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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Linguistic considerations of communication in administrative meetings Ferguson, Ian Andrew


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 research. 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 speech situation. This formulation was investigated by examining data from two separate administrative meetings, and considering some of the linguistic features of those conversations. It 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 all non-chairmen, from the way in which it 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 in 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 final chapter.

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