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L'analyse de la description en conversation : Pour une interface textuelle-conversationnelle.

Bengtsson, Nina LU (2015) In Études Romanes de Lund 101.
Abstract
This dissertation addresses the topic of descriptions in conversation: a relatively unexplored area of investigation apart from a small number of studies within the field of conversation analysis (Mondada 1998, 1999). However, whereas previous studies focus on the description as a social activity, enhancing the conversational facet, the present work has as a premise to put emphasis on the description as a textual phenomenon developed by the speakers without neglecting the conversational context. In that respect, Adam’s textual model of the description (Adam & Petitjean 1989, Adam 1992, Adam 2005 and Adam 2011), with its focus on the constitutive operations of a description, provides a useful analytical tool. In order to achieve the... (More)
This dissertation addresses the topic of descriptions in conversation: a relatively unexplored area of investigation apart from a small number of studies within the field of conversation analysis (Mondada 1998, 1999). However, whereas previous studies focus on the description as a social activity, enhancing the conversational facet, the present work has as a premise to put emphasis on the description as a textual phenomenon developed by the speakers without neglecting the conversational context. In that respect, Adam’s textual model of the description (Adam & Petitjean 1989, Adam 1992, Adam 2005 and Adam 2011), with its focus on the constitutive operations of a description, provides a useful analytical tool. In order to achieve the goal of contributing to the identification and the analysis of the description in conversation, this dissertation proposes the use of a textual-conversational interface.

Three conversations between native speakers of French are studied. In these conversations, descriptions are identified through a double inductive-deductive process, where the analyst’s intuitive judgement is combined with the application of the criteria provided by Adam’s model in order to recognize a descriptive organization. The subsequent analysis combines tools and concepts derived from the two theories in the interface. The analysis is limited to descriptions containing at least three descriptive operations.

With regards to the identification of the description, the present work highlights a possible variation in the articulation of the theme (thème-titre) as progressive, multiple or absent. The present study thus suggests that the accumulation of descriptive operations be a more reliable way of identifying a description than the explicit presence of a distinctive theme.

The study further examines the delimitations of the description in the conversation. Three possible constituents are identified: preface, description proper and abandon. However, whereas all descriptions contain a description proper, the preface and the abandon are sometimes missing. The dissertation also tests the relevance of the textual category of action description (description d’actions) in the conversational context. The results show that this kind of descriptions exists in conversation but differs from its written homologue in that it manifests levels of subordination. The analysis of the influence of epistemic access on the elaboration of the description reveals different patterns. When knowledge about the theme is not shared affiliation and alignment vary greatly. However two distinct scenarios are observed when knowledge is shared: (a) one speaker takes the main responsibility by producing the majority of the utterances and of the descriptive operations or (b) the speakers share the responsibility by producing an equal number of utterances. The latter scenario is more frequent in the analysed material.

Lastly, through the interface, the present study identifies previously unattested descriptive organizations, which are detectable when knowledge is shared and speakers share the responsibility för the description (scenario b). Preliminary results highlight collaborative elaborations of descriptions; such collaborations are observed within one single description (description dialogale), between two descriptions (description en écho) and in a series of several descriptions (archipel descriptif).

The final chapter contains a discussion regarding the theoretical foundation of the textual-conversational interface and possible areas of methodological and theoretical contributions made by this dissertation, such as the navigation between macro and micro levels of analysis and the testing of the validity of the model of description. A new structure of the description is suggested: a spider’s web. This metaphor expresses, better than Adam’s tree does, the way the description manifests in the conversation and the fact that it withstands even if the theme of the description is absent. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Sullet-Nylander, Françoise, Stockholms universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
description, describing, text linguistics, conversational analysis, interface, prototype, theme, affiliation, alignment, preface, exit device
in
Études Romanes de Lund
volume
101
pages
254 pages
publisher
Lunds universitet
defense location
sal C121, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund
defense date
2015-06-05 10:15
ISSN
0347-0822
ISBN
978-91-87833-32-8
language
French
LU publication?
yes
id
6165cece-6b1e-4a19-97ee-30a323324b3d (old id 5367950)
date added to LUP
2015-05-08 15:00:39
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:50
@phdthesis{6165cece-6b1e-4a19-97ee-30a323324b3d,
  abstract     = {This dissertation addresses the topic of descriptions in conversation: a relatively unexplored area of investigation apart from a small number of studies within the field of conversation analysis (Mondada 1998, 1999). However, whereas previous studies focus on the description as a social activity, enhancing the conversational facet, the present work has as a premise to put emphasis on the description as a textual phenomenon developed by the speakers without neglecting the conversational context. In that respect, Adam’s textual model of the description (Adam &amp; Petitjean 1989, Adam 1992, Adam 2005 and Adam 2011), with its focus on the constitutive operations of a description, provides a useful analytical tool. In order to achieve the goal of contributing to the identification and the analysis of the description in conversation, this dissertation proposes the use of a textual-conversational interface. <br/><br>
Three conversations between native speakers of French are studied. In these conversations, descriptions are identified through a double inductive-deductive process, where the analyst’s intuitive judgement is combined with the application of the criteria provided by Adam’s model in order to recognize a descriptive organization. The subsequent analysis combines tools and concepts derived from the two theories in the interface. The analysis is limited to descriptions containing at least three descriptive operations. <br/><br>
With regards to the identification of the description, the present work highlights a possible variation in the articulation of the theme (thème-titre) as progressive, multiple or absent. The present study thus suggests that the accumulation of descriptive operations be a more reliable way of identifying a description than the explicit presence of a distinctive theme.<br/><br>
The study further examines the delimitations of the description in the conversation. Three possible constituents are identified: preface, description proper and abandon. However, whereas all descriptions contain a description proper, the preface and the abandon are sometimes missing. The dissertation also tests the relevance of the textual category of action description (description d’actions) in the conversational context. The results show that this kind of descriptions exists in conversation but differs from its written homologue in that it manifests levels of subordination. The analysis of the influence of epistemic access on the elaboration of the description reveals different patterns. When knowledge about the theme is not shared affiliation and alignment vary greatly. However two distinct scenarios are observed when knowledge is shared: (a) one speaker takes the main responsibility by producing the majority of the utterances and of the descriptive operations or (b) the speakers share the responsibility by producing an equal number of utterances. The latter scenario is more frequent in the analysed material.<br/><br>
Lastly, through the interface, the present study identifies previously unattested descriptive organizations, which are detectable when knowledge is shared and speakers share the responsibility för the description (scenario b). Preliminary results highlight collaborative elaborations of descriptions; such collaborations are observed within one single description (description dialogale), between two descriptions (description en écho) and in a series of several descriptions (archipel descriptif).<br/><br>
The final chapter contains a discussion regarding the theoretical foundation of the textual-conversational interface and possible areas of methodological and theoretical contributions made by this dissertation, such as the navigation between macro and micro levels of analysis and the testing of the validity of the model of description. A new structure of the description is suggested: a spider’s web. This metaphor expresses, better than Adam’s tree does, the way the description manifests in the conversation and the fact that it withstands even if the theme of the description is absent.},
  author       = {Bengtsson, Nina},
  isbn         = {978-91-87833-32-8},
  issn         = {0347-0822},
  keyword      = {description,describing,text linguistics,conversational analysis,interface,prototype,theme,affiliation,alignment,preface,exit device},
  language     = {fre},
  pages        = {254},
  publisher    = {Lunds universitet},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Études Romanes de Lund},
  title        = {L'analyse de la description en conversation : Pour une interface textuelle-conversationnelle.},
  volume       = {101},
  year         = {2015},
}