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COMMUNICATION STUDIES [1] ______________________________________________________________________

THE EXPOSITORY (ORAL)


RELIABILITY Reliability refers to how accurately and consistently a research instrument performs by measuring the factors for which it was designed. Therefore, if the sample responding to the instrument, for example, a questionnaire varies in its responses and there is a change over time in the phenomenon being measured then the measurement instrument may prove unreliable.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [2] ______________________________________________________________________

RESEARCH METHODS I DATA COLLECTION


Research Designs 1. EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH As the name suggests experimental research involves conducting an experiment to test a hypothesis. There are two types of experimental research designs: field and lab. Field experiments are usually done in organisations, while lab experiments are done under rigid conditions in a laboratory. Both types of research require two groups or two samples. One group is used as a control group, while the other is the experimental group. The experimental group is that part of the sample to which treatment is administered. Let us say we want to determine whether a variety of teaching methods would improve performance in Mathematics at the grade seven level. We would conduct an experiment in which we would use one group of grade seven students in a special programme. We would use a variety of methods on this group. Another group of grade seven would be observed but they would not get any special treatment. At the end of the programme, we would compare the performance of both and draw our conclusions. In this case we would have tested our hypothesis. This means that we would have proved or disproved it. 2. SURVEY This design is used to establish a cause and effect relationship or to gather quantitative data. In other words, you are trying to establish patterns of relationship between variables. For example, you want to find out the extent to which transportation affects punctuality at school or the extent to which socio-economic conditions affect absenteeism at St. Phillip High School. Your variables would be 'transportation' and 'punctuality' in the first example and 'socio-economic conditions' and 'absenteeism' in the second example. Survey is also referred to as an investigation and is usually theoretical in nature. Unlike the experimental design, the researcher does not intervene in the organisation and observe the effects of the intervention. Information is usually collected on a number of variables and inferences are drawn about the extent to which both variables are correlated. Much of the research you will be required to do fall in this category. There are two types of surveys. Social surveys seek to establish cause and effects of a social phenomenon, for example, the impact of television viewing on students' aggressive behaviour or the impact of dancehall music in indiscipline among teenagers. Public Opinion surveys seek to find out what people think about a particular issue. For example, how do people feel about abolishing capital punishment? How do people feel about legalising abortion?

3. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [3] ______________________________________________________________________ The emphasis is on individuals' interpretation of their environment and of people's behaviour. This type of research cannot be quantified and is often referred to as social research. They are similar to case studies and require intense study of the behaviour and careful recording of information gathered. Qualitative research does not use any hypothesis and does not set out to prove anything, but to carefully examine and interpret behaviours. In qualitative research questions and problems most often come from real-world observations, dilemmas and questions. Discuss the examples below: Why is the co-curricular programme working so well at St. Phillip High School but not at other schools? What are the various techniques used by lobby groups as they try to influence government policy? How do school parent community relations affect the performance of students? How effective is capital punishment in deterring crime in Jamaica? How do students in grades 7 9 react to Mid-year examinations at St. Phillip High School?

4. CASE STUDIES This involves the detailed examination of one, or a small number of cases. It is in fact a special type of qualitative research. It examines a social unit as a whole. The unit may be a person, a family, a social group, a social institution or a community. The purpose is to understand the life cycle or an important part of the life cycle of the unit. The case study probes deeply and analyses interactions between the factors that explain present status or, that influence change or growth. Discuss the examples below: A study of the lifestyle of inner-city youth in West Kingston. A study on Bob Marley: The man and his music. A study of the dancehall phenomenon in Jamaica. The Rastafarian movement and its contribution to music in Jamaica.

5. ACTION RESEARCH In action research, the researcher is involved in conjunction with members of the organisation in dealing with and solving a problem that arises at the organisation. The problem is identified and all participants set out to investigate the reasons for the problem and to arrive at solutions to the problem. Discuss the examples given below: * An investigation into the causes of poor staff morale at St. Phillip High School. * An investigation into the causes of the high level of staff turnover at St. Phillip High School. * An investigation into the causes of high failure rate in Mathematics in urban high schools.

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RESEARCH METHODS II - SAMPLE SELECTION


Let us now turn our attention to the issue of selecting a sample in research. A researcher who undertakes a survey involving large numbers of people will find it impractical or even impossible to canvas the views of everyone in that population. He has to then ensure that he takes a sample of the total population. The sample is a portion or fraction or subset of the total population. It is assumed that the sample is homogeneous and that the characteristics found in the sample may reasonably be expected to be found in the whole. When generalisations are to be made about the total population this sample should accurately reflect the opinions, beliefs or choices of the population. Therefore it must satisfy two basic conditions: * It must be numerically large enough to correctly reflect the views of the whole population in other words, it must be sufficient or adequate. * All segments of the population indicated by relevant variables such as sex, age, social class, occupation etc. are to be proportionately included in the sample in other words, it must be representative. There are two types of sampling: probability and non-probability. Probability sampling, also known as random sampling, is one way of making sure that the sample is representative of the population and that the procedure used in your research has validity. It ensures that no member of the sample is likely to be preferred than another in the selection. The selection cannot be predicted. Here the researcher's bias is eliminated and the procedure becomes more consistent and efficient. Non-probability sampling, also referred to as convenience sampling is used when the total extent of the population is not known. The researcher selects the sample at his discretion not randomly. One cannot guarantee validity and the absence of bias in this kind of selection and the results gathered using this type of sampling may not be totally reliable. However it has some advantages; it is less expensive and uses less time and resources. For more information on sampling read Introduction to Social Research, Canoe Press university of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (1997),Chapter 4 by Ian Boxill et al. Let us look at validity in research methodology. Validity, to the researcher, refers to the extent to which the data collection methods or the research instruments, such as the questionnaire, interview and observation, actually measure what they are supposed to measure. In the evaluation of the argument, validity of the information which you get from a source, refers to whether the information is based on good judgement, reasoning and evidence, as well as if it is sound, logical and incontestable. Validity of the information also refers to truth, that is whether each statement in an argument is factually accurate and leads logically to the conclusion. SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A VALID ARGUMENT/INFORMATION: 1. Information should be Logical in sequence and relevant; premise should logically lead to conclusion and both should relate to the same concept. There should be no mixture of fact and opinion.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [5] ______________________________________________________________________ Sufficient and complete Consistent and agree with what is generally known about the subject matter.

2. There should be no shifts in the meaning of key terms and concepts throughout the argument. RELIABILITY refers to how accurately and consistently data collection methods or research instruments perform by measuring the factors for which it was designed. Now, we have learned much today. Let us see whether you can apply the appropriate information. Here is the continuation of last week's question. Read the information and answer the questions which follow. Kishauna is conducting research into the kinds of television programmes students at her school prefer to watch. 1 (a) Suggest TWO errors that Kishauna might make that would affect the reliability of her research. (2 marks) (b) Explain how EACH error identified in (a) above would affect the reliability of the research. (2 marks) 2 State TWO considerations that Kishauna should bear in mind as she selects a sample for her study. (2 marks)

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RESEARCH METHODS III - DATA COLLECTION


1. QUESTIONNAIRES These are a collection of questions that the respondents complete on their own. They are used when factual information is required. When opinions are required an opinionnaire is used. This is constructed in a similar manner as a questionnaire. A questionnaire is used with all research designs. There are approximately three ways in which a questionnaire can be administered:

Personally Via the telephone Via the mail

2. INTERVIEWS These can either be structured or unstructured. They comprise a group of questions administered to the respondent face to face. The structured interviews comprise a set of precisely formulated questions, which are asked of a respondent. The unstructured interviews allow the respondent to respond to a stimulus question. It is very informal and allows for the respondent to speak for as long as he/she wants. These are used in qualitative research and case studies, but can be useful in surveys especially social surveys. 3. OBSERVATION SCHEDULE The researcher records observations in terms of a predetermined schedule. This is used in action research as well as case studies. 4. ATTITUDE OR SENTIMENT SCALES These are used to measure attitudes, beliefs and opinions of a respondent. They can be used with all types of research, but more specifically with surveys and action research. Let us see whether you can apply the appropriate type of research and data collection method(s). Here is a question adapted from the Communication Studies May 1999 past paper. Read the information and answer the questions which follow. Kevin is a teacher at a secondary school. He is concerned about the high level of truancy among the students at his school. He would like to find out the reasons for this in order to address the problem. (1) Identify one type of research that Kevin could engage in and list TWO characteristics of this type of research. (3 marks) (2a) State two methods of data collection Kevin could use in his research. (2 marks) (2b) Choose one method of data collection from those you identified in (a) above, and discuss one strength and one weakness of this method. (4 marks)

