority over the non-chairmen than chairman one (utterance 1(a)). Purpose of the Study In conducting a descriptive analysis of two opening chairmanship utterances, a number of concerns began to emerge. These concerns culminated in the development of three questions: 1. What aspects of the form of language and the interactional process employed in doing conversation i n administrative meetings affect social distance between speakers and hearers? 2. What aspects of the social personage of participants vary within administrative meetings which might create social distance? 3. What jis the relationship between variation in ( l ) and (2)? Each of these questions w i l l be discussed below in the following sections: ( l ) Language forms, (2) Social personage, and (3) Speakers and language. Language forms. In the analysis of utterances l(a) and 1(b), a number of language forms were identified as gauges of social distance between speakers and hearers. These included the use of tag phrases, references to the multi-person orientation of the group, independent sentence structures, and the use of repeat words and phrases. Each of these language forms was identified as being a - i n -d i f f e r e n t gauge of s o c i a l distance i n conversational encounters. From: an analysis of these language forms, i t was suggested that utterance l ( a ) created more s o c i a l distance between the chairman and the non-chairmen than utterance 1(b). I t was i n that regard that the language form which the speaker choose to use appeared to influence or r e f l e c t the degree of s o c i a l distance e x i s t i n g between the speaker and the hearers. S o c i a l personage. In the e a r l i e r analysis, i t was suggested that there was a d i v i s i o n of labor i n administrative meetings i n terms of chairmen and non-chairmen. I t was implied that the chairman t r i e d to exercise authority over non-chairmen by a reduction of i m p l i c i t sentence st r u c t u r e s . Moreover, utterance 1(a) contained a reference to the multi-personoof the meeting within the framework of a tag phrase. I t was suggested that paradoxically t h i s increased the degree of formality between chairman and non-chairmen . S o c i a l personage of speakers and hearers r e f e r s to t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y as chairmen and non-chairmen, or t h e i r group i d e n t i t y i n a multi-person o r i e n t a t i o n . The s o c i a l i d e n t i t y of any speaker or hearer can be described i n terms of status within a group. That i s , status can be explained i n terms of s e n i o r i t y , a b i l i t y or p o s i t i o n . For example, a student could be described as: "a t h i r d year student" ( s e n i o r i t y ) , "a student with a 3 ^ grade point average" ( a b i l i t y ) or "a terminated student" ( p o s i t i o n ) . Accompanying the concept of s o c i a l i d e n t i t y are the more p a r t i c u l a r i s t i c commonalities which occur between two speakers such - l i -as social rank and cultural similarity. An example of social rank In an administrative meeting may include the division between non-chairmen and chairmen. Each individual knows who the other i s and acts accordingly in face-to-face encounters. The purpose of introducing these terms here has been to suggest that different social identities are ascribed to different individuals within an administrative meeting. The two aspects of social personage which were considered included social identity and particularistic commonalities—sometimes referred to as co-membership. Social identity and co-membership are complementary concepts in the sense that an individual may be a non-chairman (statement of co-membership) who has been a member of the administrative meetingsgroup for two years (se n i o r i t y — s o c i a l identity within the meetings. Given these characteristics, the individual w i l l probably be able to exert more influences during the development of an issue, since he knows the history of the meetings. Moreover, the relationship which he shares with other non-chairmen and the chairman in terms of social distance may vary according to his social identity (in rfchis case, his level of seniority) and co-membership. Speakers and language. It can be suggested that there i s a relationship between the social personage of participants and the language forms which they use in conversational encounters. That relationship stems form the identification of the hearer i n terms of a set of qualities (e.g., status within the group or degree of co-membership with the group), and the ab i l i t y of the speaker to decipher those qualities and respond in an appropriate language or linguistic form. -12-Moreover, the selection or the appropriate linguistic form reco recognizes the fact that there are differences i n individuals who attend meetings, and these differences are conveyed i n the interactional process associated with meeting behavior. In other words, chairmen recognize differences in the influence, for example, of some non-chairmen and may choose to acknowledge these differences in conversation. Likewise, non-chairmen w i l l recognize differences In influence among other non-chairmen and w i l l acknowledge these in conversations. Summary. The purpose of this section has been to consider three questions which form the core of this study. The f i r s t question focussed on the relationship between the use of different language forms and the creation of social distance within the interactional processes associated with administrative meetings.. It was suggested that different language forms could serve as a gauge of social distance between speakers and hearers. The second question took as i t s focus the social personage of speakers and hearers, and considered the notions, of social identity and co-faembership. Each of these concepts was outlined in terms of the creation of social distance between participants i n conversational encounters. The third question focussed on the relationship between social personage and language forms found in the interactional process of administrative meetings. I t was suggested that different identifications of hearers in terms of their social personage would influence the speaker i n terms of the choice of language forms he used. -13-Such choices were considered to influence the degree of social distance between speaker and hearer, and could be considered as an important aspect of the social-organizational features of administra-tive meetings. Methods and Procedures This descriptive study was conducted i n a three-fold manner. The following stages were followed in the development of an approach to the problem: 1. The literature pertinent to the problem was reviewed in order to develop a conceptual framework for investigating administrative meetings. 2. Conversational data were collected from different administrative meetings, and several different l i n g u i s t i c structures used by participants were analyzed. 3. The conversational data which were analysed in (2) above were used in an attempt to explain some of the soci a l -organizational features of the administrative meetings. Conversational data were obtained during administrative meetings at two different community colleges. The proceedings of the meetings were subsequently transcribed. The identities' of the speakers were changed in reproducing the transcripts so as to ensure the anonymity of the participants. Organization of the Study This i n i t i a l chapter included the statement of the problem, theoretical formulation, theoretical perspectives of utterance one, theoretical perspectives of utterance two, comparison of utterance one and two, summary of theoretical perspective, purpose of the study, methods and procedures, and the organization~df the study. In Chapter II the background to the study and a review of the literature pertinent to the study i s presented. The chapter also includes a description of the design and operationalization of the study. The analysis of the data i s presented in Chapter I I I , and in Chapter IV the findings are discussed and summarized. -15-CHAPTER I I BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The purpose of this chapter i s three-fold: ( l ) to review the research pertinent to the social-organizational features of administrative meetings; (2) to describe the study sample and the procedure used; and (3) to conclude with a summary section linking the concerns of the i n i t i a l three questions with those of the literature. REVIEW OF RESEARCH A review of selected literature related to the social-organizational features of administrative meetings resulted in o the isolation of two major areas of concern: ( l ) speech act theory including the concept of "formulation", and (2) interaction analysis studies of administrative meetings. The discussion which follows i s divided into three subsections, two of which deal with each of these areas and the third of which i s a summary. Speech Act Theory J.L. Austin, following Wittgenstein, made a distinction between saying things and doing (performing) things by saying things. This distinction between locutionary (.saying things) and lllocutionary (doing things by saying things) acts (Austin 1962':' 98) suggested that illocution Involves the performance of more than just speaking an utterance. Although•lllocutionary acts can on occasion be identified by performative verbs, such as ask, features of the social and -16-interactional context as well' as linguistic form are involved i n judging whether or not an illocutionary act has been successfully accomplished. For example, for a speaker to perform the correct syntax and phonology i n saying a marriage Vow, while secretly intending to get a divorce the next week, i s to perform the locution correctly but not to do the illocution "promising", which for successful performance involves the extralinguistic considerations of sincerity and lack of coercion. As Austin (1962: 18) suggests: . . . we canssee that in order to explain what can go wrong with statements we cannot just concentrate on the proposition involved . . . as has been done traditionally. We must consider the total situation in which the utterance is issued . . . i f we are to see the parellel between statements and performative utterances and how each can go wrong (Erickson and Schultz,1973? ^ ) • In other words, Austin has suggested that a successful 1-linguistic performance involves more than simply speaking words, but also includes the speaker meeting certain extralinguistic considers ations associated with speech acts. Searle (1969: 66-67) identifies four rule types as conditions which must be met for the successful performance of an illocutionary act. He refers to these as: (a) rules for propositional content, (b) preparatory condition, (c) sincerity condition, and (d) essential condition. For example, in considering the sincerity condition necessary for execution of the speech act, "advise", Searle writes, the speaker must believe that advising w i l l benefit the hearer (Searle 1969: 67). This condition which Searle has stipulated has nothing to do with the . actual linguistic construction of the statement,'but i s required i f the statement i s to be performed correctly. Erickson and Schultz (1973), i n a discussion of the relationship between speech act theory and "formulation" suggest that "formulation" may be considered as either the speech act, "advise" or "warn", since formulation involves utterances in which the speakers perform "expalining what we are doing now" to hearers. That i s , speakers are advising or warning hearers about what we are doing in conversation with each other. The degree to which instances of "advising" or "warning" are successful depends on the social distance between speakers and hearers. Moreover, the linguistic and extra-linguistic considerations of the performance of the speech acts "advise" and "warn" developed by Searle also apply to the performance of formulation utterances. I t is useful to consider "formulation" as a feature ; of conversations found in everyday l i f e . Formulating a conversation as a feature of that conversation. Among conversationalists, i t i s an immensely commonplace feature of conversations that a conversation exhibit for i t s parties i t s own familiar features of a "self-explicating colloquy" (Garfinkel and Sacks 1970s' 350). In other words, a participant in a conversation may choose to treat some part of the conversation as an occasion to describe that conversation, to explain i t , or characterize i t , or explicate i t , or translate i t , or summarize i t , or furnish the gist of i t , or take note of i t s accordance with the rules, or remark on i t s departure from the rules. That i s , a participant in a conversation may use some part of the conversation as an occasion to formulate that conversation, as in the following excerpts: -18-2(a) 1. A : Mr. Chairman . . . (3 sec.) . . . are you taking us. hack? 2. Ch: I'm taking I'm going to the agenda now no I'm I'm going to look at the agenda of June twenty- second I've asked specifically i f there are any  items to add because I see you have some doodling at the bottom of your page.* 2(b) 1. H: Mr. Chairman may I move that this report be  accepted? 2. B: Received I would appreciate. 3. H: Received? 4. B: Yes. These excerpts il l u s t r a t e that, along with whatever else may be happening in the conversation, i t may be a feature of the conversation for conversationalists that they are doing something else; namely, "saying-in-so-many-words-what-we-are-doing (or what we are talking and Sacks 1970: 351). In the f i r s t exchange 2(a), the chairman is saying what he is doing in terms of the structure of the administrative meeting. That i s , the chairman is going to consider the agenda of June twenty-first. Moreover, the chairman i s advising the hearer with the "doodling at the bottom of your page" that he i s about to do this. In the second exchange 2(b), two types of formulation take place. The f i r s t type of formulation (line l ) i s called explicit, because H's statement that he wants the report accepted is direct and the meaning i s clear. H i s saying in so many words that he wants to move that the report be accepted. about, or who i s talking, or who we are, or where we are) (Garfinkel •^Formulations are underlined throughout the work. -19-The second type of formulation (line 3) i s called implicit VJCRU'.O; i t because i t s meaning depends upon the meta-conversation surrounding the utterance. Implict formulations can be translated into explicit formulations; however, i t i s problematic since implicit formulations and their meanings are inherently indexical. In this case the utterance becomes, are you advising me that you want the report to be received? By so doing, the translation can be seen as a case of formulation i n which the speaker i s saying-in-so-many-words-what-we^are-doing. Formulation i n the perspective of a ling u i s t i c ecology. In the introductory chapter, tag phrases were considered as a means of adding social meanings to conversations. At that time, i t was suggested that they do not contribute to the l i t e r a l meaning of the statement, but that they serve to inform the hearer of his position relative to the speaker. Searle (1969), in discussing social meaning in conversational encounters, uses the example of a sentence which a woman might say at a party, "It's really quite late". The meaning of this speech act varies i n terms of who the speaker i s as a social person to various hearers such as conversational partners, guests, lover, children, or husband. The sentence carries with i t a l i t e r a l meaning *"Indexicality" refers to the inherent property of language as ambigious. Lexical terms, li k e items i n an index, refer to much more "meaning" or "information" than the items stated in-so-many-words (or morphemes, or information b i t s ) . "Indexical repair" then, i s an attempt to state more explicitly more of that to which a le x i c a l item or phrase refers, e.g., this footnote i s an attempt at indexical repair. Indexical repair can also be an attempt to restate the same amount of meaning metaphorically. For more information consult Garfinkel and Sacks (1970). -20-("irt's late"). However, If one is the husband hearing the phrase, then one i s probably expected to prepare to leave the party. Examples such as Searle's i l l u s t r a t i o n show how different referential (and social) meanings can be communicated by the same  lingu i s t i c form to different hearers, depending on their social relationship with the speaker. Blom and Gumperz (1972) considered how the same speaker and hearer can convey different social meanings through the use of different linguistic forms. They /studied, "code-switching" withintthe same conversational encounter (a conversation between fellow villagers)—switching back and forth between the syntactically different language forms of "staiidard" Norweigian "non-standard" local dialect. The non-standard and standard language forms were employed for different topics (which varied in degree of intimacy) and for communicating changes in the ongoing social relationship of rights and obligations between speakers. Blom and Gumperz refered to these changes as, "situational s h i f t s " (1972: 424-426). For this study of the speech event, administrative meeting, the findings of Blom and Gumperz suggest that differences i n the language form by which formulation is attempted may indicate changes in the social relationship between speakers in terms of social distance i n the conversation which may be reflect in changes across time i n the meeting due to the re-negotiation of role and status ( c f . , Cicourel, 1972). Also, differences in social relationships from one administrative meeting to another depending on the social personage of the participants may influence social distance in conversations. -21-Formulation and social meaning. One aspect of language form that seems to vary according to the social personage of the speaker is the form of advising/warning. The f i r s t example presented earlier Illustrates one form of request: l(a) Gh: ah the agenda i f we may are there any items to add? The syntactical form for this command/request is an interrogative, and could he re-written, "Gould we consider the agenda?". Green ( 1 9 7 3 ) terms this use of the syntax of a command as a "wh-imperative". She argues that commands presuppose that the speaker does not have authority over the hearer, and that the hearer has a number of options available to choose from including the option of refusing to f u l f i l l the request. Conversely, imperatives presuppose authority by the speaker over the hearer (Erickson and Schultz, 1 9 7 3 ) -It would appear that for the speaker (the chairman) with authority over the hearer (the non-chairmen) to use successfully! the wh-imperative form in performing a speech function inconsistent with that form (a command), there must be a contextual "reading" of the meaning by the hearer that involves the speaker. The wh-imperative i s a role-distancing device ( c f . , Goffman 196l: 105-116) by which a social superordinate can "say" to a subordinate, "I am a person with authority over you, but I choose to act as i f I didn't, thereby t e l l i n g you to regard me as 'nice'". The illocutionary force of pledging "niceness" can be vitiated by distrust in the hearer. So i t i s risky to attempt an incorrect performance of a .wh-imperative in speech situations in which the hearer i s lik e l y to distrust the speaker. Yet, i t is precisely in these situations of potential -22-distrust that we may want to say to the other, "Trust me". The use of the .wh-imperative in such social situations can he considered as a "damaged metaphorical s h i f t " ( c f . , Gumperz, 1972), or a twisted meta-message ( c f . , Bateson, 1955) • In reporting their findings of a "school gatekeeping encounter", Erickson and Schultz (1973) found that white counselors employed wh-imperatives only i n encounters with students whose social^personage (Black) included membership in a social group whose members are conventionally considered l i k e l y to distrust white people. In encounters with white students, the counselor;-gave commands in imperative linguistic form. These findings imply some interesting considerations for administrative meetings. In administrative meetings, there i s a division between chairmen and non-chairmen. Erickson and Schultz's findings suggest that a chairman would employ wh-imperatives in encounters with non-chairmen whose social personage (another administrative group) included membership in a social group whose members bargain for power with the chairman. Such non-chairmen might be said to distrust the motives of the chairman. Summary. The purpose of this section has been to suggest that differences i n the language form byiwhich formulation i s attempted may indicate changes in the social relationship between speakers. This concern-was explored using the "wh-imperative", which was considered to be a role-distancing device found in conversational encounters. The use of the wh-imperative in conversational encounters was found in situations where the hearer was perceived by -23-the speaker as distrusting. It was suggested that this situation - 1 o might arise in administrative meetings between chairman and non-chairmen . Interaction Analysis Studies of Administrative Meetings In this section are considered two interaction analysis studies of meetings: ( l ) Bales' (1955) approach, and (2) Barber's (1966) approach. Both authors are i n agreement that during any executive meeting, there is only one explicitly formalized position of leadership, "the chairman". The chairman knows who he is and the non-chairmen know who they are and who the chairman i s . The chairman's position and higher status are clear. However, each of the authors approaches the study of an administrative meeting differently and reports on different types of considerations. These considerations are reviewed separately in the following sub-sections. Bales' observational techniques and analysis. Bales (1955) was interested i n determining how people interact in conferences. was He explored this through the use of formal observational techniques and analysis. Although Bales conducted his investigations in a laboratory situation, in a situation in which "a group of persons (ranging from two to seven in number) were asked to discuss a complex human relations problem of the sort typically faced by an administrator" (1955: 32), his findings have been generalized to include the "live situation". The framework for the study was three-fold. F i r s t , a coding scheme was developed to record information such as the -24-the identification of the person speaking, the person spoken to, and a classification system of the particular acts performed according to certain pre-d'etermined categories. Second, the pre-determined categories were limited to twelve, and covered positive and negative reactions to questions, opinions, suggestions, and attempts to solve the problem by offering information. Third, seven types of acts or stages were developed to explain actions within the meeting. Bales, i n using this procedure, produced some interesting observations about administrative meetings which could have some lingu i s t i c significance. He suggests for example: Rates of both positive and negative reactions tend to rise from the f i r s t third of the meeting to the last third. These increases may be connected mainly with social-emotional problems of the group process i t s e l f . The ratio of negative to positive reactions tends to be higher in response to suggestions than in response to factual statements. The discussion point is a c r i t i c a l bottleneck in the process. Once the decision point has been passed, however, the rates negative reaction usually f a l l off and the rates of positve reaction rise sharply. Joking and laughter, indicating solidarity and tension release, become more frequent. With the problems of the task and common values stablized for the !time being by the decision, the interaction process apparently turns to restablizing the emotional states of the individuals and their social relations to one another (1955s 34). Bales' findings allude to the fact that meetings have their own developing histories which focus mainly around the social-emotional aspects of the group process. This developing history appears to be c r i t i c a l in the decision-making process, since Bales suggests that the discussion point where social-emotional problems tend to arise is the c r i t i c a l bottleneck. From a linguistic standpoint, the structure of utterances possessing social meanings would be c r i t i c a l in a decision-making bottleneck in terms of the -25-reduction of social-emotional problems of the group process i t s e l f . In addition, Bales also suggests a number of other findings which are summarized below (1955s 3^-35): 1. Inequality of participants affects the social relationships between group members. 2. Several special positions emerge from within the group: i . "Best-liked" contributor i i . "Task-orientated" specialist! i i i . "Specialist i n advancing ideas" 3. Stable organization is only possible within a group i f consensus i s reached on major values. I f this i s lacking, J the interaction process becomes primarily a means for the expression of individual emotional states. The f i r s t of these findings, "inequality of participation" leads to several problems over time. I t effects the social relation-ships between participants because, when a person has completed one act/turn, the chances are a l i t t l e better than even that he w i l l continue for another act/turn. After each succeeding act his probability of continuing drops but that probability never becomes even. That i s to say, i f a person i s successful in taking his turn, he i s psychologically rewarded and wants to continue his turn. This i s done, in part, at the expense of the other participants. Moreover, the tendency toward inequality of participation over time has cumulative side effects on the social organization of the group. The individual who gets his speech i n f i r s t begins to build a reputation for himself. Success in obtaining acceptance of problem-solving attempts seems to lead the successful person to -26-do more of the same, with the result that eventually the members come to assume a rank order by task a b i l i t y . The second of the findings noted above is related to this in that i t concerns the emergence of such "specialist" orders. In some groups, the participants reach a high degree of consensus on their ranking of "who had the best ideas". Usually the individual ranked highest i n this respect didtthe :-most talking and had higher than average rates of giving suggestions and opinions. Moreover, in some situations, one individual becomes a specialist i n advancing ideas, while another is apt to be developing a different specialization. Yet, a third individual <ean emerge who is referred to as "best-liked". The "best-liked" individual usually has higher than average rates of showing tension and release (mainly smiling and laughing) and showing agreement. It is not impossible for the person ranked at the top in ideas also to be best-liked, but apparently i t is unusual. The "best-liked" man is usually second or third in the participation hierarchy. The task specialist seems to "lock onto" the person who is most responsive to what he is saying and address more remarks to him than to the others. In turn, the best-liked man talks more and agrees more with the top-ranking idea specialist than with any other member. The idea specialist and the best-liked man often form a mutually supportive pair. The third of the previously noted findings suggests that i f a group starts with a low degree of consensus on who has the best ideas, the meeting progresses dismally. There tends to be a high -2?-turnover i n the top ranks (idea specialist, task-orientated specialist, et cetera) with one would-be leader replacing another. In such a group, the man ranked as having the best ideas is less apt to be best-liked. Furthermore, an additional specialist i s l i k e l y to appear—a man who . talks more than anybody else, but is neither best-liked nor most highly respected for his task a b i l i t y . Whether the participants w i l l agree on who has the best ideas depends to a large degree on how well they agree on the basic premises or norms—what has been termed, "common culture" (Bales 1955, Garfinkel 1967). While consensus on major values does not solve a l l the problems of arriving at a stable social organization, probably no stable organization is possible without this control factor. If i t is lacking, the interaction process becomes primarily a means for the expression of individual emotional states. While Bales' study was never designed to provide clear delineationsoon the li n g u i s t i c qualities of an administrative meeting, i t does provide a framework for a discussion of the ecology of an administrative meeting and i t s social organization. That is to say, that there is an implicit identification of "social identity" and "co-membership" i n terms of categories like, "task-orientated" person, "best-liked" man, et cetera. Moreover, i f one f a l l s outside these categories, then one's co-membership category is established. That Is, one is not a leader in a meeting situation, therefore f a l l s into the membership class of non-leaders. In terms of different aspects of social personage which vary within administrative meetings, Bales has identified positions such as "best-liked" man, "task-orientated" man, et cetera which may change during the course of an administrative meeting. From this -28-conclusion, we might suspect that the nature of talk associated with these positions would also change. This suggestion w i l l he explored later. Barber's observational techniques and analysis., Barber (1966) was interested in determining what effects different types of chairmen have on various groups. He saw the chairman as f a l l i n g into one of two categories: ( l ) "initiating-contending-controlling", or (2) "moderating-neutral-permissive". From this division, he attempted to determine "how the more active chairmen d i f f e r from the less active ones in resources and attitudes they bring to board deliberations, i n their styles of action as chairmen, and i n the types of response these styles e l i c i t from other members" (I966V 83-84). The methodology which Barber used involved assigning each chairman an activity score which was the ratio of his total number of initiations (i.e., a l l acts so scored by Bales Interaction Process Analysis) to the average number of initiations for members of the group. Active chairmen were those ranking f i r s t through sixth on this ratio (range 2.3 to 1.6); passive chairmen are those ranking seventh through twelfth (range 1.4 to 0.8) (Barber 1966: 84). Table 1 presents Barber's conclusions regarding active and passive chairmen in terms of three different perspectives: ( l ) attitudes and resources; (2) styles of action; and (3) groups' response to chairmen's style. Barber's findings can be used to formulated further considerations for a linguistic ecology of administrative meetings. -29-Table 1 Barber's Classification of the Chairman Characteristic Active Chairman Passive Chairman I. Resources and Attitudes Education Income Age Frequency of talk Perception of Decision High High Young High Decisions are a result of compromise with-in a p o l i t i c a l forum. Low Low Older Low Decisons do not involve p o l i t i c a l considerations II. Styles of Action; Questioning Problem-setting Task-orientation S elf-asserative Personal values Group relationship Asks three times as many questions as the average 'k member of his .group. High priority High priority High Enters group freely Treats group as a whole Relation with most Positive talkative colleague Relation with challenger Positive, does not address the challenger. Asks 1.5 times as many questions as the average member of the group Low priority :.Low priority Low Enters group feeling restrained and tense. Addresses individuals within a group Negative Negative, drawn into direct colloquy with revival. - 3 0 -Table 1 (continued) Characteristic Active Chairman Passive Chairman III. Group's Response to Chairman's Style Rate of commune c?„t ication with chairman. High Low Effectiveness High Low Integration and satisfaction of the group Low High First, active chairmen talk more frequently during administrative meetings than passive chairman. This i s attributed to an increase i n the amount of security active chairmen have, because of their greater education. Furthermore, active chairmen ask more questions which, i n turn, generate more discussion than the relative lack of questioning by passive chairmen. It may be suggested that active chairmen are more "enterpreneurial" than passive chairmen. Second, active chairmen perceive the decision-making process as one involving compromise. However, i n order to obtain compromise the group may suffer from a loss of personal satisfaction. In other words, members of the active chairman's group do not necessarily agree on the basic premises or norms of group operation. Therefore, *The table was re-constructed from James David Barber, Power in Committees (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1 9 6 6 ), pp. 8 3 - 1 0 0 . - 3 1 -no explicit definition of "common culture" exists among participants. In contradiction to Bales' findings, despite the fact that this proiuces dissatisfaction within the group, the leadership of the chairman i s seen as off-setting this influence, making the group more effective in problem-solving than the passive chairman's group. Third, interpresonal relationships are more effectively-handled "by the active chairman than by the passive chairman. For example, when each of the chairmen i s being challenged, the active chairman perceives this event as constructive in terms of the group's problem-solving a b i l i t y . On the other hand, the passive chairman perceives this event as destructive with respect to the group's problem-solving a b i l i t y . As a resulty each chairman deals with the 'challengers i n a different way; that i s , the active chairman does not directly address the challengers but chooses to address the group as a whole. On the other hand, the passive chairman chooses directly to challenge his opponent, which can lead to conflict within the administrative meeting. Barber concludes that the overall effectiveness, of the active chairman is higher than that of the passive chairman. In part, this i s explained by the increased amount of communication in the active chairman's meetings, since the suggestions of alternatives for a decision rests among the participants. That i s to say, the greater the amount of communication between participants In meetings (especially, chairmanship utterances), the more effective the chairman and the meeting as a whole. Each of the studies previously outlined suggests that a -32-great deal of what is done in meetings depends upon what is said at meetings and how i t is said. For example, how does a participant "become known as ""best-liked" participant, "task-orientated" participant, "specialist in advancing ideas", "active chairman", or "passive chairman"? To a great extent, these positions are dependent upon an individual's a b i l i t y to use language in inter-action with others. Each individual can, through his use of language, introduce, change, or generate his social identity i n an administrative meeting. In other words, through the use of "talk" i n administrative meetings, the participants are trying to negotiate with each other and define with each other the social r e a l i t y which they mutually share and define for others. People have as their constant pre-occupation the job of defining themselves for others and having others define them. As Greenfield (1973) suggests i n a discussion of how men go about defining social r e a l i t i e s : People strive to impose their interpretations of social r e a l i t y upon others and to gain command of the organizational resources which w i l l permit them to do so. The warfare in this battleground usually takes the form of li n g u i s t i c attack and defense, although the physical forms of warfare f i t just as comfortably within the perspective (1973: 9)« Summary. Two interaction analysis studies have been reported in this section. The f i r s t study, that of Bales', showed a number of important findings including the indentification of three special positions within the meeting i t s e l f : ( l ) "Best-liked" contributor, (2) "Task-orientated" specialist, and (3) "Specialist in advancing ideas". -33-The second study by Barber classified chairmen into two groups: ( l ) "initiating-contending-controlling", and (2) "moderating-neutral-permissive". I t was possible to discern differences i n the resources and attitudes, styles of action, and group's response to chairman's style for each of the two types of chairman. Barber concluded that the "active" chairman was more effective in an administrative meeting; but ibhat the satisfaction of his group was lower. In terms of the previous linguistic discussion, Barber's findings suggest that the active chairman talks more than the average non-chairman. The active chairman attempts to direct his comments to the multi-person orientation of the group, and seldom addresses a challenger i n a conflict situation. On the other hand, the passive chairman speaks slightly more than the average non-chairman. The passive chairman directs his comments to individuals within the group, and i s usually drawn into a direct colloquy with an opponent. The interaction analysis studies of meetings permit wider consideration of the extralinguistic concerns surrounding lin g u i s t i c performances in meetings. That i s , in the development of a linguistic ecology, the relationship between extralinguistic concerns which form part of the interactional process and the linguistic considerations accompanying the performances of speech acts appear to constitute one of the major ingredients of the social^ organizational features of administrative meetings. DESIGN AND OPERATIONALIZATION OF THE STUDY This section w i l l he considered i n two parts: ( l ) Design, and (2) Operationalization. Design The purpose of this chapter has "been three-fold. In the-f i r s t section, a review of the literature pertinent to the problem was considered i n terms of speech act theory (including the concept of "formulation") and interaction analysis studies of administrative meetings. It was suggested that in the development of a ling u i s t i c ecology of administrative meetings, some consideration must be given to both the li n g u i s t i c attributes of the study as well as the extra-lin g u i s t i c attributes of the study. Formulation was perceived as an integrating device which had certain linguistic properties such as being a form of speech acts advise/warn, and also i t could be considered as a tool for measuring role-distance in conversations. The development of this chapter was considered in terms of three questions: 1. What aspects of the form of language and interactional process employed in doing explicit and implicit •38 formulation vary from one meeting to another? 2. What aspects of social personage (social identity) of the participants vary from meeting to meeting? 3. What i s the relationship between variation i n ( l ) and (2)? The f i r s t question can now be answered tentatively i n terms of formulation. The type of formulation performed either explicitly or implicitly, or a pure imperative as distinct from imperative as -35-an interrogative suggest differences in the interactional process o of each meeting. Different forms of formulation provide the guidelines for studying the social-emotional l i f e of administrative meetings. In that regard, formulation might be used as a gauge for tension among participants at different meetings. The second question can now be answered in terms of the extralinguistic conditions alluded to i n the consideration of interaction analysis studies. That i s , the social personage of the participants consists of two types—the universalistic and the emerging. The universalistic types of social personage are those qualities which identify position in administrative meetings such as chairman and non-chairmen. The emerging types of social personage are those which particulartto the history of the meeting and consist of positions l i k e "best-liked" contributor or "specialist i n advancing ideas". The third question can also be tentatively answered (with less certain!ty than the previous two), since i t represents a culmination of both questions one and two. For example, in considering emerging types of social personage, the "best-liked" contributor may well be f a i r l y sure of himself in a group situation. It might be hypothesized that he w i l l use ©sXy pure imperatives i n communicating his ideas to others. In other words, there is a relationship between the speaker and the type of language form that he chooses to use during the interactional process. In suggesting some preliminary answers to these questions, the substantive matter of data analysis can now be approached. The data collected from community colleges were used to investigate and confirm these i n i t i a l answers. -36-Operationalization The study was conducted i n two stages: data collection and data analysis. Data collection. Data for this study were collected from two community college administrative meetings. The meeting were tape-recorded using two machines located at opposite ends of the conference table. Subsequently, the tapes were transcribed and checked against duplicate tapes for accuracy. In the presentation of the transcript in this thesis (Chapter III) a l l participants' names have been changed. Data Analysis. Three different procedures were used: ( l ) isolation of frames; (2) analysis using the concept.of formulation; and (3) comparison of frames between each adminstrative meeting. The frames were isolated in the following manner. After an i n i t i a l pass through the data, i t was decided that certain sections could be identified naturally. The natural-divisions in the conversation were identified using Ervin-Tripp 1s view that, "one strategy i n identifying situations i s to look for folk terminology inrthem" (196?: 11^). Thus, frames were isolated using the speaker's own indeiitification of the task being performed. Eor example, in the opening utterances the chairmen could be seen as requesting additions to the agenda. The frames which were identified were; ( l ) additions to the agenda; (2) corrections to the minutes; (3) approval of the minutes; and (k) business arising out of the minutes. The last frame was not -37-explored i n depth. Analysis using formulation was conducted in the following : manner. Instances of formulation were found In both administrative meetings. The circumstances surrounding each of these instances were described and analyzed. This analysis took the form of gauging the degree of social distance which was indicated between the speaker and the hearer. The comparison of frames between administrative meetings was conducted i n the following manner. Since sections of conversation could be isolated i n terms of frames, individual frames could be compared across meetings.. This type of procedure was considered nr, necessary for two reasons. F i r s t , a comparison of frames provides an opportunity to consider how participants in different meetings perform the same event differently depending on the history of the social-emotional l i f e of the meeting. That i s , how do participants i n one meeting go about adding to the agenda differently from i n another meeting? Second, a comparison of frames allows for an opportunity to consider how participants perform actions during one frame and in a subsequent frame. That i s , why do additions to the agenda only require seven lines, while corrections to the minutes require eighteen lines? Does something different happen convers.%ti ationally in each of these frames, or i s i t because of the substantive content of each of these frames? The operationalization of the study was two-fold. F i r s t , data was collected from two different community college meetings. Second, the analysis of the data was conducted in three stages: ( l ) isolation of frames, (2) analysis using the concept of formulation, and (3) comparison of frames across administrative meetings. -38-GHAPTER III ANALYSIS OF DATA This analysis i s in four sections. The f i r s t provides examples of explicit and implicit formulation found i n the data. The second considers several conversational frames from administrative meeting "A" in terms of their linguistic qualities and the concept of "formulation" . The third provides a similar exmination of the concept of "formulation" found in administrative meeting "B". The fourth section compares the linguistic features of administrative meeting "A" with those of administrative meeting "B". EXPLICIT AND IMPLICIT FORMULATION Before considering the data in terms of the evidence of formulation they contain, i t may be useful to review some of the considerations surrounding formulation i n this paper. Previously, formulation was seen to be a concept referring to a way that participants in conversations "say-in-so-many-words-what-they-are-doing". Moreover, i t was suggested that formulations could be identified as commands/requests; that i s , as advising or warning in conversations. Such commands/requests could be issued in subtle ways (i.e., implicitly) or they may be made directly (i.e., e x p l i c i t l y ) . In another section, i t was suggested that different forms of performing formulation i n conversational encounters illustrated the degree of social distance between the speakers. For example, -39-i t was suggested (Blom and Gumperz, 1972) that different referential meanings can be communicated by the same linguistic" form to different hearers, depending on their social relationship with the speaker. In addition, there was some suggestion that the same speaker and hearer can convey different social meanings through the use of different linguistics forms (code-switching). This was illustrated using the syntactic form for a particular imperative form which was an interrogative "why," question. Following Green (1973), the use of the "wh-imperative" illustrates that requests/commands presuppose that the speaker does not have authority over the hearer, and that the hearer has a number of optionsaavailable to choose from (including the option of refusing to f u l f i l l the request/command). However, the converse was also true, that imperative presuppose authority by the speaker over the hearer. It would appear that for a speaker with authority over the hearer to use successfully the "why-question" form in performing a speech function inconsistent with that form (a command), there must be a contextual "reading" or "computing" of meaning by the hearer (non-chairmen). It was argued that the wh-imperative is a role-distancing device by which a chairman can say to a non-chairman, "I'm a person with authority over you, but I choose to act as i f T didn't, thereby te l l i n g you to regard me as 'nice'". Of course, the reverse situation can also occur i f the non-chairman has authority over the hearer outside the administrative meeting, but during the administrative meeting he does not. It may, im fac%cbe a way of saying implicitly, "you're doing a good job, I -40-am pleased with your performance in here". Variations i n the Use of E x p l i c i t Formulation Before the formal procedure of an administrative was begun, the researcher was required to explain his research or have his research explained by another individual i n the meeting. The following excerpt serves to introduce the use of explicit formulation i n administrative meetings.