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This week as a part of our preparation for the External Examination we will review skills in research designs and methodology. Here is a possible question that could appear on Paper 01 Section One. Read the paragraph below and answer the questions which follow. Carla and Natoya are both doing research. Carla wants to find out the extent to which parents in her community are informed about the drugs which are abused by some teenagers living in their community. She has already found some sources and has gathered very important information for the study. Natoya is doing a critical study of the treatment of the theme "Parent Absenteeism in the West Indies" in five (5) West Indian novels. Carla plans to use a questionnaire as her main instrument to collect the data for her study. Natoya is using the library facilities at her institution to get most of the information that she needs for study. a) List two differences between the two types of research referred to above. [2 marks] b) Name two sources from which Natoya could obtain data for her study. [2 marks] c) State four considerations that Carla should bear in mind in selecting a sample for her study. [4 marks] d) Discuss two strengths and two weaknesses of the questionnaire as a research instrument used by Carla.[4 marks] e) Write FIVE (5) different questions that you would ask Carla if you wanted to determine the soundness of her sources, context and medium of the information gathered. [8 marks] Here are some suggested answers. a) Two differences between library facilities {books, newspaper clippings, internet, previous studies etc.} and a questionnaire are: 1. The library facilities offer more qualitative data and the questionnaire offer more quantitative data. 2. The library facilities provide secondary data (ie. Second-hand data) and the questionnaire provides primary data (ie. First-hand data) b) Some sources from which Natoya could obtain data for her study include: 1. 2. 3. 4. Books Newspaper clippings Internet Previous studies/research

c) Some considerations Carla should bear in mind in selecting the sample for her study:

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [8] ______________________________________________________________________ 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Population - parents from her community They should have common interests Their age Their sex The size of the sample

d) The questionnaire as a research instrument - STRENGTHS: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Easily and reliably scored Quick access to information Primary source Facilitates survey of large population Easily administered Allows for anonymity

The questionnaire as a research instrument - WEAKNESSES: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Limited scope for the personal and the subjective Limited scope for probing responses Inflexible Responses can be misleading Limitations posed by literal responses

e) Some possible questions are: 1. How many persons comprised your sample? 2. What challenges did you face while conducting your research? 3. Would you regard any of your sources as being reliable and/or valid? Name them and explain why. 4. Would you regard any of your sources as being unreliable and/or invalid? Name them and explain why. 5. To what extent did the context within which you administered the questionnaire affect the responses you received from respondents? Hope you made these or similar responses. Continue studying; remember we don't have much time. Until next week, walk good!

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [9] ______________________________________________________________________

WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
There are a number of definitions which have been suggested by several communication specialists. Communication has been defined as the process of people interacting through the use of messages [Zeuschner: 1997]. Also it has been referred to as the process of human beings responding to the symbolic behaviour of other persons [Alder & Rodman: 2000]. These by no means exhaust the various ways in which it can be defined but they do provide us with some idea of what characterises the concept of communication which is relevant to the communication studies course. A close observation of them reveals that communication is a process [not an event], it involves people, it involves interaction among people and it involves the use of messages. As a process, communication is dynamic, continuous, irreversible and contextual. It is inevitable, that is, it is sure to happen and cannot be altered or revoked. All communicative events involve content and relationship. Content refers to the substance of the message while relationship tells of the receiver and sender and how they perceive their interaction. Finally, communication happens in a setting or context and it is from such that much meaning is derived. Context may be defined as a culture, location or a relationship. Within the process of communication there are six primary elements. They include the following: * * * * * * Context Messages Channels Senders/Sources/Encoders Receivers/ Decoders Integration and Feedback/Interference/Noise

ELEMENTS OF THE PROCESS DESCRIPTION OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE PROCESS 1. Context - Setting/environment: place, time, surrounding events, physical and psychological climates. 2. Sources/senders - Human originators of the message or definers of the purpose of the message. 3. Messages - Content, that is, verbal [written/spoken] and non-verbal [gestures, movements, smells or objects].

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [10] ______________________________________________________________________ 4. Channels - Means through which messages are transmitted, e.g., sound waves, light waves or other sense-stimulating means. 5. Receivers/decoders - Ultimate goal or destination of a message; translators of messages. 6. Interaction - The back-and-forth nature of communication [sometimes called transaction]. All parties in the communication event influence and are influenced by the event. 7. Interference/feedback/noise - Responses, interruptions or blockages to interaction. A response maybe to give an answer to a question, to think about it, or to try to respond even without full understanding. DESCRIBING THE PROCESS The process is both cyclical and transactional. The event begins with the conceptualisation of the message and this is the sender's role as the originator of the message. In addition, it is the sender's task to codify the contents of the message and to select its medium and channel. These parts of the process are called encoding and selection of channels respectively. The receiver's role is chiefly decoding and interpreting the message sent to him/her and then providing some feedback for the sender. It is very important for you to understand that both the sender and the receiver conceptualise, encode, select medium and channel, decode, interpret and provide feedback in all communicative events. Often during communicative events there is some sort of interference or blockage to interaction. These are commonly referred to as barriers to communication and may be internal or external in nature. Some examples of internal barriers are daydreaming, anxiety and hunger while external barriers would be noise from a lawn mower, gestures, attire, posture, chatting, spilled beverage on a page and choice of words. ACTIVITY Here's an activity which might help you to apply what you have learnt this week: Identify an interpersonal or small group communication setting and analyse the communication process. [This setting can be at school, home, a party or friends simply hanging out]. Be sure to: Identify the elements * Describe the process * Discuss the barriers * Remember that you need to get a communication studies syllabus.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [11] ______________________________________________________________________

PROCESS OF COMMUNICATION
A process is a series of action or behaviours linked in a particular order to bring about a particular goal or to change one thing to another. The process of communication involves a sender and receiver a medium and a channel. Also important is the feedback.

SENDER (conceptualizes & encoded message)

MEDIUM (example: letter, email, speech)

CHANNEL (example: post office, internet, radio)

RECEIVER (decodes message: creates feedback)

FORMS OF COMMUNICATION
1. 2. Verbal (Speech, Writing) Non-Verbal: (1) body language (gestures, posture, facial expression) (ii) use of space (iii) use of objects (iv) dress (v) graphics (charts, tables, diagrams) (vi) integrating form for specific purposes and situations ( practical cases, role play and simulations)

CONTEXTS OF COMMUNICATION
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Intrapersonal (thinking, problem solving) Interpersonal (interviews, conversations, intimate communication) Small groups (leadership meetings, role-taking, goal setting) Organisational (business, governments, educational) Academic, (essays, research papers) Public (speeches, debates) Intercultural (communication across social sub-groups, in tourism)

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [12] ______________________________________________________________________ Non-verbal communication relies on elements other than speech or writing. It is just as important as verbal communication. Often our non-verbal actions tell a different story from the one we are telling with words. Can you think of any examples of this? Other examples of non-verbal communication Use of graphics A teacher draws a diagram to explain something. Use of object A engineer creates a scale model to show how the finished building will look. Use of dress Some person were dark and somber colours to funeral to indicate respect and mourning. CONTEXTS OF COMMUNICATION Communication does not occur in a vacuum. It is always engaged in within a context. This activity will help you to better understand what we mean by context. FACTORS WHICH AFFECT COMMUNICATION (1) (2) (3) (4) Audience Setting Attitude Medium

Function and Purpose of the Language Identifying the type of writing will help you determine its function. Consider if it is narrative, expository, descriptive, dramatic, discursive (argumentative or controversial). Here are some common purposes that writers have employed in their work. Can you identify others? To inform; to elicit information To give instructions or commands To make requests or grant them To communicate facts To convey and to arouse feelings To convince by argument and reason To persuade by suggestion and emotion To entertain To express the speaker's or writer's personality To convey an attitude Any combination of the above

The Context of the Language Every time language is used to communicate meaning it takes place within a particular set of circumstances which may be termed context of use. The context influences the way

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [13] ______________________________________________________________________

language is used and it includes: the subject matter or content to be communicated the purpose for the communication the writer's/speaker's awareness of her relationship to the audience the way the writer/ speaker wishes or expects the audience to respond

Selecting Your Target Audience: To communicate effectively with your intended target audience, you must have a "sense" of that audience. You need to know what they are like and their expectations. The age of the speaking/narrating voice and the age of the audience (reader/listener) receiving the communication. The status or social background of the audience The knowledge background of the audience - how much or little do they know of the topic being communicated and the level of their interest The presence or absence of an emotional connection between speaker/writer and intended audience - is it hostile, indifferent, cordial, intimate? The size of the audience being addressed- inter-personal or group communication? The degree to which the communication is intended to be public, private or intimate.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [14] ______________________________________________________________________

DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
Remember now that there are four basic types of discourse/writing: description, narration, exposition and persuasion/argument. Not only are you expected to identify the type(s) of discourse but also justify your choice by explaining each of the techniques/devices and literary strategies used by the writer. In addition, you may be required to summarise the writer's main point, state his/her intention in writing the piece and discuss the suitability of the writer's style for a particular audience. Here is a question which appeared on a past examination paper. Try doing it! Read the following extract, then (1) State the writer's main point; (2) Comment on the strategies used by the writer and discuss the suitability of the extract for a general audience. [25 marks] THE DARKNESS THAT ENLIGHTENS By JAY M. PASACHOFF It is a curious fact of astronomy that one of the best ways to study the sun is to have its glowing disk hidden from view. With its great light seemingly extinguished, the usual glare of the earth's atmosphere drops away. Then, in a sky as dark as night, the sun's faint outer atmosphere its veil-like corona comes boldly into view. The total solar eclipse that swept a cone of darkness across the earth last July11 dramatically banished the daylight. For unforgettable minutes hundreds of scientists and millions of other watchers saw fantastic prominences masses of gas looping from the sun's surface out into the corona. THE SPECIAL ECLIPSE It was a special eclipse. Usually astronomers and their equipment go to the eclipse. This time the eclipse came to the astronomers, passing directly over the world's largest array of giant telescopes, on Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii. Mauna Kea's altitude 13796 feet and its clear, dry air gave astronomers and their machines an unmatched earthly view of the phenomenon. The eclipse darkened the great urban mass of Mexico City. The moon's central shadow drew a swatch of darkness 9300 miles long and as much as 160 miles wide, bringing nearly seven minutes of totality in some areas a duration that occurs only every 18 years, 11 days. ASTRONOMERS AND ECLIPSES Why do astronomers find eclipses fascinating? While telescopes can be adapted to partly simulate an eclipse, a real eclipse offers the best visibility for observing the corona. At eclipse we see the corona as a crown of light around the sun; its shape is sometimes more round, sometimes more elliptical. We see its glow extending a million miles from the edge of the sun. The corona is composed of the same gases as the rest of the sun;

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [15] ______________________________________________________________________ 90 percent hydrogen, almost 10 percent helium, and a tiny quantity of the other elements. The corona flows outwards into the solar system as the solar wind-streams of charged particles. These travel 93 million miles to earth and even pass beyond the outer planets. Eclipses are a time-tested tool of solar astronomy. Observers pursuing the 1868 eclipse determined through spectroscopy the existence of the gas helium-- . Other eclipses showed over time that the corona changes shape in step with the 11 year sunspot cycle. THE ECLIPSE OF 1991 But few eclipses attracted scientific observers like that of 1991. Many clustered on Mauna Kea. My experiments, tackling the mystery of coronal heating, did not require elevation. My team set up two tons of telescope and electronics on the Big Island at Waikoloa. All we needed was clear skies. Here are some notes which you could use to guide your essay: This is an expository piece. The writer's main point is that the sun is the best studied during an eclipse. In terms of strategies: description of the eclipse of the sun which provided a visual image. : the paradoxical title, The darkness that enlightens : the use of an example of the solar eclipse of July 11 : the use of technical language : the use of a rhetorical question to heighten readers' interest and engaging his/her fascination The visual representation of the subject matter and the use of figurative language make the extract suitable for a general audience.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [16] ______________________________________________________________________

LANGUAGE STRATEGIES
MOST IF not at all times when you hear some form of verbal communication or read some form of prose the words, graphs, pictures and symbols which are selected and arranged by the writer/speaker have an impression on you. LINGUISTIC FEATURES These are linguistic features and they convey something about his/her purpose and context of the work. In the process of conveying this overall purpose he/she employs various punctuation, grammatical and linguistic arrangements; these may be called language strategies and they are imperative in the assessment or the devising of written or spoken communication; you are required to not only identify and analyse such strategies but also create work which utilises them. The linguistic features focus on the grammar, syntax and diction of the message that the writer chooses to send to his/her intended audience. STRATEGIES Repeatedly candidates are asked to analyse and comment on strategies during the examination. The following are some of those strategies: 1) Lay-out of the page: portrait/landscape, newspaper advertising-copy or verse lay-out and use of banner headlines (column)/broadsheet,

2) Typographical features: bold face, spacing , capitals, use of font size, indentation and italic/roman type 3) Use of graphics and pictures: these help to stimulate interest for younger readers, make written concepts clear and plain and reinforces them as well 4) The type of language used: spoken or written, formal or informal, personal or impersonal and standard or Creole (non-standard) 5) The phrasing and sentence construction: simple or complex, economical or verbose and direct or circumlocutory 6) The vocabulary used: prosaic or florid, simple or stilted, slang or formal and repetition of key words/phrases 7) Denotative and connotative use of language: words used emotively to convey or arouse feelings, to suggest; words used referentially to emphasise or state factual content; words which seem to be primarily about conveying facts but which are really intended to arouse emotions. 8) Use of punctuation marks which stand-out as being significant: suspension marks, exclamation marks, full stops and question marks.

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ANALYSING PUNCTUATION MARKS Each of the abovementioned strategies is functional within specific contexts. This means that you may, for example, recognise the use of punctuation marks in a particular passage and this use conveys a meaning which you believe to be significant because of the distinct impression it had on you. However, the opposite may occur by the use of these same punctuation marks in another passage. Therefore you must read and analyse each case separately. In May 2000 the following question appeared on Paper 01 Section 2. Read the instructions and then apply what you learned about language strategies. INSTRUCTIONS: Read the following extract from a local newspaper and identify FOUR language strategies at work in the above extract. FOILED AGAIN! Local lawmen were left puzzled again when a foiled-wrapped felon was found at the scene of what appeared to be an attempted robbery. This is the second time in two days that a villain has been gift wrapped for the local constabulary. What will they think of next?

Language Strategies Every time you read a passage or hear some form of verbal communication there are linguistic features which make an impression on you. This is so because the words, graphs and symbols chosen and their arrangements are telling you something about the writer's/speaker's purpose and context. The use of various linguistic, grammatical and punctuation arrangements and features which relate to each other in the process of conveying the overall purpose of the speaker/writer may be termed language strategies. In assessing the language strategy of a speaker/writer or in devising strategies of your own, you may want to consider the following features: The Linguistic Features: These deal with the grammar, syntax, and diction that the writer chooses to convey his intended message. Consider what the use of each of the following might mean: Type of language used: spoken or written formal or informal, personal or impersonal, standard or Creole The vocabulary used: prosaic or florid, simple or stilted, slang or formal, repetition of key words/phrases The phrasing and sentence construction: simple or complex, economical or verbose,

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direct or circumlocutory Connotative or Denotative use of language: words used emotively- to convey /arouse feelings, to suggest; words used referentially- to emphasize or state tactual content; words which seem to be primarily about conveying facts but which are really intended to arouse emotions. Significant use of punctuation marks- e.g. pause marks such as full stops, question signs, exclamation marks and suspension dots. Lay-out of the page- use of banner headlines, newspaper (column) or broad-sheet lay-out, advertising-copy layout, verse-lay-out, portrait or landscape lay-out. Typographical features- use of font sizes, bold face, capitals, spacing, indentation, italic/roman type. Use of pictures and graphics- help make written concepts plain; reinforce concepts; help to stimulate interest for younger readers

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THE LANGUAGE GLOSSARY - CLARIFYING CONCEPTS


Read the passage below and write an analysis focusing on registers, dialectal variations, attitudes to language and communicative behaviours shown. "Joe Joe started to take Miss Blossom to pictures and little by little the line of demarcation between social friends and sweetheart just blurred. Joe Joe tell her that the married man better stop come to her and Miss Blossom say him was only a social friend and Joe Joe say 'Yes', just like how him and her was social friend and she told him he was too jealous and him say yes he was, 'But I don't want to see the man in here again,' and she said, 'Lord, Joe Joe.' Little by little Miss Blossom started to look after the children and look after Joe Joe clothes and meals, is like they choose to forget Bella altogether. Then one Christmas time Bella phone over the grocery shop and tell Mr. Lee to tell Joe Joe that she was coming home for Christmas. Well to tell the truth, Joe Joe never want to hear anything like that. Although Miss Blossom couldn't compare to Bella because Bella was the first woman Joe Joe ever really love Joe Joe was feeling quite contented and he was a simple man, him never really want to take on Bella and her excitement and her 'got to make it'. Anyway, him tell Miss Blossom say Bella coming home and she say to him, 'Well Joe, I think you should tell her that anything stay too long serve two masters, or two mistresses as the case might be.' Joe Joe say 'Mmmmm but remember say Bella is mi baby mother you know and no matter what is the situation, respect is due.' Miss Blossom said that, 'When Bella take up herself and gone to New York and leave him, she should know that respect is due to him too.' Joe Joe say, 'Yes,' but him is a man who believe that all things must be done decently and in good order, so if him was going to put away Bella him would have to do it in the right and proper way. Miss Blossom say she hope that when Bella gone again him don't bother ask her fi nuttin. Joe Joe became very depressed. If Bella looked like a checker cab the first time, she looked like Miami vice this time, inna a pants suit that look like it have in every colour flowers in the world and the colour them loud! And Bella broader than ever Oh man. Norman said, 'Bees mus take up Bella inna that clothes dey. Any how she pass Hope Gardens them must water her.' Bella seemed oblivious to the fact that Joe Joe was under great strain. She greeted him as if they had parted yesterday, 'Joe Joe what you saying sweet pea.' Joe Joe just looked at her and shook his head and said, "Wha happen Bella?' They went home but Joe Joe felt that he and the children went to meet a stranger at the airport. Bella had become even stranger than before to Joe Joe. He began to wonder exactly what she was doing in America, if she really was just waitressing at the club. Bella told him that he should come forward, because this was the age of women's liberation, and Joe Joe told her that maybe she should liberate herself outta him life because he couldn't take her.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [21] ______________________________________________________________________ Bella cried and said how much she loved him. Then things became really intense and it was like a movie and they had to turn up the radio really high to prevent the children from hearing them. Joe Joe decided to just bite him tongue while Bella was home. He took to coming home very late all through the Christmas season because the house was usually full of Bella's posse including the 'Yvonne' of Bear Mountain Fame, and when they came to visit the house was just full up of loud laughing and talking and all kinds of references that Joe Joe didn't understand. The truth was that he was really dying for Bella to leave. He really didn't much like the woman she had become. First of all everything she gave him or the children, she tell them how much it cost 'Devon, beg you don't bother to take that walkman outside, is Twenty-Nine Ninety-Nine, I pay for it at Crazy Eddies,' or, ' Ann-Marie just take time with that jagging suit, I pay Twenty-Three Dollars for it in May's Department Store. Oh Lord.'