("John" is the researcher): • . ah John, perhaps Terry you could explain or John himself what goes on I ' l l only I ' l l only explain ah that Mr. ah Mr. Thompson is a ah student of Dr. Allen Smit in 5 5- Administration at Y.S.U. and ah Dr. Smit called me and Mr. Thompson wrote me a letter indicating that he is involved in a study of linguistics I guess in terms of administration and that he would appreciate the opportunity to come in and tape an administrative session the idea is that he w i l l not be taping i t i n terms of the material that is covered in the session but as I understand i t ah w i l l be covering the verbage, and the wording, and the linguistics that are used in the meeting themselves for communication purposes. Mr. Chairman, that should do i t . I have to clean up the act I guess (laughter A very clear response. A l l of us w i l l watch our P's and Q's. You only get five inches of tape to do i t . So ah I invited Mr. Thompson in and ah ah I think that we can contribute to his study in this way and i f there is any other help that we can give you why you l e t us know, ah I assume that we w i l l not run ah beyond what today? I've indicated to the chairman that I've got a meeting ah I must leave here just prior to ten o'clock. So that, so I assume you are here for about three hours. Is that correct ah? I would like to stay for the whole meeting. I would like to get as much tape as I can. Well we do have what is called an open and closed session. Why i f there is a closed session we'll ask you to leave. Excerpt A: 1. Ch: 2. 3. T: 4. 5-6. 7. a o. 9-10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Ch: 18. 19. H: 20. 21. M: 22. T: 23. 24. 25. 26. 27- H: 28. 29. T: 30. 31. J: 32. 33... T: 3^ . 35. The f i r s t utterance by the chairman (lines 1-2) advises Terry that he may be called upon to "expalin what we are doing now" in terms of John's presence in the meeting. It is an attempt to explain the indexical expression "what" which T proceeds to do in lines 3-16. The chairman (Ch) i s performing the speech act, advising, expli c i t l y using a wh-imperative formulation. In other words, the chhairman is saying "what I would suggest is that Terry or John explain what i t is that we are about to participate i n . In using a modified form of the "wh-imperative" which is enhanced by the force of the word "perhaps", the chairman is experiencing low co-membership with the rest of the group. Terry responds to the chairman's statement using an ex p l i c i t formulation advising participants in the conversation that Mr. Thompson is interested in linguistics. He is saying, be fore-warned what we are doing here is providing research data for someone's project. It i s a pure form of explicit formulation indicating that a high-level of co-membership exists between Terry and the other participants, vis-a-vis the researcher. In line 17, the chairman performs an explicit formulation by advising other participants that we "have to clean up the act". In other words„he i s saying, "be advised that we had better clean up the act". This utterance serves as tension release and evokes laughter fromtthe participants indicating solidarity among group members. It is an explicit formulation in a pure form indicating high co-membership. Line 21, spoken by non-chairman, M, is a straight imperative -42-("You only get . . . " ) . The use of the strainght imperative form indicates that the speaker has authority over the hearers. In this case, i t serves as a finale to Terry's speech (lines 3-16) and was spoken with a great deal of forceful intonation. Terry responds to M's remarks by seeking closure using a wh-imperative form of explicit formulation (lines 22-23). The segment " . . . ahaah I think that we can contribute to his study in this way . . ." is an attempt to say, "I mean what I just said in lines 3-16. The use of the indexicals "ah,II, that, we, his, this," indicates that the speaker is referring to what has gone before and he is simply saying-in-so-many-words-what-we-are-talking-about. Fol-bowing that utterance, a s h i f t in the conversational content of the talk takes place indicating that a new topic i s now up for consideration (lines 25-26). To this point, the discussion of this conversational frame has been developed in terms of explicit formulation; however, i t is also important to consider these findings in terms of the overall event—explaining John's presence. On the basis of the dialogue, i t may be suggested that the level of co-membership between Terry and John i s low, since Terry acts as a mouth-piece for John. This is to be expected, since John is meeting Terry for the f i r s t time and is s o l i c i t i n g a favor from him. Secondly, on the basis of this dialogue, i t may be suggested that the chairman and Terry do not share the same level of co-membership. In fact, the chairman's position in the meeting is subservant to Terry. One of the main reasons for this may be' that -43-Terry i s the chief executive of the college, and has authority over the chairman outside the administrative meeting setting. Thirdly, on the basis of this frame, i t may be suggested that Terry has conversational authority over a l l participants i n the speech situation as indicated by lines 3~l6 with the use of explicit formulation. This suggests that he is the central figure of authority within the administrative meeting. Fourthly, H (lines 19-20) and M (line 21) enjoy a high-level of co-membership with the rest of the participants. M's use of an imperative indicates that he believes his status is clear. H's utterance also indicates that he i s not intimidated by the group as a whole. As has been noted earlier, formulation can be taken to mean any attempt to repair the indexicality of face-to-face talk (Erickson and Schultz 1973: 20), whether or not the indexical repair i s labelled as such by the attempted to state in-so-many-words . Implicit formulation, then, can refer to any attempt cat indexical repair that is not stated in-so-many-words, such as the following example: Excerpt B: . They said yes i t could be ready for September 1. H 2. Gh 3. M 4. H 5. M 6. H 7. M 8. Gh 9. H Okay Mr. Chairman may I move that this report be accepted Received I would appreciate. Received? Yes Pardon me Seconded? / "Yes" In excerpt B, line 5 i s an example of indexical repair and could be re-written, "Do you want me to chahgecmy motion from accepted to received?". Line 8 is an example of implict formulation which could be re-written, "Do you want to second this motion in order to have the report received?". Line 7 is another implicit formulation which could be re-written, "I know I did the wrong thing by asking that this report should be accepted". Examples of formulation were found throughout both meetings. Further discussion of examples is most conveniently presented in the following analyses of comparable frames from each meeting. ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "A" The analyses of meeting "A" considers f i r s t some aspects of "talk" in the meeting, and second the examples of formulation i t presents. The sample analyzed consists of eighty-two lines of dialogue concerned wi thesestablishing" the agenda. Beginning } Silences and Turn-taking By way of introduction, a few brief observations concerning the analysis are in order i n terms of the socia organization of taping the conversation, and why the frame begins where i t does. I n i t i a l l y , a superfical pass w i l l be made over the frame (which i s reproduced verbatim on pages 45-^7) followed by a more detailed analysis of some of i t s principle features. *A11 references to portions of dialogue w i l l be described by the prefix "A" or "B" to denote meeting "A" or "B" and the number of the line of transcript in which they appear. . 4 5 -ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING A 1. Gh: ah the agenda i f we may are there items to add? 2. M: Well I think i t i s rather pointless Mr. Chairman to 3. add anything since everyone i s departing about ten 4. o'clock. 5. Ch: H, you've just been classified as everybody 6. H: ah I wasn't paying attention I'm sorry 7. Laughter 8. A: Mr. Chairman . . . (3 sec.) . . . are you taking us 9. back? 10. Ch: I'm taking I-m going to the agenda now no I'm going 11. to look at the agenda of June twenty-fifth. I've asked 12. specifically i f there are any items to add because 13. I see you have some doodling at the bottom of your 14. Page. 15. (9 sec.) 16. A: Ah Mr. Chairman I was away for the meeting so I'm 17. the last one to know about . . . (2 sec.) . . . the 18. most recent evaluation of CAB discussion. Is that 19. s t i l l around? 20. Sec: No that's finished 21. A: Okay co-ordinator's committee? 22. J Sec: Not so in theufuture 23. A: Thank you Miss Second 24. M: Yes may I ask one more. A l i s t of decisions made by 25. ABC? 26. Ch: That's 27. Sec: That's on the agenda. - 4 6 -2 8 . Gh: And i t s ah . . . (2 sec.) . . . behind the minutes 29. of the last MAM I think 30. A: And Mr. Chairman a very ah minutes point with respect 31. to Friday's holiday I want to ask the meeting but i t could 32. well be off the record 33. Ch: Let's 34. A: Is that reasonable? 35. ( 6 sec)) 36. Ch: Okay could I suggest that we that with respect to 37. item number three in the agenda i t says the agenda 38. order of consideration. Could I suggest that we 39' cover item four f i r s t ? 4 0 . H : Thank you very much 4 1 . Ch: Item five second item six third item four to be Friday 4 2 . . . . (2 sec.).. . . July the f i f t h then move in-camera 43. . . . (2 sec.) . . . item four is not on your agenda. 44. I t l i s t s simply Friday July the f i f t h and then move 45. back in-camera to items number two and three which w i l l 4 6 . becomes items five and six . . . . ( 1 7 sec.) . . . okay? 47. Are you happy with the agenda i n that order i f so 4 8 . recommend? 49. A: What happened to one? 50. (conference door opens) 51. Worn: Mr. Skillings phone c a l l for you 52. Ch: No one item one B i l l isn't here and he wasn't ready 53* he asked that i t be put forward to July twnety-sixth 54. (2 sec.) 55• A: Mr. Chairman for your information I have the financial -47-56. A: book here I just want to know i f any people would 57. know why exhibit "B" i s not included i n i n the 58. financial, statements. There must be a good reason 59. but i t s the one that has revenue or tuition fees, 60. operating fund statement and statement of revenue. 61. Is there something secretive about i t ? Anybody? 62. Gh: Sorry I don't know 63. H: I hadn't missed i t 64. A": "B" i s the only oneethat i s missing. I ' l l ask for 65- i t another time then 66. Gh: Are we happy with the agenda in that order then? 67. (3 sec.) 68. H: If so we can then proceed 69. Gh: Moved by H seconded by L . . . (3 sec.) . . . then 70. we agree to do them in that order? A l l in favor? 71. Contrary i f any? Carried. Okay minutes confirmation 72. of the minutes of June seventh there in-camera 73. they were distributed . . . (2 sec.) . . . I have mine 74. marked with a paper c l i p . 75- H: Move their approval 76. M: Second 77. Gh: Minutes of June seventh a l l in favor? 78. A l l : 79. Gh: Contrary i f any. Carried. 80. (5 sec.) 81. Withdrawal forms, H i l l s you had a covering memo which 82. has been distributed. -48-When the researcher arrived at.the college hoard room, a number of participants had already gathered and wondered why the session was going to he tape-recorded. Over the next half hour, more individuals began to arrive and introduce themselves. Everyone was seated around a square table,.where conversations dwindled to brief exchanges spaced by silences. With the arrival of the college principal, the researcher turned both tape-recorders on in anticipation of the beginning of what appeared to be the start of the meeting. After switching on the tape-recorders, there was a brief at attempt to formally explain the presence of the researcher in the meeting. Following the introduction of the researcher, the chairman announced a beginning. That beginning was taken to be the announced start of the administrative meeting for participants ( c f . , line 1, p. 45). I t may be assumed that our general typical knowledge about the social organization of administrative meetings would allow us to accept this utterance as a beginning, since a l l participants had arrived. However, while a l l participants had arrived for the meeting, i t s beginning can not be explained simply by the"presence of participants. That Is, instead of glossing over the prior assembly of meeting participants by reference to i t s usual, frequent, and unsurprising occurrence, i t is useful to examine i t i n more deta i l . On this occasion, most of the meeting participants arrived between nine and nine-thirty, a period characterized by numerous two to four party conversations of varying durations with conversationalists on their feet, s i t t i n g in chairs, and shifting - 4 9 -groups from time to time. The board room, with i t s attractive abundence of donuts and coffee, served as the locus foremost of this activity. Given this gradual assemblage of people i n the board room, there appeared to be a need for a decision that the meeting had in fact started when "everyone" or "enough" people had arrived, and indeed, at about nine thirty. That decision seems to have been made by the chairman requesting that everyone examine the agenda (Al: "ah the agenda i f we may are there any items to add?").' This raises for examination a basic feature of the or-ganization of "beginnings" in multi-person gatherings where what is often conveniently called "the beginning" of some occasion is merely one action i n a series of actions which together constitute— getting the occasion going. If the term "beginning" i s going to be employed in any technical sense for a descriptive analysis, some attention must be given to i t s social organization as displayed and attended to by speaker-hearers. From this perspective, i t may be asserted that, except perhaps for scripted r i t u a l occasions, even the most economical and direct beginnings may be monitored for their "success" as a "beginning"; that i s , i t can only be ascertained after the fact that an occasion has f u l l y "star-ted". An ethnographer seeking to describe how the starting is done fnay not decide a p r i o r i the precise boundaries of a beginning sequence. Although, i t was not the interest of this researcher to discover definitely when the meeting "really" began,1the research is aimed at describing -50-how participants were making available to one another, resources for getting started at various points i n the beginning sequence. I t i s i n this sense that the term, "beginning of the beginning" comes into use, where the analysis warrants such labelling. Thus, the i n i t i a l chairmanship utterance summoning the participants' attention to the agenda i s an "announcement".constituting "the beginning of the beginning" of the meeting. The chairmanship summons to attend to the agenda (Al) can be conceived of as the beginning of the end of pre-meeting talk. However, the ensuing silences (A15) and brief exchanges (A1/A2-A4; A5/A6-; A8-A9/A10-A14) appearing i n the transcript cannot be said to representta "spontaneous" orientation to beginning. Moreover, the utterance (A8-A9) can be seen as an emerging attempt within the structure of the administrative meeting to orient toward a beginning. A's utterance i s an implicit formulation and i s an instance of indexical repair. That i s , the utterance could be re-written, "Do you want to t e l l us that you are going back ==. to the agenda as you previously itaaidtus". That statement (A8-A9) causes the chairman to respond using a direct from of formulation by saying-in-so-many-words-what-he -is-doing (" . . . I'm going to the agenda now no I'm going to look at the agenda of June twenty-f i f t h . . . " ) . From the previous discussions of implicit formulation and explicit formulation, i t can be suggested that there exists a high-level of co-membership between the chairman and "A" during this speech situation. A's use of implicit formulation says that you are - 5 1 -one of us and the chairman's response indicates that he knows his position (position of authority) within the meeting. The nine second silence (M5) between A14 and Al6, and what has been termed "the orientation toward beginning" requires further examination. Since the analysis is being developed from the perspective of hearer-analysts, i t follows that the position of what is available under the auspices of this as "transition" i s a way of hearing the silences that do occur, or for that matter, a way of hearing-producing any of the items that comprise this so-called transition. The purpose of thesanalysis was not to uncover a definition of "silence" here such as "the word wilence w i l l be taken to mean the absence of talk"; but rather, the exploration of some interpretative background to finding that "a silence" seems a f i t t i n g label for the segments under construction. While i t may be adequate for the pusposes of presenting the transcript to designate a silence with "(3 sec.)", meaning "the absence of talk", i t i s doubtful that for the hearer the absence of talk is seen in such simple terms. In this regard, i t may be reasonable to review one of the more fundamental features of how speakers/hearers handle nay event in the course of talk; that i s , through procedures for the transference of turns (Sacks, 1972). The absence of talk is quite obviously related to transference of turns in conversation since, i f someone must speak next through some organized provision for "taking'' a turn"; but, how silence is built into turn-taking procedures requires further delination. -52-Generally, and leaving aside for the moment the problem of who is going to speak about what, the problem appears to be one of determining when any next speaker i s to begin speaking; or rather, how are speaker-hearers to provide for, and next speakers to locate, a place in the conversation where a next utterance may be offered. For example, i t can be suggested that utterance A5 produced A6, but this is only accomplished by asking how the second utterance A6 may be tied to the f i r s t A5- As a result, i t i s not clear whether or not the f i r s t utterance A5, as an action, "calls for" some next action for which the second utterance A6 stands as a candidate. In either case, whether an utterance may be construed as calling for a particular next action or not, a next utterance may not be immediately forthcoming, producing what has been termed a silence.= It is important to keep in mind that speakers/hearers are dealing with "silences" in the course of conversation, and in particular, conversation at a multi-person gathering where special arrangements for only one person to speake.(?e.g., a speech-maker) are not part of this occasion and where, therefore, some "turn-taking" procedures w i l l be operative. Hence, the question of "who" i s supposed to do "what" with such silences is a fundamental (for successful concerted management of a conversation) and a recurrent problem requiring participant-hearers' regular attention, whether or not a silence following an action which selects a particular next action and/or next speaker, renders that silence "attributable" in different ways and effects a different hearing of next speaker options. -53-The constraints on a hearing of next speaker options are .especiallyj'rio.ti-ceable' in sequence such as question and answer (Al/A2- . A4; A8-A9/A10-A14), greeting and returned greeting; and invitation and refusal/acceptance/returned invitation. These types of utterances are part of a class of actions which in their simplest form come in pairs, and follow what Sacks (1972) has termed the "adjacency pairing rule". I t i s certainly: not always the case that questions get answers oftithat greetings get greetings; but i t is quite regularly the case that given the f i r s t action or such a pair, one may expect the second action of the pair, such that i t s non-occurrence may be specifically "noticed". In other words, while the f i r s t member of such a pair may be designed to e l i c i t a specific next action, the absence of that called for next action may occasion some other action or sequence of actions. The f i r s t actions which are members of pairs under the adjacency pairing rule are generative of subsequent activity even though that activity may not constitute properly second members of the pairs. Therefore, i n relation to any action, the operative or non-operative status of the rule (does the action work as a f i r s t action calling for a specific next action?) provides one part of the interpretivevapparatus through which speaker-hearers may find ways of allocating or not allocating silences. Thus, a silence may be examined by participant hearers, as may other setting features, for i t s relevance to ongoing interaction in which i t can be assigned a values or a menaing. In A14 for example: "... because I see you have some doodling at the bottom of your page", the chairman's invitation to add items to the agenda i s addressed to A who has asked, "what we are doing" (A8-A9). In response -54-to the chairman's invitation (A10-A14), there is what amounts to a nine second "silence" on the addressed issue followed by a change in topic A16-A34. Subsequently, A35 is a six second "silence" which serves as a conversational bracket to the aside (A16-A34). Moreover, utterances A15 and A35, given that a silence i s hearable as "no one has anything to say about the matter", can also be heard as the end of that exchange. This suggests two features of the social-organizationaof administrative meetings, namely: (l) one party speaks at a time, and (2) speaker change recurs and a silence is hearable as the end of that exchange—it suggests that talk is segmented. A feature of administrative meeting talk then, appears to be it s segmentation; that i s , by virtue of the silences being hearable as terminations of conversations, they also mark the boundaries of conversation. In this sense, they act as natural framing or bracketing devices in conversational encounters. However, i t i s important to note that we do not hear these several exchanges "tied" to one another through the silences as we do in extended conversation. r •-. "Talk" in Administrative Meeting "A" Table II summarizes the amount of talk which participants did during the frame under discussion ( c f . , pp. 45-47). Chairmanship utterances accounted for more than f i f t y percent of the total amount of talk done. The chairman's closest r i v a l (participant A) performed thirty percent of the total talk. This may indicate that the chairman i s being challenged more often by participant "A" then any other - 5 5 -Table I I Summary of "Talk" in Administrative Meeting A Participant No. of % of No. of % of lines lines words words Chairman 3 7 5 0 . 1 2 7 3 5 5 - 7 A 2 2 3 0 . 1 142 29.0 M 5 6 . 8 3 3 6 . 7 H 5 6 . 8 24 4 . 9 Secretary 3 4 . 1 1 2 2 . 5 Woman 1 lj± 6 l ^ Total . . . 7 3 9 9 « 9 4 9 0 1 0 0 . 0 person in the meeting. Moreover, such challenges may also he aimed at the group as a whole in order to indicate who is in charge. The f i r s t set of utterances form the beginning of a question-answer sequence: Question (Al) Ch: ah the agenda i f we may are there any items to add? Answer (A2) M: Well I think i t i s rather pointless Mr. (A3) Chairman to add anything since (A4) everyone i s departing about ten o'clock Answer (aside) (A5) Ch: H, youiive just been classified as everybody Answer ( A6 ) H: ah I wasn't paying attention I'm sorry Answer ( A 7 ) Laughter - 5 6 -The chairman's utterance (Al) is an interrogative statement announcing the formal beginning of the meeting. In directing attention to the agenda ("are there any items to add"), M responds by trying to discredit the chairman's attempts to proceed through the organization of the meeting in a conventional way (A2-A4). M's utterance (" . . . t o add anything since everyone . . .") is the f i r s t explicit verbal attentiveness to the multi-person character-of the administrative meeting, although the administrative meeting participants themselves are not being addressed. The chairman's response to M's challenge i s to s o l i c i t support from K by answering M through an aside to H (" . . . H, you've just been classified as everybody . . . " ) . This utterance (A5) is the f i r s t chairmanship utterance to make reference to the multi-person character of the administrative meeting, although the gathering as such is not being addressed. H's response (A6) to the chairmanship utterance (A5) is a personal communication between H and the chairman. I t takes the form of an apology for not paying attention. However, the participants in the meeting do not perceive this utterance to be a private communication, since they laugh following i t s utterance (A?). The laughter, of course, indicates group solidarity and serves as a tension release (Bales, 1 9 5 5 ) • The chairmanship utterance (Al), later followed by chairmanship utterance (A5), indicates that the chairman has chosen to deal with the challenger (A2-A4) in a non-direct way. That i s , the chairman has directed his response toward H, who .the chairman considers to be - 5 7 -an a l l y . Even though the chairman performs this action, i t i s perceived by the group as something the group should be interested in, since laughter i s invoked in A7. This presents a rather interesting twist to Barber's findingsin that he suggested that "each chairman deals with challengers in a different way; that i s , the active chairman does not directly address the challengers but chooses to address the group as a whole. On the other hand, the passive chair-man chooses to directly challenge his opponent, which can lead to conflict within the administrative meeting". In this case, the chairman has directed his challenge to M through H (A5). However, the participants in the meeting assume that he has addressed the ;o whole group, since laughter occurs in A7• This suggests that chairmen can handle challengers by transposing their challenges on to other participants. The following set of utterances consist of another qeustion-answer sequence: Question (A8) A: Mr. Chairman . . . (3 sec.) . . . are you (A9) taking us back? Answer (^l 0) <-'n: ^-'m taking I'm going to the agenda now (All) no I'm going to look at the agenda of June (A12) twenty-fifth. I've asked specifically i f (A13) there are any items to add because I see (A14) you have some doodling at the bottom of your page. (A15) (9 sec.) A's utterance (A8) is directed toward the chairman and i s an attempt to get the meeting back-on-track. This utterance (A8) could be interpreted as another attempt to achieve a successful beginning for the meeting, since i t i s a query about what we are doing. - 5 8 -The "orientation to "beginning" involves a monitoring of the situation for something that might stand as a "beginning". Ix i s intentional, motivated and perhaps focussed silences rather than coincidental momentary pauses in the conversation that give rise to a beginning. Thus, the search for and creation of a "beginning" is the concerted accomplishment of the gathering as a whole. For whoever is in a position to "begin", or "continue the beginning", these silences (A15 and A35) are available to be heard as marking a proper time for such actions;? . But without the corresponding visual record, there i s no way of building into this analysis any consideration of the chairman's or the non-chairmen's non-verbal display of their readiness to begin. It could not therefore be argued that the chairman forfeited an earlier opportunity to begin in the nine second silence (A15), where there was an opening for a continuance of his speech (A10-A14). What can be noticed, however, is the absence of an explicit provision for a beginning slot through some version of "meeting has now begun and we are considering the agenda, Mr. Chairman", which leaves i t up to the chairman then to find where a proper "beginning" might be inserted. Thus, i t is not un t i l A36 that the chairman tries to tie into the previous conversation concerning the "orientation to beginning". In a previous discussion on the properties of adjacent utterances, questions and answers appeared to be the most common type. The set of utterances (A16-A34) is a series of questions and answers which could be termed catching up on previous business: - 5 9 -Question (A16) (Al?) (A18) (A19) A: Answer (A20) ,'JSec: Question (A21) A: Answer (A22) Sec: Question (A23) A: Question (A24) (A25) M: Answer (A26) Gh: Answer (A2?) Sec: Answer (A28) (A29) Gh: QuestionG (A30) (A31 (A32) A: Answer (A33) Gh: Question (A34) (A35) A: so I'm the last one to know about . . . (2 sec.) . . . the most recent evaluation of GAB discussion. Is that s t i l l around? Thank you Miss Second. Yes may I ask one more, made by ABC? A l i s t of decisions C : And i t s ah . . . (2 sec.) . . . behind the minutes of the last MAM I think And Mr. Chairman a very ah minute point with respect to Fridayis holiday I want to ask the meeting but i t could well be off the record Is that reasonable? (6 sec.) This sequence begins fiith A requesting information about previous business of this administrative meeting (A16-A19). The secretary chooses to respond to his inquiries i n a series of answers (A20, A22). Either because of A's Isucees§:-?iH©r^ cfeUMng'"'aiis:irers,,r-'or simply because M wishes to know, M requests information about ABC ( A 2 4 - A 2 5 ) . Instead of the secretary responding, the chairman chooses to respond ( A 2 6 ) ; however, the answer i s given by the secretary (A2?). I t i s followed up by a remark ( A 2 8 - A 2 9 ) from the chairman. This exchange requires Some further consideration. - 6 0 -The original request for information by A (A16-A19, A2l) was perceived by the chairman to be a request for information. The secretary choose to answer A's requests (A20, A22, A23); however, when M asks for information i t i s interpreted differently. M's statement (A24) "Yes may I ask one more" may be taken as an instance of advising/warning that he i s going to issue another utterance concerning the previous meeting. The utterance lie issues i s i n implicit form (" . . .A l i s t of decisions made by ABC"), and could be considered as an indexical expression within the meta-conversational content of administrative meeting "A". However, the chairman's response ( A 2 6 , A28-A29) would indicate that the chairman i s taking M's request more seriously then A's. Previously, i t was M's whquchaTlenged the chairman (A2-A4) which the chairman choose to rebuke using H (A5). In this instance, i t i s clear that the chairman i s reading more into M's requests, then simply requests for information. The situation could be considered as a subtle form of a challenge, since the chairman wants to indicate to M that he i s on top of the issue, as seen i n response A28 ("•... behind the minutes of the last MAM I think"). What he i s saying i s , "M, i f you had been paying attention to what has been going on i n these meetings, you would not have to ask questions l i k e that". Moreover, this i s the second time M's contributions have been meetin with h o s t i l i t y and he has been displayed to the group as a person who i s not well prepared. A then requests another consideration of the chairman and his attempt meets with success ( A 3 0 - A 3 4 ) . Following kty, there.'is-a -61-six second pause Indicating that there w i l l he a change in topic and a new discussion w i l l begin. That discussion i s a return to procedure:^ Question Answer Question Question Asider Question Answer Answeran Answer Gh: H: Ch: (A36) (A37) (A38) (A39) (A40) (AM) (A42) (A43) (A44) (A45) (A46) (A4?) (A48) (A49) Al (A50) (A51) Worn: (A52) Ch: (A53) (A54) A: ( A 6 2 ) ( A 6 3 ) (A64;j* Ch: H: A: Okay could I suggest that we with regard to item number three in the agenda i t says the agenda order of consideration. Could I suggest that we cover item four f i r s t ? Thank you very much Item five second item six third item four to be Friday . . . (2 sec.) . . . July the f i f t h then move in-camera . . . (2 sec.) . . . item four i s not on your agenda. It l i s t s simply Friday July the f i f t h and then move backr i n - " camera to items number two and three which w i l l become items five and six . . . (17 sec)) okay? Are you happy with agenda in that order i f so recommend? What happened to one? (Conference door opens) Mr. Skillings phone c a l l for you No one item one B i l l isn't here and he wasn't ready he asked that i t be put forward to July twenty-sixth (2 sec.) Mr. Chairman for your information I have the financial book here I just want to k"now i f any people would know why exhibit "B" i s not included in in the financial statement. There must be a good reason but is the one thathas has revenue or tuition fees, operating fund statement and statement of revenue. Is there something secretive about i t ? Anybody? Sorry I don't know I hadn't missed i t "B" is the only one that is