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THE LANGUAGE GLOSSARY - CLARIFYING CONCEPTS


WELCOME TO another week of learning new communication skills! I trust you found our previous lesson on 'What is language?' useful. This week we will be attempting to establish definitions for the concepts which are integral in this module called Language and Community. You will recall that definitions for language and a language were given last week. So, we will not be discussing these again but just in case anyone might not have seen them, here are brief explanations: language is the verbal form of human expression and a language is any distinct system of verbal expression, distinguished from other such systems by its peculiarities of structure and vocabulary for example, English, Spanish and Japanese. It is not only important that you know these definitions but also that you use them carefully and appropriately as you express your ideas about language and community. Do not use them interchangeably, they are not synonyms. The term language community is used in reference to all the speakers of a particular language. This means that they do not have to reside within the same geographical location. English speakers, as you are aware live in several parts of the world: so too do Spanish speakers some live in Spain, some in Cuba and still others in Panama. Now, the Spanish/English in each of these locations vary in structure and vocabulary, these variations are known as dialects. So a dialect is one of the various forms of a particular language, spoken by a group in the language community. For example, Jamaican Standard English, American Standard English and British Standard English are all dialects of English. There are also non-standard dialects, such as Black English/Ebonics in the USA and Cockney in England. Variation is not only among dialects but also within an individual dialect of a language. A speaker of any language can choose to speak in a form which may range from a level of formality to one of informality. This form (formality to informality) is referred to as a register. For example, in Jamaica, Standard English is a formal register and Jamaican Creole (Patois) is a more informal register. The words colloquial and vernacular are used to label some informal registers. Another concept which you must understand fully is Creole. There have been several theories which have been given for the origin of this language form and numerous definitions have been submitted, and no doubt some of you have met such in your extensive reading, but the one which we will use for this course is the following: A Creole is a new language formed from the contact between different languages. It is based on a combination of features of the original languages, along with its own new features. In situations of forced contact such as existed in the Caribbean during slavery, the speakers of the original languages (European on the one hand, African and indigenous on the other) did not know each others' languages, so they invented a rudimentary form of communication drawing on the features of the original languages. These were not Creoles, since they were not fully fledged languages. They were referred to as pidgins. But the descendants of slaves born in the new situation developed their own native languages from the combination of features from African and European languages and added other features of their own to produce fully fledged languages. These are Creoles.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [23] ______________________________________________________________________ Finally, each country has its idiosyncrasies regarding the languages used within its borders and Jamaica is no exception. The Jamaican Language situation is referred to as a continuum. It depicts the range of languages and language dialects spoken in Jamaica. (Indeed there are a few other Caribbean territories which are described in a similar manner.) This range is represented as a continuum because: Not every point on the continuum is a separate language Jamaicans will switch from one to the other continuously in conversation and in different situations and According to some linguists, the Creole is continuously changing and becoming more like English. (Decreolisation) Look at the diagram below which should give you a visual image of the Jamaican Language Continuum. BASILECT MESOLECT ACROLECT BASILECT is the form of Creole with more African derived features than other forms and is said to be the first point on the continuum. It is most often spoken in rural areas and by uneducated persons. MESOLECT is the form of Creole with more English derived features than the basilect and is said to be the point on the continuum next to the basilect. It is most often spoken by urban and educated persons. ACROLECT is the Jamaican Standard English and it is the last point on the continuum. It is most often spoken in formal situations. Undoubtedly this notion that each form is most often spoken by particular persons is debatable as the increased accessibility of new technological mediums of communication throughout the country has enabled Jamaicans to choose even more freely any variety they wish to use along the continuum. For more information read The West Indians and Their Language by Peter Roberts. How are the Reflective pieces coming along? I will give some pointers on this Internal Assessment during the weeks to come.

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LANGUAGE & COMMUNITY


THIS MODULE seeks to develop in you the ability to discuss how language may be defined and characterised as well as to consider ways in which language affects society and is in turn affected by society. This study of language is investigated within the Caribbean context. You should be able to describe the salient features of the interactive relationship among communication technologies, language and society. In addition, your ability to examine the significance of communication technologies in cultural interaction ought to become evident.

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WHAT IS LANGUAGE?
Language is recognised as having two possible interpretations: language and a language. When we think of language we think of it in a general way and we define it to be the verbal form of human expression. As such, it is therefore confined to a human context and not extended to any other species (We will return to this point during the coming weeks). When we think of a language we think of it in a specific way and we define it to mean any distinct system of verbal expression, distinguished from other such systems by its peculiarities of structure and vocabulary. That is to say that every language is distinct from other languages because of these features. Therefore, Spanish, Portuguese, Jamaican Creole/Patois, English, Mayan, French and Chinese are each categorised as a language; while all who are speakers of these languages, in verbally expressing themselves, use language. In a way this distinction between language and a language corresponds to the distinction between the individual and the society respectively. When someone asks: "What language do you speak?" the person is asking about a specific language; one spoken by a community of speakers. If one says, "Human beings have language, but birds do not", the person may mean that human beings can speak but birds cannot. The person is not referring to a specific language but to the ability to talk, to use words, to hear and understand words. So, language refers to a natural ability which all normal human beings have while a language means a specific version used by some people who normally live in the same community. Let us look closer at language. Language is a human being's ability to communicate, verbally and non-verbally, with other human beings as well as with himself. It allows the transmission of desires, ideas and emotions from individual to individual and within the same individual. Language is external in the form of sounds and symbols and it is internal as mental activity. Language can be characterised as being: human, verbal, symbolic, systematic, maturational, non-instinctive and dynamic. Read the information to your right to get some additional information on each of the characteristics. It is difficult to include everything that could be said about each of these characteristics as many linguists have much to say. You will need to do additional reading from the relevant texts so that you will be thoroughly informed. After you have read the relevant chapters from the suggested texts mentioned above, do this activity: Explain briefly, in your own words, and using original examples, why language is considered arbitrary and systematic. arbitrary

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CHARACTERISTICS OF LANGUAGE 1. Human

2. Verbal

3. Symbolic

4. Systematic

5. Maturational 6. Non-instinctive

7. Dynamic

EXPLANATION OF CHARACTERISTICS Where other creatures seem to have communication systems which enable them to perform basic functions, only the human species has one which allows such complexity and range of performance. We know of no other species which can express meanings about past or future events, articulate abstract ideas or construct advertisements Human beings make language. It is first spoken then written. The complex anatomy in the throat and mouth allows us to modify this vibrating air in order to make the vowels and consonants of speech and to manipulate its melodies, the intonation system. We have ears to hear what others say as well as to monitor ourselves. We tend to use our hands and arms when we talk and always when we write or type. Our eyes allow us to read and are also important in conversations. Language has an arbitrary nature. The connection between the things signified (eg. Objects) and the words used to signify them, that is the symbol the word 'book' and the symbolized the actual book, is arbitrary. There is nothing inherent in the word 'book' for us to refer to the object as such. Indeed, in Spanish this object is referred to or symbolised by the word 'libro'. Language is rule governed. It follows observable patterns that obey certain inherent 'rules'. To be fluent in a language requires both a mastery of its grammatical rules and competence in the appropriate use of the sentences that are structured by those rules. A language is always developing. Most languages do so as they acquire vocabulary. Language is naturally acquired. It is suggested that there is a built-in mechanism which gives human beings the ability to acquire and learn language; we are biologically conditioned. Language is not static, it is always changing. Language changes because the lives of speakers change, for example, as speakers come into contact with other cultures or as new discoveries change their way of life.