missing. I ' l l ask for i t another time then *Tfie-sequence of numbers used here correlate closely with those on. pp.. 45-47. • -62-Question (A66) Gh: Are we happy with the agenda in that order then? Answer (A67) (A68) Question (A69' (A70) (A71 A72J (A73 u?4 (3 sec.) H: I f so we can then proceed Gh: Moved hy H seconded by L . . . (3 sec.) . . . then we agree to do them in that order? A l l in favor? Contrary i f any? Carried. Okay minutes confirmation of the minutes of June the seventh there in-camera they were distributed . . . (2 sec.) . . . I have mind marked with a paper c l i p . • Answer (A75) H: Move their approval Answer (A76) M: S econd Question (A77) Gh: Minutes of June seventh a l l in favor? Answer (A78) A l l : "lye." Question (A79) (A80) Ch: Contrary i f any? Carried. (5 sec.) Question (A81) (A82) Withdrawal forms, H, you had a which has been distributed covering (End of Transcript) At this point i n the administrative meeting, the tempo appears to pick up as the emphasis changes from inquiry to "let's get down to business". There are probably several reasons for this which may Include: ( l ) boredom, (2) no need for more sociable talk, or ( 3 ) a desire to get to more important topics. What we see then i s a number of major speechessby the chairman (A36-A48, A69-A73) explaining to the non-chairmen what actions are now being taken. A36-A40 i s a return to the chairman's i n i t i a l statement (Al) were he sought to consider the agenda. This time his attempts are met with success, since H respondstaffirmatively (A40). The chairman, having been - 6 3 -successful attempts another turn (AM-A47), which i s meet with limited success since A queries his statement (A49). However, this is not unusual as was previously suggested ( c f . , p. 2 5 ) in Bales' findings: a person who i s successful i n taking a turn in an admins istrative meeting w i l l usually go on to take another turn, hut as he increases the number of turns, his rate of success drops. This appears to be the case here. Having been queried (A49) and after a brief aside ( A 5 0 , A5l), the chairman proceeds to answer A's request for information ( A 5 2 - A 5 3 ) -There i s a two second silence (A5+) indicating the end of a segment and a probable topic s h i f t which occurs i n A's utterance, A 5 5 - A 6 1 . This topic s h i f t involves another request for information (A6l) which neither the chairman ( A 6 2 ) or H ( A 6 3 ) can answer. A takesBback his request ( A 6 4 - A 6 5 ) i n favor of proceeding with the meeting, which the chairman does (A66). There i s a brief silence while the group ponders the chairman's request (A66), and H answers for the group by making reference to i t s multi-person character (A68: "If so we can then proceed). The chairman accepts H's statement (A68) as a signal to continue with the procedure of the meeting (A69-A74) by seeking i£> approval of the minutes. This i s meet with success, as HH"moves their approval" ( A 7 5 ) • I t i s seconded by M ( A 7 6 ) , and the motion i s put to a vote (A77) which i s positive (A78-A79). The business of the meeting begins after a brief silence (A80) with the chairman passing the responsibility to H (A81-A82). -64-This section of the transcript i s interesting because of the complementary nature of three speakers: the chairman, A, and H. An application of Bales' research suggests that there was a certain compatibility between speakers (cf.", pp. 2 5 - 2 8 ) . . : aB.ales identified several positions within a'.igroup which emerge during an administrative meeting. These included: ( l ) "best-liked" contributor, ( 2 ) "task-orientated" specialist, and ( 3 ) "specialist in advancing ideas". Because of H's orientation toward "beginning the meeting", i t could be argued that he i s the "task-orientated" specialist.. For example, most of H's responses are procedural (A40, A68, A75) • On the other; hand, A's position may be held to be that of "best-liked" contributor, since his statements are a l l direct (A49, A 5 5 - A 6 1 , A64-A 6 5 ) . There is no participant who could clearly be seen as a "specialist i n advancing ideas",at this point in the meeting. From this overview of the content of the transcript, several considerations have been suggested. These included: ( l ) the uses of silences i n conversations, (2) the role of sequencing i n conver-sations, ( 3 ) attending to the multi-person orientation of administrative meetings, 'arid (4) the use of interactional analysis studies in interpreting verbal transcripts. For a consideration of what was earlier termed the ecology of administrative meetings, i t w i l l be useful to return to an examination of formulation in the frame under discussion. I t may provide some insight into the social identity and personage of the speakers and hears. - 6 5 -Formulation i n Administrative Meeting "A" Previously, formulation was considered as a role-distancing device used in conversations to indicate that a speaker has authority over the hearer. The use of the wh-imperative indicates that speaker and hearer did consider themselves as having the same status in an administrative meeting. At this point, that statement w i l l be considered i n terms of chairmen and non-chairmen, since as Barber ( 1 9 6 6 ) suggests, the chairman is the single position of authority within administrative meetings. Therefore, one might expect the chairman to use more wh-imperatives in conversation with non-chairmen, since he holds authority over them. Some chairmanship utterances w i l l now be considered. (Al) Gh: ah the agenda i f we may are there any items to add The above underlined section could be re-written, "Gould we consider the agenda", and constitutes the chairman doing explicit formulation using a wh-imperative. Because the wh-imperative is executed in i t s pure form, co-membership can be considered low. Moreover, since the formulation is addressed to the multi-person character of the meeting, i t can be suggested that the speaker feels insecure and does not have authority over the non-chairmen. (AlO) Ch: I'm taking I'm going to the agenda now no I'm going (All) to look at the agenda of June twenty-fifth. I've (A12) specifically i f there are any items to add because (A13) I see you have some doodling at the bottom of (klh) your page. This statement i s i n response to an interrogative statement by A (AE by A (A8: " . . . are you taking us back?). The chairman's response is not a formulation; however, i t has some interesting properties which give some added strength to the suggestion made -66-above. In summarizing what he is-'".doing at this particular point (the semantic version of formulation), he is directing his comments at A (A13-A14: " . . . I see you have some doodling at the bottom of your page") rather than towards the group as a whole. According to Barber, this indicates that the chairman is acting in a passive way ( c f . , pp. 2 9 - 3 n ) , as distinct from A5 which, as was noted earlier respresents a different way of responding to an opponenet, since he has chosen to address individuals within the group rather than the group. In other words, at this point the chairman appears to be a l i t t l e insecure about his new found position of authority within the group. AZk) M: Yes may I ask one more. A l i s t of decisions made by A25) ABC? ( A 2 6 ) Gh: That's (A2?) Sec: That's on the agenda (A28) Gh: And i t s ah . . . (2 sec.) . . . behind the minutes of the last MAM I think Because of the implict nature of the conversation in the segment, i t is necessary to interpret the chairman's remarkstin terms of the meta-conversation. "That's" is an indexical expression, but i t i s not an implicit formulation. The importance of this segment is that the chairman can. be seen as interpreting the implicit nature of the conversational content of the talk indicating a high degree of co-membership between M. Sec, and the chairman. This i s re-inforced in utterance A33, which is i n response to A's query ( A 3 0 -A32), issued in implicit form. Therefore, at this point in the administrative meeting, a high degree of co-membership appears to exist between the chairman, M, Sec, and A. However, this statement . - 6 7 -i s limited to this particular instance or frame, since the degree of co-membership w i l l vary from frame to frame depending on the social-emotionalllxfeoof"the meeting. ( A 3 6 V Gh: Okay could I suggest that we that with respect to ( A 3 7 ) item number three i n the agenda i t says the agenda (A38) order of consideration. Gould I suggest that we ( A 3 9 ) cover item four f i r s t ? Theeabove underlined sections constitute the chairman doing ex explicit formulation using a wh-imperative. As in the earler case (Al), the chairman i s executing the wh-imperative in i t s pureiform indicating that co-membership i s low. Moreover, since the formulation i s directed toward the multi-person charcter of the meeting, i t can be suggested that the speaker feels insecure and does not have authority over the non-chairmen. It might be speculated that what appears to be happening i s that the chairman i s comfortable addressing single participants i n the group, but feels insecure when trying to deal with the group as a whole. Thus, the chairman i s intimidated by the group's strength as a collectivity, rather than by individual members who pose no serious threat, since they can be played off against one another (A1-A7). (A47) Gh: . . . Are you happy with the agenda i n that order (A48) i f so recommend? The syntactic form for this imperative i s an interrogative, and as such, can be considered as a request. I t i s a wh-imperative^ and once again indicates that the chairman does not have authority/ over the group. In this case, the indexical expression "you" refers to the group, and is similar to the chairman's previous use of we. -68-Thus, this i s the third example of the chairman using a wh-imperative indicating that he is not part of the group (low co-membership). (A49) A: What happened to one? ( A 5 0 ) (conference door opens) (A51) Worn: Mr. Skillings phone cal l ' f o r you A 5 2 ; Gh: No one item one B i l l isn't here and he wasn't ready A 5 3 ) he asked that i t be put forward to July to July twenty-sixth . In this exchange between A and the chairman, no formulation takes place. However, i t does indicate that the chairman is com-fortable addressing individuals rather than the group, since his response is directed to A ( A 5 2 - A 5 3 ) « From this, i t can be suggested that their i s a high level of co-membership between A and the chairman. ( A 6 9 ) Ch: Moved by H seconded by L . . . ( 3 sec.) . . . then (A?0) we agree to do them in that order? The above underlined section constitutes an imperative being used as an interrogative. The formulation is in a wh-imperative form indicating that the speaker does not have authority over the group. Co-membership is low. Once again, this formulation is directed toward the multi-person character of the administrative meeting indicating that the chairman feels insecure when dealing with the j; group as a whole. In conclusion, i t can be suggested that the chairman of Meeting "A" chooses to address individuals within the group, rather than the group i t s e l f . He experiences a positive relationship with individual participants (with the exception perhaps of M, given the nature of A1-A7). In terms of previous studies of administrative meetings involving interaction analysis studies, the chairman would be characterized as passive for the following reasons. First, he j ; -69-addresses individuals within the group rather than the group i t s e l f in'cterms of positive linguistic actions. Second, his orientation to task is not accomplished t i l l A36, almost halfway through the opening of the meeting. Several unsuccessful attempts are offered (Al, A10-A14, and A33). Third, the over a l l effectiveness of the chairman appeared to be lower because he was not able to obtain order quickly. In fact, H's impatiences*? with the chairman .causes him to assume the chairmanship for brief periods in the conversation (A68, A75)• This would appear to indicate that some of the participants in the administrative meeting are unhappy with the chairman's behavior. ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "B" The analysis of administrative meeting "B" follows the same sequence as that of meeting "A". Once again the sample analyzed is that portion of the meeting (frame) concerned with establishing the agenda. Beginning the Meeting In order to provide an introduction for this segment of talk ( c f . , pp. 70-71) , a few brief observations of relevance to the analysis w i l l be offered concerning the social organization of taping the conversation, and why the transcript begins where i t does. An i n i t i a l pass w i l l be made over the segment followed by a more detailed analysis of the chairman's utterances. Upon arrival at the college board room, the researcher was greeted by a number of individuals whom he had previously metj, including the chairman. Over the next half hour, more individuals -70-ADMINISTRATIVE MEETING "B" 1. Gh: Who's adding what to the agenda this time . . . ( 9 sec.) 2. . . . good, nonone's adding anything to the agenda . . . 3 . (1 sec.) . . . we can go to the minutes . . . ( 5 sec.) 4. . . . any correction on the minutes? .. . . (4 sec.) . . . 5 . I have a small correction to the minutes on page three 6 . under survey by student union I think i t was Jerry who 7. ah advised us that students had contacted Victoria 8. with the results i t certainly wasn't myself. 9 . (19 sec.) 10. B: How i s that there that's why none of this i s familar 11. ( 5 sec.) 12. Ch: Any other corrections? 1 3 - ( 3 sec.) 14. B: I haven't found them yet 1 5 . D: Neither have I 1 6 . H: Sally said they were a l l sent out before this meeting 17. Ch: Y0U"VE GOT TO READ YOUR MAIL DONALD 18. D: No that's not the problem i t just doesn't get there in 1 9 . time 20. B: Mine's a l l f i l e d awayaalready Donald 21. D: When did you get i t do you know? 22. B: I don11 know I didn 11 f i l e i t away ha ha ha 2 3 . Ch: Okay who's up for moving that the agenda be accepted ah 24. I mean the minutes be accepted this time? - 7 1 -2 5 . A: Move the minutes be adopted 2 6 . Ch: GOOD MAN and who's and who's seconding i t ? 2 7 . B: I guess I ' l l second that 2 8 . Ch: Bob Roberts did you get that . . . ( 2 sec.) . . . Hilda? 2 9 . H: No 3 0 . Ch: Roberts and 3 1 . H: I was helping him find his minutes 3 2 . Ch: Roberston and ah ah Roberts . . . ( 4 sec.) . . . those 3 3 - in favor? DONE. Okay now that the big business is 3 4 . out of the way so now we can get down to business 3 5 . arising out of the minutes just l e t me run down there 3 6 / hum . . . ( 8 sec.) . . . okay one of the actions out of 3 7 . that meeting was for meeto advise council of the revised 3 8 . registration times and refund procedures for Spring 3 9 - term I completely forgot about that 4 0 . D: That 's good 4 1 . Ch: Oh 4 2 . D: Because i t ' s on the agenda. (End of Transcript) began tobarriveofor the meeting. Everyone was seated around a square table, and the acting principal (the chairman) arrived promptly at nine-thirty. Upon the entry of the chairman, conversation dwindled to brief exchanges spaced by silences. In aniticipation of the beginning of the meeting, the tape-recorders were turned on. At the end of pre-meeting talk and after a certain amount of cross talk, a beginning was announced by the chairman (Bl). That - 7 2 -"beginning" was taken to be the announced start of the administrative meeting for participants. With that i n i t i a l start, the f i r s t three minutes of "talk" are offered for consideration here ( c f . , pp. 7 0 -7 1 ) . "Talk" in Administrative Meeting "B" Table III summarizes the amount of talk which each participant did during the segment. Chairmanship utterances accounted for 66.3% of the total amount of talk done. The chairman's closest r i v a l (upon consideration offthe percentage number of words spoken), B, only performed 1^% of a l l talk done. This indicates that the chairman is doing most of the talking, and directing most of the talk during the segment. Moreover, non-chairmen are choosing not to challenge the chairman as in meeting "A". Table I I I Summary of "Talk" in Administrative Meeting "B" Participant No. of % of No. of % of l ines l ines words words Chairman 24 • ' 6 1 f 5 181 6 6 . 