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LANGUAGE AND COMMUNITY - FACTORS AFFECTING LANGUAGE


THERE ARE several features of Creoles and Creole-influenced vernacular which make them different from Standard English. These features may be categorised as grammar, sound, vocabulary and semantics. Within Creole grammar, for example, nouns, verbs and pronouns are not treated in the same way in which they are in Standard English [SE]. Standard English nouns are marked with 's' to illustrate plurality as in 'books', however in Jamaican Creole [JC] plurality is shown by the use of the word 'dem' as in 'buk dem'. (Polard: 1993) [See Syllabus - Pg. 13 - 14] Upon observation and study of such similar features you might be able to conclude that there are enough differences to suggest that Creole speakers for whom Creole is their native tongue and who are learning SE will employ various language learning strategies to deal with the task of acquiring SE. The JC speaker may over-generalise the rules of SE and regularise its patterns which often lead to hypercorrection; transfer many of the devices and distinctions of the Creole; avoid 'difficult' structures and rely on nonlinguistic methods of communicating; and/or create his own patterns which are not a direct reflection or patterns heard of seen. (Roberts, 2002: 116) Use of any of these strategies is common to second-language learners of all languages and there are social, political and other cultural factors which will influence the development of language and other related communicative behaviours of the learner. The following are some of the factors affecting language: 1. SOCIAL FACTORS: * Interaction with peers * Media * Interaction with others [different age groups] * Structure of the society cultural plurality [several cultural groups existing in the same environment 2. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: * Occasion determines the register [formal or informal] * Interaction in the home [What registers are used? How do members relate to each other?] * Church ceremonial language is used * School language of instruction and interaction with peers 3. HISTORICAL FACTORS: * * * * Slavery and plantation life Dispersion of tribes on the plantations and in colonies The need to communicate Sovereignty who colonised which territory

4. EDUCATIONAL FACTORS:

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [28] ______________________________________________________________________ * * * * * * Level of educational background Availability of educational materials which foster the development of language The teacher Interaction with students during class Accessibility of and exposure to training Level of literacy

5. ECONOMIC FACTORS * Availability of materials which foster language development * Exposure to modes of communication * Travel 6. GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION * Rurality vs urbanisation These factors give rise to the issues which perpetuate the prevailing attitudes, both negative and positive, to language in Jamaica and some other territories in the Caribbean. Discuss among your friends the attitudes to Standard English and Jamaican Creole which you have observed; remember that you need to be able to analyse such in the Analytical section of the Internal Assessment. Until next week, walk good! References: Polard, Velma 1993, From Jamaican Creole to Standard English. A handbook for Teachers, Caribbean Research Centre, New York: Medgar Evers College. Roberts, Peter 2002. West Indians and their Languages, Cambridge University Press.

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REVIEWING LANGUAGE AND COMMUNITY


I Read the extract below and answer questions 1-5 that follow. "We cannot teach French Creole in schools! What are we saying to the children? We're telling them that this is as important as the official language? Already some of them come from homes where they can't speak the official language. They already speak French Creole. That's enough! They shouldn't be learning to write it too!" 1. What is the speaker's attitude towards French Creole? Answer: It is negative. The speaker does not believe it is acceptable. He considers it inferior as he does not believe it is as important as the official language. 2. What association does the speaker make between language and school? Answer: He suggests that Creole has no place in school and that the language of school should be an official one. 3. Name FOUR Caribbean countries that the speaker could have been referring to. Answer: St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica 4. Select TWO of the countries you named in 3 above and (a) explain how their language situations differ from each other Answer: St. Lucia and Guadeloupe have a French Creole and an English Creole and English as the official language. Martinique and Guadeloupe have a French Creole and French as the official language. (b) discuss what difficulties a Creole speaker in ONE of these countries would experience when learning the official language. Answer: He would need to recognise that many Creole speakers perceive the language that they speak to be a standard form and that the two languages share some elements of structure and vocabulary which may lead to confusion. [You may mention examples of sound, grammar and vocabulary difficulties learners may experience in the selected country.] 5. List TWO Caribbean Creole languages OTHER THAN French Creole, and ONE territory in which EACH is spoken. Answer: Dutch Creole or Papiamento in Curacao/Aruba/Bonaire and St. Maarten. English Creole is spoken in Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada and Barbados etc.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [30] ______________________________________________________________________ 6. A European university exchange student has come to your country to spend a year at the local college/university. He has been told that "the natives speak in a strange way" and that "one cannot even call it a language." List FOUR characteristics of the local dialect which establish it as a language. Answer: * * * * * * It It It It It It is verbal/spoken/has a vocabulary is human, that is it is a form of communication used only by humans is dynamic and responds to cultural change has systematic/grammatical structures is symbolic is maturational

7. A Caribbean hotel receptionist has been accused by a local guest of "speaking English in one way to tourists and in different ways to locals." (a) State TWO differences that the guest might have been referring to. Answer: Tone, accent, use of dialect and/or register (b) Suggest TWO reasons why the receptionist might have been "speaking English in one way to tourists and in different ways to locals." Answer: He might have been accommodating the different accents, showing familiarity with local guests and/or he might have been condescending and disrespectful. I hope you recognise that the lessons we have done on DEFINING LANGUAGE and CARIBBEAN LANGUAGE SITUATIONS [that is the Table] would have been useful in completing these questions. Also the discussions which you may have had in your classes regarding ATTITUDES TO LANGUAGE would have helped. Next week we will continue our revision exercises. Until then, walk good!

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THE ANALYTICAL SECTION


Below is a table with some valuable information about these territories; study the table closely and then answer the questions which follow. These questions are taken from past examination papers.
COUNTRY LANGUAGE SITUATION OFFICIAL MASS MINORITY MAJOR SECONDLANGUAGE LANGUAGE VERNACULAR LANGUAGES LANGUAGE PLANNING MINORITY ACTIVITY VERNACULAR

Cuba Monolingual Dominican Monolingual Republic Puerto Rico Monolingual Barbados Monolingual Jamaica Continuum

Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish Spanish English English English English Creole

Some -----English --English ----------

----------------Growing awareness of the Creole as months tongue and symbol of national identity Same as Jamaica

Guyana

Continuum

English English English English

English Creole English Local Dialects English Creole

St. Kitts &* Nevis and Monserrat Antigua &* Barbuda Belize Multilingual

Hindi Bhojpuri Amerindian ------------------Spanish Mayan Garifuna French Creole Spanish Bhojputri Hindi Chineese -------------------

Trinidad

Multilingual

English

(post creole) English

------

Creation Bilingual population English Spanish --------

of in and

Grenada

Dying English Bilinggualism

English (infulenced by French Creole) French Creole rapidly/ reeding

--------

-------

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COUNTRY LANGUAGE SITUATION OFFICIAL MASS MINORITY MAJOR SECONDLANGUAGE LANGUAGE VERNACULAR LANGUAGES LANGUAGE PLANNING MINORITY ACTIVITY VERNACULAR

Dominica Haiti

Bilinggual Diglossic

English French French English

French Creole French Creole French Creole English

-----English French Patois

-----------------

Guadeloupe Diglossic & Martinique Bidialectal St. Thomas Curacao Aruba Bonaire British Virgin Islands

Advanced standardi-zation of Haitian Incipient standardi-zation


-------

Monolingual Dutch Bilingual Dutch & Monolingual English

---Dutch PapiamentuDutch, English, Spanish -------English

-------------

-------------

-------

-----

Key * Language Situation unknown The following are questions which appeared on the Paper 01, May 1999. Caribbean Territories Grouped according to Language Situation Group A Jamaica Barbados Antigua Group B Trinidad Grenada Group C St. Lucia Dominica Group D Martinique Guadelope Group E Aruba Curacao Group F Belize

1. Explain any FOUR of these linguistic groupings to a person unfamiliar with the Caribbean area. (4 marks) 2. Identify FOUR ways in which a language other than the official language spoken in any ONE of the territories shown in the table, differs from English. (4 marks) 3. Explain why a non-standard English speaker in Group B may experience difficulties in learning English. 4. A man from Group C is planning a Caribbean tour. (a) Name ONE territory listed in the table, where he may have difficulty communicating in the language spoken there. Give ONE reason for your answer. (2 marks) (b) Name ONE territory where he may experience no difficulty communicating in the language spoken there. Give ONE reason for your answer. (2 marks) SUGGESTED ANSWERS:

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [33] ______________________________________________________________________ 1. A person who is unfamiliar with the Caribbean area would have to be told that: * Territories in Group A have English as their official language and an English Creole. * Territories in Group B have English as their official language and an English Creole with remnants of French. * Territories in Group C have English as their official language and have both French and English Creoles. * Territories in Group D have French as their official language and have a French Creole. * Territories in Group E have Dutch as their official language and have a Dutch Creole (Papiamentu) * Territory in Group F has English as the official language and Amerindian languages. 2. The following would reflect the ways in which the languages differ: Use of concord (subject and verb agreement) Use of the passive voice Pluralization of nouns Formation of tenses Syntactic structures; double negatives, serial verbs etc. Pronoun replacement Use of modifiers Omission of initial and final consonants Vocabulary 3. A non-standard English speaker in Group B may experience difficulties in learning English because of the fact that where an English-based creole exists many Creole speakers perceive the language they speak to be English. In addition, the two languages share some elements of structure and vocabulary which may lead to confusion. 4. (a) Aruba and Curacao are two territories in which a man from group C may have difficulty communicating. The reason is that in these territories Dutch and Papiamentu are spoken, but neither is spoken in his territory. (b) Martinique and Guadeloupe are two territories where he may experience no difficulty communicating. The reason is that both French and English are spoken in these territories and they are also spoken in his homeland. CHECK http://encyclopedia.caribseek.com/Caribbean_Population_and_Languages/