5 B 5 12.8 38 14.0 D 6 1 5 . 4 3 3 0 11.0 H 3 7 . 7 18 6 . 6 A 1 2 . 6 5 1.8 Total . • • 39 100.0 2 7 2 100.00 - 7 3 -The f i r s t utterance (B1-B9) i s a long segment of talk performed by the chairman, who formulates a series of questions and answers by himself: Question (Bl) Gh: Who's adding what to the agenda this time? . . . Answer (B2) (9 sec.) . . . good, no one's adding anything to the agenda . . . ( l sec.) . . . we can go (B3) to the minutes . . . (5 sec.) . . . any Question (B4) correction on the minutes? . . . (4 sec.) . . . AnswerS (B5) I have a small correction on the minutes on (B6) page three under survey by student union I (B7) think i t was Jerry who ah advised us that (B8) students had contacted Victoria with the results • i t certainly wasn't myself. This speech by the chairman serves as a self-explaining colloquy colloquy as to what is going on in the meeting. The silences are accepted by the chairman as positive responses, and he continues to go on performing this series of questions and answers. The f i r s t reference to the multi-person character of the administrative meeting appears in B3 (• • • "we can go to the minutes") and i s directed toward the group as a whole. The use of the self-explaining colloquy in.this instance brings about a long silence of nineteen seconds (B9), which may indicate that the non-chairmen are not prepared for the chairman's beginning. They appear to be caught "off guard" so-to-speak as the following utterances i l l u s t r a t e . (19 sec.) How i s that there that's why noe of this i s familar (5 sec.) Any other corrections? ( 3 sec.) I haven't found them yet Neither have I Sally said they were a l l sent out before this meeting YOU'VE GOT TO READ YOUR MAIL DONALD No that's"not the problem i t just doesn't get there in time (B9) Question (BIO) B: (Bll) Question (B12) Gh: B13) Answer (B14) B: Answer (B15) D: (B16) H: (B17) Ch: (B18) DV (B19) -74-Mine's a l l f i l e d away already Donald When did you get i t do you know I don't know I didn't f i l e i t away ha ha ha Okay who's up for moving that the agenda he (B24) accepted ah I mean the minutes he accepted this time? Answer ( B 2 5 ) A: Move the minutes he adopted. (;:;:. (B20) B Question (B21) D Answer (B22) B Question (B23) Gh The nineteen second silence (B9) i s used by participantstto orient themselves toward beginning the meeting. The actual physical orientation i s offered by B (BIO), because he i s unable to find his copy, of the minutes and the agenda. However, this does not deter the chairman who re-affirms the task at hand (B12). Subsequently, after three seconds, B replies, "I haven't found them yet" (B14) which could be considered as a plea for the chairman to wait. Support is added to B's plea by D, who has failed to find his copy of the agenda and the minutes (B15). At this point i n the meeting, the secretary, H, suggests that they should both have a copy of the agenda and the minutes (Bl6). The chairman appears to add weight to this view by suggesting that Donald should read his mail (B17). This speech was said with a strong intonation and some force, and could be taken as a scolding by the hearer. D offers an explanation of why he does not have the minutes or the agenda by transferring the blame to the delivery .service.(B18-B19.).. However, B decides to comment on the whole af f a i r in a hostile manner (B20). D misinterpretstthis statement and asks a question (B21: "When did you get i t do you know?"). B decides this is another opportunity to a "put-down" in the conversation and tries jokingly to scold D (B22: "I don't know I didn't f i l e i t away ha ha ha"). - 7 5 -The course of the meeting shifts with the chairman asking, "who's up for moving the . . . minutes he accepted this time" (B23-B24). A decides to respond affirmatively to the chairman's request (B25) and the meeting i s o f f i c a l l y under way. The meeting again changes course- toward "proceeding with business" as the following segment illustrates: Answer (B25) A Question (B26) Gh Answer (B2?) B Question (B28) Gh Answer (B29) H Gh Move the minutes be adopted GOOD MAN and who's and who's seconding i t ? I gues I ' l l second that - ' Bob Roberts did you get that . . . (2 sec.) . . .Hilda? No ' Roberts and H: I was helping him find his minutes The above segment is a series of questions and answers involved in getting the minutes adopted. A moves that the minutes be adopted (B ' 2 5 ) and receives positive recognition from the chairman ( B 2 6 ) . The motion i s seconded by B ( B 2 7 ) . At this point, the chairman shifts his attention to the secretary, H, to make sure that she i s taking this down (B28). This suggests that the chairman sees i t as one of his jobs to keep track of what non-chairmen are doing. What follows the chairman's question (B28) i s a series of dis-jointed remarks (B29-B31). These I'd!-jointed conversations are aimed at getting Hilda caught up to what is going on in the meeting. In turn, Hilda is trying to explain why she i s not caught up on what is going on in the meeting ( B 3 l ) . The following segment serves to get Hilda caught up (B32) and conclude the segment of talk alloted to the agenda and the minutes (B33-B42). Question (B32) Gh: Roberston and ah ah Roberts . . . (4 sec.) Answer (B33) • • •. those in favor? Done. Okay now that (B34) the big business is out of the so now we can -76-(B35) get down to business arising out of the minutes just l e t me run down there hum . . . (8 sec.) (B36) . . . okay one of the actions out of that (B37) meeting was for me to advise council of the revised (B38) registration times and refund procedures for Spring (B39) term I completely forgot about that ( B 4 o ) D: That'ssgood (B41) Gh: Oh (B42) D: Because i t ' s on the agenda. This segment of talk is procedural and the chairman proceeds to get the minutes approved ( B 3 2 - B 3 3 ) . Once that i s done, he proceeds to the next topic, business arising out of the minutes, and issues a rejoinder to allow him to continue his turn after an eight second pause ( B 3 5 - B 3 6 : " . . . just l e t me run down there hum . . . " ) . He then goes on to talk about one of the tasks he was suppose to do ( B 3 6 - B 3 9 - ) and explains he did not do i t . D's remark (B40) re-assures the chairman that he did the right thing, although the chairman does not realize why (B4l) u n t i l D's remark of cl a r i f i c a t i o n (B42). At this point, the procedures of order within the administrative meeting have been accomplished. The overall:^ ^transcript has a number of interesting social- " organizational features in i t . F i r s t , the chairman uses a large number of pauses in his speeches (Bl, B2, B3, B4, B28, B36) which are always followed by his continuing chairmanship speeches. ..In other words, he interpretes silence as a warrant for continuing his turn in the conversation. To the extent that this i s possible, he i s able to keep the meeting on track. Second, between B and D there i s a good deal of conversation which could be treated as an aside (B14, B15, B20, B21, B22), since i t has nothing to do with the thematic content of the meeting.. In -77-th is section, several "put-downs" are issued (Bl?, B22) which indicate that D's behavior is quite unsatisfactory. Third, the.'chairman is seen as tracking the conversations and the participants in several utterances (B28, B 3 0 , B 3 2 ) . This indicates that the chairman is not only monitoring physical behavior (B31), but also verbal behavior (B3l). Formulation in Administrative Meeting "B" Formulation, was previously considered as a role-distancing device used in conversations to indicate that a speaker has authority over the hearer. This was indicated when the syntactic form of an imperative was used as an interrogative, or as a wh-imperative. The use of a wh-imperative indicated that there was a low level of coi-membership between speaker and hearer. Since the chairmen were considered to have authority over non-chairmen in administrative meetings, i t was suggested that chairmen would perform formulation quite frequently with non-chairmen. This hypothesis w i l l be considered in terms of Meeting "B". (Bl) Gh: Who's adding what to the agenda this time . . . The above underlined section is a wh-imperative. The statement i s an imperative in interrogative form asking, "Could we consider adding items to the agenda". The wh-imperative is directed toward the multikperson character of the group ("who's"). What this suggests is that theichairman does not have authority over the hearers; however, i t intu i t ive ly does not appear to be as strong anwh-imperative as others, and could be interpreted as indicating a medium level of co-membership. -?8-The utterance also contains two indexical expressions: "who's" and "what" which indicate that the hearers know what the chairman i s talking about and to whom. The use of such indexical expressions indicates that the chairman does share some rapport with the group. Other chairmanship utterances (B2-B3) contain no formulations, and suggest that the chairman i s experiencing an increased level of co-membership with the group. For example, (B3) " . . .we can go to the minutes ..." can be taken as a modified order in the meeting situation. He i s commanding the non-chairmen to consider the minutes. The use of the command by speakers indicates a high-level of co-membership among participants in the conversation. From this analysis i t can be suggested that as the chairman continues to take his turns i n B1-B8, his level of co-membership increases. This suggests that an increasing amount of success in turn-taking is met by the speaker's perception of an increasing level of co-membership between speaker and hearer. In other words, the more success the speaker has in turn-taking, the more liable he i s to perceive a highplevel of co^membership among the hearers, as is the case here. (B12) Ch: Any other corrections? The above chairmanship utterance is an interrogative in pure form. I t indicates that the chairman is speaking with a high-level of co-membership, since there is no attempt being made to "say more than he means". (B17) Ch: YOU'VE GOT TO READ YOUR MAIL DONALD This chairmanship utterance was spoken with a great deal of intensity. I t is a pure imperative indicating that the speaker has -79-authority over the hearer. Pure imperatives always pre-suppose that the speaker has authority over the hearer. With marked intonation and the use of the imperative form, the chairman i s seen to he in a position of authority. (B23) Ch: Okay who's up for moving that the agenda be accepted ah (B24) I mean the minutes be accepted this time? The above underlined formulation is a wh-imperative. The chairman, at this point, appears to be trying to maintain healthy relations with the group ("who's), while being a l i t t l e unsure about to get the minutes approved. (B26) Ch: GOOD MAN and who's and who's seconding i t ? This chairmanship utterance i s a combination of syntactic forms found i n B17 and B23-B24. I t i s a statement with strong intonation ("GOOD MAN"), but contains a wh-imperative (underlined) which indicates that the level of co-membership maybebe medium in terms of the group and the chairman appears to have authority over A. (B28) Ch: Bob Roberts did you get that . . . (2 sec.) . . . Hilda? This statement is in the interrogative form and contains only the indexical expression, "you". This may indicate that the speaker has some authority over the hearer, because he uses a label, "Hilda", to single out a particular individual. The use of labels are associated with imperatives i n the sense that they focus the attention of the speaker, for example, "Close the window, Howard" is a command aimed at Howard. "Did you get that . . . Hilda", may be interpreted by the hearer as an imperative or a command to get that written down. If this interpretation i s correct, then the -80-speaker has authority over the hearer. (B41) Gh: Oh? This sentence i s one of the few implicit formulations found in both transcripts. I t i s in reponse to D's statement, "That's good" and the chairman wonders why that i s good and wants D to explain. He does i n the utterance following Bkl stating, "Because i t ' s one the agendf". This type of implicit formulation indicates a high level of co-membership between speaker and hearer, since the conversation and i t s meaning are implicit. In conclusion, the chairman appears to be enjoying a reasonably high level of co-membership with the group, and with individual members he i s able to excerise a good deal of authority. He does address individuals within the group (B28); however, he addresses the group as a whole more often. The chairman speaks on the average three times more than anytbther speaker. Moreover, he enjoys a relatively successful dareer as a chairman, since he is able to maintain a task-orientated atmosphere. With his increased success in turn-taking, the chairman increases his level of co-membership between speakers/hearers to the point where he has authority over individual participants. He i s taskfeorientated (e.g., B l , B3, B12, B32-B39, and BM), in that, most his statements are oriented toward procedure. In this regard, he may also be considered as "self-assertive" in the sense that he does not wait for the non-chairmen to catch-up to him (e.g., BIO, B14, B15, and B3l). The chairman knows the course that the meeting should take and maintains that heading. To a limited extent, he -81-would be what Barber classified as an "active chairman". The purpose of this section has been to consider how the chairman of administrative meeting B uses formulation in conversation. To the extent that this was illustrated, i t was ascertained that the chairman enjoyed a high-level of co-membership with the group as a whole. In addition, the chairman enjoyed authority over individual participants which suggests that the strength of multi-person character of the occasion out weighs the influence of a single non-chairman. Thus, the chairman was to some extent intimidated by the total group, but he was not intimidated by individual single members. COMPARISON OF ADMINISTRATIVE MEETINGS "A" AND "B" For the purposes of comparison, the same sections of the meetings have been taken for consideration; that i s , approval of the minutes, additions to the agenda, the beginning of the meeting, and correction to the minutes. The comparison then centres around how each chairman handled the same subject matter differently depending upon his a b i l i t i e s as chairman and the a b i l i t i e s of non-chairman. I t was possible to ascertain a number of differences between the two meetings. Firs t , the chairman of meeting "A" was considerably, more passive then the chairman of meeting""B". Perhaps because of this chairman A took twice as long to begin the formal part of the meeting. Moreover, chairman A was challenged more often, since the next most frequent speaker spoke J0% of the time as compared with lk% of the time used by his counterpart in meeting "B". This usggests that chairman A was not i n total control of the meeting. -82-Second, the over a l l effectiveness of chairman A compared to chairman B in terms of task-orientation or task focus was lower. Chairman A found i t d i f f i c u l t to keep the meeting on-track, and was not successful i n using syntactic devices such as pauses in the same manner as chairman B. On the other hand, chairman B was in control of the meeting and constantly reserved spaces within .the conversation to allow him to continue. He was very task-oriented. Third, chairman A was not as self-assertive as chairman B. Perhaps as a result of this, he was not as acutely aware of topic changes or ways of avoiding topic change through the uses of silences in conversations. Chairman A did not use any syntactic devices to reserve spaces in conversations dor his return. He sought to meeti each issue as i t cameup. This approach was not successful, and often chairman A was side-tracked. For the most part, non-chairmen acted in similar ways in both meetings. No attempt was made in this study to ascertain systematically how satisfied they were with the performance of the chairman or the group as a whole. However, and this suggests a fourth point, participants in meeting A often took over the chairman's duties i n order to get the meeting going (e.g., A68, A75)• This might indicate that members of the group were not satisfied with the chairman's performance. In contrast, the chairman of meeting 'Z "B" always performed the chairmanship utterances and notattempt was made to take control from him. In this chapter, a number of points have been made concerning the type of syntactic structures found. , Some formulations were cited, -83-and the implications of those formulations in the speech situation-were also cited. Moreover, this procedure of finding and deceiving'.*;, formulations allowed for the conclusion that chairman A was passive and; maintained a level of low co-membership with the group and with individuals, while chairman A was active and maintained a level of high co-membership both with the group and with individuals. The analysis also showed how different chairmen used lin g u i s t i c devices differently in the conduct of a meeting. Their individual uses of these devices were explored, and what appeared to be their successes and failures were noted. SUMMARY The purpose of this chapter has been to seek answers to threeequestions ( c f . , p. 3^). The f i r s t question was concerned with >rhat aspects of the form of language and interactional process employed in doing explicit and implicit formulation vary from one meeting to another. For the most part, this question has already been answered ( c f . , pp. 8 1 - 8 3 ) ; however, i t was concluded that chairman B was more comfortable in the administrative meeting, and did not use formulation as much as chairman A. Formulation was used by both chairmen in cases where they had to address the multi-person character of the occasion, since both appeared to be uncomfortable in the group situation. The second question was concerned with what aspects of the social identity of the participants varied from meeting to meeting.. It was concluded that, for the most part, non-chairmen acted in -84-slmilar ways in both meetings which suggests a certain consistency i n the social identity of non-chairmen. However, two particular characteristics of their identity were noted. Chairmen appeared to deal with non-chairmen in two ways: (l) in considering their multi-person character, that i s , non-chairmen act as a group, and (2) as single individualsacting alone in the administrative meeting. It was found that dealing with the multi=person character of the administrative meeting was more successful in terms of task-orientation, then approaching individual members. This suggests that individual members prefer to maintain a group identity in a meeting, rather than to be singled out. If aononkehairman is singled out from the group, his status as a non-chairman appears to change and he takes on the character which has i t s own identity. I t may be that he becomes one of Bales' types, such as "task-orientated" individual or "specialist in advancing ideas". Each of these positions give the non-chariman a new position of authority in the meeting, however, they may alienate him for his new identity. The third question "joined the previous two ideas together by asking what was the relationship between the social identity of the speaker and his speech. It was suggested that chairman A was uncomfortable about his position of authority in the meeting. The degree of anxiety which he f e l t appeared to account for his use of explicit^formulation in the wh-imperative form. He seems to have wanttini, to appear that he was. one of the group; "please be nice.f/;.. to me", was his implicit message. Such a message indicates' that he was not comfortable with the position he had to^occupy. -85-On the other hand, chairman B appeared to he comfortable as a chairman and did not resort to formulation, except when he addressed the multi-person character of the group. This suggests that he was willing to accept his position of authority and excerise it—even in linguistic behaviors. For the most part, the data provided evidence to answer the three developmental questions. Moreover, the answers point to a division between chairmen into "active" and "passive" groups. Each group would also appear to use to have used different types of linguistic devices i n dealing with non-chairmen, i n terms, of individuals and the multi-person character of the occasion. -86-GHAPTEE IV FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS Findings The present study was directed toward an examination of the relationship between utterances and roles employed by participants during administrative meetings. This was considered to be the central purpose of this study, and from this focus threeeresearch-able questions were conceived. They were: 1. What aspects of the form of language and interactional process employed i n doing explicit and implicit formulation vary from one participant to another? 2. What aspects of the social personage (social identity) of the participants vary within an administrative meeting? 3. What is the relationship between variation in ( l ) and (2)? These questions formed the analytical core of this investigation, and were used to investigate transcripts of "talk" from two separate administrative meetings. The present study actually involved two different types of enterprises namely: ( l ) an examination of the linguistic structures present in administrative meetings, and (2) the use of the.findings of interaction analysis studies to complement those of linguistic studies. Moreover, the emphasis was on the study of the chairmanship. That i s , differences between chairman A and Chairman B were considered. The understanding of social behavior as depicted by interaction analysis studies can be complemented by that revealed by linguistic -57-analysis. This suggests that i f lin g u i s t i c and social behavior can be seen as congruent, then lin g u i s t i c categories such as formulation used as a role -distancing device are complementary to interaction analysis studies' categories of "group relationship", "relation with most talkative colleague", or "relation with challenger". The acceptance of lin g u i s t i c categories as being congruent with social behavior categories is important in obtaining as complete a description of behavior as possible. This formulation suggests that chairman A was passive for a number of reasons. Fi r s t , according to Barber (1966), the personal values of a chairman allows him to enter the group freely or restrained. In this case, through an analysis of formulation, i t was ascertained that the chairman entered the group feeling restrained. He appeared to be nervous about dealing with the multi-person character of the group as well as individual participants. To a limited extent, this was also true of chairman B. Second, in terms of maintaining a group relationship, chairman A fa i l e d to address the group as a whole. He chose to address individuals within the group, a finding which suggests, that he was uncomfortable with the multi-person character of the group. Third, chairman A was challenged more often then chairman B. Moreover, in the performance of interrogative statements, chairman A asked fewer questions than did chairman B, a finding which suggests that he was less i n control of the meeting structure. Each of these reasons suggest that chairman A was basically uncomfortable in his new found position of authority within the group. A fourth reason for his tensesposition was his relation to the group outside the meeting. When the chairman was not acting as the chairman, he was considered "one of the hoys". That position had no special significance in terms of authority; however, i t allowed him to be comfortable within a particular group. Thus, in the performance of chairmanship ac t i v i t i e s , chairman A may well have f e l t uncomfortable in his new found duties. On the other hand, chairman B was considered to be active for a number of reasons along similar dimensions. F i r s t , chairman B spoke more often than anyone else during the meeting indicating that he was trying to control the event. His talk was for the most part limited to pure interrogative statements with a number of pauses. Second, chairman B used formulation in i t s wh-imperative form only when addressing the multi-person character of the group. This suggests that he was uncomfortable i n dealing with the group as a whole, however, he was comfortable i n dealing with individuals within the group. Third, in a more speculative vein, when addressed by a challenger chairman B chose to respond not to the challenger per se but to the group as a whole. While this conclusionsis more intuitive, then factual, since i t was not easy to determine a challenger from a non-challenger, utterances BIO and B15 were taken to be Instances of challenges. From these findings, i t can be suggested that each of these chairman performed the chairmanship function differently. The differences depend on A's and B's conception of the role of non-chairmen. That i s , chairman A was uncomfortable with non-chairmen -89-because they could be conceived of as threatening to his position of authority. On the other hand, chairman B was more comfortable i n his dealings with non-chairmen, and did not consider them to be threatening to his position of authority. Interpretations The major conclusions and implications from this study may be summarized i n two areas':' (l) theoretical, and (2) practical. These areas w i l l be considered in the following paragraphs. Theoretical. From this perspective, i t can be suggested that linguistic inquiry is a useful tool to supplement findings of other research on administrative meetings. In this study, the findings of interaction analysis studies have provided the notion that two types of chairmen exist: passive and active. Each of these chairman used linguistic structures differently depending upon whetherhhe was addressing the total group or individuals within the group. In other words, the linguistic structures used by the two chairmen could be conceived of as a means of verifying or coding active/passive lin g u i s t i c behavior in administrative meetings. The use of such lin g u i s t i c devices as silences((for returning to conversations) or formulation made i t possible for the chairman to indicate that he has authority over the group. Chairman B was able to use silences as a means of reserving spaces for re-entrance into the stream of conversation, which enabled him to maintain a task-orientation. The use of the above linguistic devices in administrative meetings may serve to l i m i t the amount of participation time afforded - 9 0 -to non-chairmen. If a chairman i s able to limi t the amount of participation time alloted to non-chairmen, he may be able to maintain a task-oriented focus within the group (as in the case of chairman B). In summary., from a theoretical standpoint, the use of linguistic structures in administrative meetings provides an additional tool for conducting research into meeting behaviors. Moreover, i t i s also a means of providing confirmational data for other types of research, such as interaction analysis studies of administrative meetings. Further investigations in this area should concentrate on within culture comparisons of administrative meetings,^ and the linguistic devices used. The value of such studies would be found in the determination of social meanings surrounding the usage of lingu i s t i c devices i n meetings in terms of the social organization of those events. These studies would then provide the gateway to cross cultural comparisons of meeting behaviors, which i n such arenas as international diplomacy may be significant. The major methodological innovation of this study was the use of interaction analysis studies to supplement linguistic research. Since the thesis probably raises more questions then i t answers, i t s value may be found less in i t s substance, than i n the process of inquiry used to undertake the study. That i s , i t was more a search "for a method" then the emergence of a definitive statement on linguistic behavior. in meetings. -91-In summary, the methodological findings of this research suggest that the study of human behavior must be approached i n a h o l i s t i c manner. That i s , the social interactional process must be viewed as congruent with linguistic behaviors.. Both of these actions are complementary within the research setting, and form part of the social behavioral continuum. Practical Practical. From the point of view of the practioner, these findings i l l u s t r a t e how different l i n g u i s t i c devices contribute to the social-organizational features of administrative meetings. Since a great deal of energy and time in administration is spent i n preparing for, attending, and carrying out the business of administrative meetings; i t may prove useful to the practioner to understand "what i t is that he does" when he attends an administrative meeting. Such an understanding would provide the practioner with a guide to understanding his own behavior in;administrative meetings and the behavior of others too. To the extent that a practioner has this understanding he i s able to do t h i s f and he has an advantage over a participant who does not have this knowledge about administrative meeting behaviors. In these times when consultative committees, public gatherings, p o l i t i c a l gatherings, and administrative meetings are a primary means of accomplishing multi-person tasks, the more that administrators know about behavior in such situations, the easier i t w i l l be to facilatetthe business of such events. In fact, i n the broadest sense, "the world i s in conference", and our individual a b i l i t i e s to function in that conference network are limited to our knowledge about - 9 2 -conferencesparticipation and i t s structure. -93-BTBLIOGRAPHY Austin, J.L. 1962 How To Do Things With Words. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Bales, Robert F. 1955 "How People Interact i n Conferences". S c i e n t i f i c American 192 (3): 31-35-Barber, James David 1966 Power in Committees. Chicago: Rand McNally. Bauman, Richard and Joel Sherzer 1974 Explorations i n the Ethnography of Speaking. London: Cambridge University Press. Blom, Jan-Peter, and John Gumperz 1972 "Social Meaning in Linguistic Structures: Code Switching in Norway", in J. Gumperz and D. Hymes (eds.), Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Erickson, Jeffrey and Jeffrey Schultz 1973 "Talking to an 'Us' or a 'Them1: Differences in Performing the Speech Function 'Formulation' i n School Counseling Interviews". New Orleans, Louisana: unpublished paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Ervin-Tripp, Susan 1967 Sociolinguistics. Working Paper No. 3,?Language-Behavior Research Laboratory. Berkeley: University of California. Garfinkel, Harold I967 Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. GarfinEel, Harold and Harvey Sacks 1970 "On Formal Structures of Practical Actions", in J,C. McKinney and E.A. Tiryakian (eds.), Theoretical Sociology: Perspectives and Developments. New York: Appleton-C entury-Crofts. Goffman, Erving 1961 Encounters: Two Studies i n the Sociology of Interaction. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. -94-Green, G.M. 1973 "How To Get People To Do Things With Words: The Question of Whimperatives". i n R.W. Shuy (ed.), Some New Directions i n Linguistics. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Greenfield, T. Barr 1974 "Theory i n the Study of Organizations and Administrative Structures: A New Perspective", paper presented at the Third International Intervisitation Programme on Educational Administration, B r i s t o l , England. Robert, Henry M. 1964 Robert's Rules of Order. Toronto: Ryerson Press. Sacks, Harvey 1972 "An I n i t i a l Investigation of the Usability of Conversational Data for Doing Sociology", i n D. Sudnow (ed.), Studies i n Social Interaction. New York: The Free Press. Searle, J .R. I969 Speech Acts: Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge University Press. 

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