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LINGUISTIC FEATURES OF JAMAICAN CREOLE (Patois) Jamaican Creole is considered a language like any other for two' basic reasons. It possesses the characteristic features of a language and it performs the functions also. The following is a brief outline of some of these linguistic features: Phonology: the sound system of a language. Patois has a sound system independent of English. Jamaican Creole does not use the "th" sound but substitutes two other sounds: the "t' sound as in "tik" for the English "thick" and "d" sound as in "dem" for the English "them". . Jamaican Creole does not pronounce the consonants "q" and "c". These are substituted by the consonants "k" and "s". So, the English "Call" is pronounced "Kaal" Lexicon: the words of a language. Although the lexical items of Patois are English based many are used in non-English ways. Some Patois words recognized to be used in English do not carry the same meaning, ego "Ignorant" in Patois means easily angered, very upset not lacking knowledge. "Belly" can mean pregnancy depending on context. . Some English words are compounded to create nouns not present in English e.g. Foot bottom for sole, eye water for tear. Some Creole words are formed by reduplication (base words are repeated to form new words). For example, friedi friedi to mean fearful or timid, chati chati to mean talks excessively or out of turn. Some Creole words are adopted from other non-English languages, eg, maroon Spanish, pikni -Portugese, unu (you plural) - Igbo

Grammar: rules governing the correct use of a language. Pluralization is signaled by the addition of the "dem" after the noun e.g. The people dem. Or to emphasize the numerical marker - "de two book dem". Possession is not signaled as in English by the apostrophe "s" suffix but by the word ;'fi" as in "A fi mi handout". Zero Copular construction: A copular links the subject to the predicate. It is derived from the verb "to be". Creole can have a zero copular structure eg. Jane sick for Mary is sick in English or Jane de home for Jane is at home. Syntax: the proper arrangement of words in a sentence Patois mainly uses syntax to highlight certain elements within a sentence while English will often use pronunciation by verbally stressing that which is to be emphasized. See if you can determine which part of each sentence is being emphasized using the syntactic method in these Creole sentences: Is Pam eat de mango; Is de mango Pan eat; Is yesideh Pam eat de mango; Is eat Pam eat de mango.

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THE ANALYTICAL SECTION


BELOW IS the sample of an analysis of an excerpt from Bella Makes Life. Last week's publication has the excerpt itself. Make sure you refer closely to it as you read this analysis. This analysis is much longer than what is being required of you (the syllabus states a word limit of 350), however, it will provide you with the necessary focus points and a thorough examination of this piece which I have selected for this lesson. The Analysis In the short story Bella Makes Life Lorna Goodson explores the changes in character that occur when a woman named Bella migrates to the United States of America (leaving her family in the process). Bella does this in order to provide for her family, what she perceives to be, a better way of life. This particular extract illustrates a part of Bella's metamorphosis. The gradual change is shown in Bella's physical attire, her manner of communication and the new way in which she relates to her spouse Joe and their children. The register that each character uses and the reasons for their use of it are important to our understanding of them as individuals, as they shape our reactions to them. Whether the register is formal or informal, colloquial or ceremonial, a person's choice of register tells the reader the truth about a person's personality. Goodison, who is the narrator in the story, frequently switches registers smoothly and often between Jamaican Standard English, pure Basilect Creole and a combination of both Mesolect. She uses words such as 'posse', 'demarcation' and 'oblivious', which are not native to Jamaican Creole, and which may leave the reader wondering what is she talking about. Another example is the continuous use of 'patois' the Jamaican form of Creole, in discussing Bella's imminent return, then including the last sentence, 'Joe Joe was very depressed'. This curious transition occurs throughout the story. In general, Goodison uses Jamaican Creole to apply to a story about Jamaicans, therefore suitable to the social environment, and to appeal to her Jamaican readers who will be able to relate to this more informal, casual style of writing/speaking. The choice of registers also applies to Joe and his friends. He, in using certain expressions, gives the impression of a person with general intelligence and common sense, and speaks in Mesolect as well as Basilect, parts of the Jamaican Language Continuum. He uses this register so as to relate to his peers and fit into his social environment. The company he keeps, as evinced by Miss Blossom and Norman, uses the same colloquial form of expression. He does the same to be a part of their social grouping, to be accepted, recognised, and also because it is unlikely that he has been exposed to other types of register that may change his lifestyle; he uses the casual, vernacular, informal form of English. The result, for the three characters, is a frank, straightforward and candid style of speech, full of clichs and idiomatic expressions, as shown in the description of Bella by Norman, and the discussion between Joe and Miss Blossom. Using this register enables Joe to be accepted and blend into his environment much more easily than if he was not using it. On the other hand, Bella's register perfectly reflects her changing attitudes and perspectives on life. It can be inferred from the passage that Bella was raised in the

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [36] ______________________________________________________________________ same environment as Joe was, and the change in her has overwhelmed him, for example his reaction when Bella returns as a 'stranger'. Her departure from her natural setting to a foreign one has caused a change in her innate personality. The register that she chooses to use in her home makes her an outcast, which is shown clearly when one contrasts it with the easy relaxed flow of speech between Joe and his friends. She wants to impress her family, to show that she has acquired some 'desired' form of culture (American) and wealth in her travels, but it only results in alienating them and herself. The speech becomes humorous when one hears the mixture of American lingo and Jamaican Creole, for example, her mention of "... take time with that jagging suit...", but it can also be seen as a pathetic attempt to return to a past which cannot be recaptured, and trying to combine her two homes, yet failing repeatedly. Dialectal variations refer to the change in the form of the same language over geographic, time and cultural gaps. The first most obvious situation is that both parties are using the same language - English, with different forms, connotations, dialects and so forth. The English used by Joe, Miss Blossom and Norman falls between the Basilect and Mesolect, parts of the Jamaican Language Continuum. Intra-personally, Joe and the others never move significantly from these two categories, flowing effortlessly between them, occasionally in the same sentence, for example, in the statement, "- but remember say Bella is mi baby mother you know and no matter what is the situation, respect is due." This simple transfer is typical of all of the characters in the story, with two exceptions. The first is Bella, as mentioned before, who changes her dialect due to the spaces of time, culture and geography. After a few years, in a foreign country, far away from a similar culture, Bella has to change her way of life to suit her new environment and gradually become accepted, displayed by her change in dialect, from Jamaican Standard English (JSE). Since significant interactions with her native culture would be rare, she would gradually accept the new dialect as her own, yet still inserting references to her former dialect. That struggle between JSE and American Standard English (ASE) and Jamaican Creole (JC) can be seen through the few words that she says at the end of the extract, including, "Devon, beg you don't bother ...". "... beg you" is a part of Jamaican vernacular, however 'bother', pronounced correctly, is not generally used in ordinary conversation. The author is also exhibiting dialectal variation. She may be doing this to accommodate her JC and her JSE speaking audience, therefore altering sentence structure, word choice, and adding a few statements that seem out of place in the extract, such as the word 'posse' an American word following descriptions in Patois. Her language can also be seen as her own peculiar form of idiolect, as if the narrative was originally written in Creole, then shaped into an acceptably written, partly JSE form. Cultural stereotypes can be seen through dialectal variation. The act of a Jamaican Creole woman to travel to the United States and suddenly change her speech, accents, habits et cetera, is a common enough occurrence, one perpetuated by the media, playwrights and novelists. Due to the change in dialects and registers, the varying attitudes shown to these changes are expected and show the general disposition of mankind to discrepancies. The historical nature of JC has led to it being what some call a 'bastard' language and has not been universally accepted as a language at all. Bella, in contributing to this, changes her language to suit her new environment. This abrupt change is symbolic of the

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [37] ______________________________________________________________________ attitude that some people have towards Creole and Standard languages. Bella obviously thinks that ASE is superior to JC and even JSE, as is shown by her need to incorporate it into her former lifestyle. If, however, Bella had not succumbed to the pressures placed on her to conform to her new society, she may have been humiliated, insulted, and prejudiced against because of her language choice. On the other hand, Joe Joe is unable to comprehend the reasoning behind Bella's abrupt change of behaviour. It is not coincidental that Joe Joe is able to relate to Miss Blossom better than he can to Bella, proving that theirs is a dysfunctional relationship that cannot work until they are able to communicate with each other in their own language. Not only is Joe Joe unable to understand her as a person, he is also unable to understand her attitude to her newfound language, because he has not been in the same situation that she has experienced. As a result, the attitudes towards her range from critical (Miss Blossom) to disparaging (Norman). In addition, there is the inferred sycophantic attitude towards Bella that would be displayed by other members of the community, represented in this case by the women who gather to talk with Bella. They quite likely have the same idea of superiority of ASE that Bella holds. Symbolically, Joe Joe is unable to understand what they are discussing. Finally, in regards to communicative behaviors (non-verbal communication), the author captures much meaning which is not conveyed through the use of words. Goodison states, "... line of demarcation between social friends and sweethearts ..." between Joe Joe and Miss Blossom had been crossed. Her movement into the household's daily activities signifies, without words, the gradual replacement of Bella with Miss Blossom in Joe Joe's life. Bella's appearance her outlandish clothes, signifies incongruity with her setting, and immediately begins, or continues, her removal as the woman in Joe Joe's life. Her presentation of the gifts to her children, carefully mentioning prices as if she was hard pressed to let go of the money, not only shows the lack of maternal affection that Bella has for her children, but also her need to show everyone that she has succeeded in her life. Time is another factor in communicative behaviour. Bella returns suddenly after weeks, months even years, and expects everything to be exactly the way she had left it. The fact that she communicates with her husband through a third person, Mr. Lee's telephone, shows the dwindling affection and communicability that is occurring between the two of them. This lack of affection is shown through Joe Joe's increasing state of depression, not wanting her to return for various reasons and, contradicting these reasons is his unwillingness to commit to Miss Blossom, showing his lack of desire to either settle down or repeat a bad mistake. The lack of communication is shown by Bella having to finally resort to sexual favours to get him to stay with her. As a result, she feels like a stranger to Joe Joe, even though it is likely that they have known each other for years. Finally, his returning home late every evening, sacrificing his Christmas joy in his need to avoid her, shows the reader that unless one of them begins to compromise, there will be no understanding in this relationship, and it is doomed to failure. In conclusion, the dialectal variations, communicative behaviours and the varying uses of register by the characters in the extract are all influenced by their attitudes towards the form of language they speak. The extract provides examples of the many ways in which language may be used and abused by different individuals. The meaning which is attached to the language itself, as well as, the attitudes towards it is shaped by the

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [38] ______________________________________________________________________ culture to which the characters of this extract belong. Bella and her change in personality become the catalyst for the manifestation of these attitudes.

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THE LANGUAGE ANALYSIS


Language Registers This refers to the kinds of English appropriate to a particular purpose or situation. It refers to the levels of formality/informality and tone that are correct for a specific context .A register can refer to either written or spoken language. In deciding which register is suitable for a given situation one has to consider factors such as the audience for which the communication is intended, the nature of the subject matter being spoken our written about, the medium which may/ may not include non-verbal elements of communication and the writer's attitude towards the content he writes about. Language registers may be identified as: Formal: for use in formal social settings e,g. Ceremonies, services and in conversation between strangers. It almost always involves the use of Standard English. Casual: for use between friends//acquaintances in a non-formal setting. Usually marked by use of slang and ellipsis. Intimate: for use between people who are very close. Usually marked by minimal sentence structure, ellipsis, non-verbal elements of communication and specialized wordslexpression restricted in meaning to those involved in this intimate relationship. Consultative: for use in a situation in which the listener is expected to give some form of continuous feedback based on the information provided by the speaker. Frozen: for use in print and public speeches, sermons and recitations for which no direct response from a reader/listener is expected.

Dialectal Variations Dialectal variation refers to spoken and written different in the use of language within a speech community; in our case English. Speech related variation within the Caribbean may all be located on the creole continuum. This is a spectrum of language variation linking the more standard end of the linguistic range to the creole end. In short, the acrolect refers to the standard variety of the language, the mesolect refers to varieties which are closer in features to the standard language and whjch are used primarily in the urban areas. The basilect represents the variety mainly used in the rural areas and which has mainly creole features. In commenting on dialectal variation the student needs to be aware of the different types of English used and spoken in the Caribbean. Their difference is apparent in their accent and inflection. These include:

Foreign English: used mainly by tourists and expatriates from other countries where English is a major language. It may also be spoken by Caribbean nationals who try to imitate be accent of tourists with whom they associate. Radio and Television English: involve sound and the human voice in the electronic

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [40] ______________________________________________________________________ media. Can be divided into four categories- newscasts, music programmes, advertisements and general public features.

Erudite English: language containing features that show that the speaker is knowledge-able of words, phrases and idioms, especially older ones and foreign ones which are considered to be difficult. Colloquial English: refers to English which is characteristically West Indian without being creole English - marked by differences in pronunciation, pitch and syntax. Rasta English: variety of English made popular by the Rastafarian cult which consists of biblical and apocalyptic words; words related to Africa or things African; punning or playing on words and "I" words. Profane English: refers to impolite and shocking expressions and obscenities (used in cursing) involving God, religious things, sex, sexual organs and practices.

Attitudes to Language Attitudes to the varieties of English spoken in the Caribbean result from a number of factors including historical and social ones. Crucial to the attitude one adopts are two considerations - the association of education, formality and good taste with standard English and the question as to whether creole English is fitting and appropriate for certain uses. Attitudes to the use of language may include: pride, confidence and celebration, on the one hand, and contempt, shame and even ridicule of the language one speaks. Code switching or adopting the variety of English spoken by others can be a sign of lack of confidence and pride in one's mother tongue. Communicative Behaviours This refers to communicating impressions to others without being aware of doing so (unconscious) and without even wishing to do so (inevitable). Such include six elements: Vocalics - use of the volume, rate, tone, and pitch of the voice to give dimension to meaning. Proxemix - use of space to communicate Artifacts - objects that relay a message about you. Movement- posture, gesture, eye contact, facial expression that say something about you. Chronemics- attitude and use of time that communicate something about you. Our Five Senses - these convey information to you about others.

Non-verbal communication has six basic functions - substituting for words; reinforcing words; regulating how the verbal message is received; contradicting the verbal message; managing impression or the way other people perceive you and establishing relationship.

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EVALUATING

ARGUMENTS

Here are the suggested responses to those exercises given in the last publication. A. QUESTION: (1a) Consider the argument implicit in the Mayor's statement. Briefly explain what fallacy you think is present. The quiet farming district of Belnavis in deep rural St Richard has witnessed a tremendous influx of visitors over the past three days. Many are drawn to the site of what locals are calling a modern day miracle. When this reporter visited Belnavis on New Year's Day the Mayor confirmed: "Since the Bishop's visit on Christmas Day there has been a miracle at the abandoned well at Eastside. After years of contamination from the bauxite factory, the water is now safe for use. It's true because he even drank some of it. Our water problems are now over." ANSWER: The Mayor's statement implies that Belnavis' water problems are now over as a result of the Bishop's visit. The argument suggests a cause and effect relationship. It is fallacious because someone's mere visit could not cause the water to become clean; it does not follow simply because the clean water is preceded by his visit. The Mayor also makes an attempt to make it believable by saying that the Bishop "even drank some of it". The fallacy is post hoc/false cause. QUESTION: (2b) Consider critically Sir John Brown's argument implicit in his statement and briefly explain what fallacy you think is present. Defeated Member of Parliament and leader of the People's Lightning League, is crying foul at the results of the January 5th General Elections. Sir John Brown says that this has been the most fraudulent election in the history of Cali. "Never in my life have I seen this level of bogus voting, the stuffing of ballot boxes and the intimidation of voters." When asked what proof he had for these alleged Election Day malpractices, Sir John retorted, "It is plain for all to see. Nobody can dispute it and especially since it was reported in The Daily Truth, the nation's largest selling and most prestigious newspaper in the English speaking Caribbean." An appeal in the High Court is expected. ANSWER: Sir John Brown's statement implies that the voting was fraudulent because it was reported in The Daily Truth. He uses this as his proof of the alleged Election Day malpractice. He attempts to make this believable by further suggesting that the newspaper's popularity, that is, it is "the most prestigious and largest selling newspaper"- which is why we should believe his argument. The fallacy is an appeal to authority. B. QUESTION: For each of the following cases identify the fallacy and say why the reasoning is unsound. 1. A group of women were discussing their household problems. Mrs. Walters, their hostess, joined the group saying: "I'm so glad we're talking about these problems. It's so important to talk about things that are in our minds. We spend so much of our time in the kitchen that of course our household problems are in our minds. So it's important to talk about them."

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [42] ______________________________________________________________________ ANSWER: The fallacy is circular argument. Mrs. Walters restates the conclusion as if it were itself the support for the main point. The point is repeated at the end. However, she never gets around to providing support for her main point. 2. If a coat or suit becomes old, ragged or out of style, we don't continue to wear it. We replace it with a new one. Similarly, employees who reach the age of 65 should be forced to retire to make way for younger people with energy and fresh ideas. ANSWER: The fallacy is false analogy/false comparison. The comparison is without sufficient evidence. While there is some comparison in terms of the ageing of clothes and people, it is unfair to make this comparison as the situations are not similar; it cannot prove anything. 3. The recent frequency of prenatal genetic counselling raises the fear that fetuses will be selected for abortion merely on the chance that they may not grow up to meet preconceived ideals of appearance, intelligence or sexuality. ANSWER: The fallacy is red herring. Since abortion is easily criticised the writer introduces it instead of addressing the real issue which is the frequency of prenatal genetic counselling. In doing this he has used irrelevant and misleading support abortion. This makes his argument unsound.

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ERRORS TO AVOID IN REASONING


1. HASTY GENERALISATION The writer/speaker bases the argument/conclusion on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence. For example, 'I have met many Jamaicans and I am convinced that the average Jamaican does not wish to be told what to do.' 2. NON SEQUITUR (IT DOES NOT FOLLOW) The writer's/speaker's conclusion is not necessarily a logical result of the facts presented. For example, 'Affirmative action programmes have been established to provide access to educational and professional opportunities that have been denied to certain groups in the past. Since black Rastafarian males have often been at a disadvantage during the last twenty years or so, I feel that I, as a member of this group, deserve special consideration under affirmative action guidelines.' 3. BEGGING THE QUESTION: The writer/speaker presents as truth (or as a fact already proven) a statement(s) that is yet to be proven by the argument presented. For example, 'Do you think that the recent escalation of violence was politically motivated?' 4. RED HERRING The writer/speaker introduces an irrelevant point to divert the reader's/listener's attention from the main or relevant issue. For example, 'Government funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) should be discontinued. Taxpayers do not want and should not be expected to pay for so-called 'art' such as Brown's sexual perversions and Smith's sacrilegious trash. It is inexcusable that such things have been supported by tax money through the NEA, which because of such irresponsible decisions should itself be eliminated.' 5. POST HOC (AFTER THIS, THEREFORE, BECAUSE OF THIS) The assumption of a causal relationship between two things simply because one event follows another in time. The second event is being thought to be caused by the first which preceded it. For example, 'The belief that a teacher's absence from a class will result in a fight among students in his/her classroom.' 6. ARGUMENT AD HOMINEM (TO THE MAN) The writer/speaker attacks the opponent's character rather than the opponent's argument. For example, 'I don't know if it is the minute size of his head which makes him think we are too small to lead.' 7. ARGUMENT AD POPULUM (TO THE PEOPLE)

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [44] ______________________________________________________________________ The writer/speaker evades an issue by appealing to the reader's/listener's emotional reaction to certain words/subjects. For example, using the term 'bloated-capitalist' for 'wealthy business man'. 8. EITHER/OR SYNDROME An attempt to convince the reader/listener that there are only two ways of viewing or understanding an issue one right, one wrong. For example, 'Were you drunk and not responsible for your actions? I want a straightforward 'yes' or 'no'!' 9. BANDWAGON APPEAL The writer/speaker attempts to validate a point by suggesting or giving the impression that everyone else believes in it; the idea is acceptable and sound because it enjoys widespread currency. For example, 'It is common belief that the politicians are selfserving.' 10. STRAW MAN The writer/speaker selects the opposition's weakest or most insignificant point to argue against, in order to divert attention from the real issues. For example, 'Dr. Parchment favours drug legalisation, but this is a view held by very few Jamaicans. Indeed, no responsible citizen wants to encourage drug addiction or the crime associated with the use of illicit drugs.' 11. FAULTY ANALOGY The writer/speaker uses an extended (often irrelevant) comparison as proof of a point. Analogy might suggest similarities but by itself it cannot prove anything. For example, one might refer to a battle as if it were a game and perhaps a game of chess may be like a battle in several respects, but the comparisons cannot be pressed far. 12. ARGUING IN A CIRCLE In the course of a discussion the writer/speaker uses the actual statement in question to prove either that the statement is true or that another statement is true. For example, 'A maintains that Christians lead better lives than others. B then mentions some Christians who lead disreputable lives. Whereupon A denies that these are Christians.' 13. VAGUENESS A writer/speaker uses terms that have not been defined in such a way as to give the impression that they have universally acceptable meanings. For example, 'Education, romance, rich wealth, crowd.' 14. APPEAL TO AUTHORITY The reference to expert knowledge to support an argument without sufficient acknowledgement that an authority on one subject may be unreliable on another and that a man that is usually unreliable may occasionally be right.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [45] ______________________________________________________________________ 15. TABLOID THINKING A form of generalisation by which the writer/speaker tends to over-simplify complex issues by labelling and putting things into convenient categories for easy solutions. For example, 'Communists want to make everybody the same.' Study these and try to apply them to some of the information you have gleaned in your research.

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INTERNAL ASSESSMENT ANALYSIS OF THE REFLECTIVE SECTION


(It is 1:00 in the afternoon and Keisha and Rhona are waiting at a bus stop in Constant Spring with scores of excited holiday shoppers who themselves are eager to get on the first bus destined to Port Maria via Highgate in St. Mary.) Keisha: It is always so difficult to get a bus at this time of the day. Rhona: That is why I told you to let us take one of the robot taxis. In no time we would get home... Keisha: Dead, dead, dead! You don't seem to realise that these guys drive like mad men. We would reach home but probably injured or dead. I don't like driving with them. Rhona: all right, get ready for a long wait then, because not only are there very few of these buses but also they are packed from downtown, so that there is no room by the time they get up here. (Just then a bus careens around the corner and Keisha and Rhona both wave vigorously for it to stop, but the bus only slows down for the driver to select another gear and then speed up again) Rhona: See! What did I tell you? Keisha: That was just the first one. We will get onto the next one. Rhona: Mmmmhm. (She rolls her eyes and faces the direction in which the bus headed) Keisha: (confidently) All right... here is another one! (This bus does not even slow down, and much to Keisha's annoyance the conductor, who seems to be just dangling from the door, blows her a kiss and yells at her) Conductor: Mi wi bi yuh lover boy yuh nuh! Anytime yuh want! Rhona: (laughing): Ah... Ahhhh! Now there was an ambitious young man! I had better try to get a seat for I will be here for sometime yet. (She eyes a seat made vacant by an elderly lady) (Just then an empty robot taxi comes to a screeching halt at their feet. The driver shouts, 'Come eena dis!' Eight persons file in and the taxi speeds away) Keisha: Those are who you want us to travel with? Rhona: Why not? At least we would soon be home.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [47] ______________________________________________________________________ It is now 1:39! Keisha: I don't need to be subjected to that kind of poor behaviour. Did you hear how he invited the people to travel in his taxi? He has no self-respect. He could have at least tried to use English. Rhona: But, Keisha the behaviour on the bus that you are waiting to take isn't any different! Keisha: At least I won't have to sit so close to everybody. (Another robot taxi comes to a halt at the bus stop and three persons get in.) Rhona: Do you know that you are a snob? What is wrong if you are squashed a little, it is not our living room! (As she says this to Keisha she pulls away from the elderly lady who has returned to her seat but finds her sitting there. She places a shopping bag between herself and the lady) Keisha: And you call me a snob! (Keisha shakes her head in disbelief) (A bus with several empty seats comes to a stop and all the remaining commuters dash towards the door. Swiftly Keisha forces her way almost to the entrance.) Rhona: (yelling) Keisha, save a seat for me! (Just then a woman pushes Keisha forward and her bags burst and the contents fall to ground) Keisha: A wha duh dem hooligan yah? Oonu cyan wait till a fi oonu time. Look ow yuh dash weh mi sinting dem! (Frantically she picks up her purchases, meanwhile other commuters push and shove their way into the bus. As she picks up the final item the bus drives away) Rhona: (yelling from the bus step) Keisha, si one taxi deh. Nuh mek it leave yuh! Keisha: (climbing into the back seat of the taxi which had four persons already seated in it.) Wait fi mi a Highgate!

Here are a few things you should have derived from your analysis and application: a) The registers are informal and casual.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [48] ______________________________________________________________________ The familiarity with which Keisha and Rhona speak indicates that they are obviously friends or close relatives. We know this because of the subject about which they are speaking, that of waiting for a bus to get home as well as the context at the bus stop with excited holiday shoppers. Although they are using standard Jamaican English for the most part, it is informal because it is a conversation in which there is the use of interjections, such as Rhona's, Mmmmhm; and Keisha's, Dead, dead, dead! could not be described as a complete sentence but one in which meaning is understood by the speakers involved. b) The dialects vary between Standard Jamaican English [SJE] acrolect and Jamaican Creole [JC] basilect, for example Keisha's, All right... here is another one! might be considered SJE while the taxi driver's, Come eena dis! a JC dialect. c) The young ladies attitudes towards both the SJE and JC are revealed in the negative manner and positive manner in which they use them. Keisha associates good taste and decency with speakers of SJE and the converse with JC speakers. This is evident in her description of the taxi driver as behaving poorly, having no self respect and not trying to use English when he shouts, Come eena dis. It is a striking contrast to the beginning of the play when both begin to speak JC towards the end and we understand even more clearly how cemented these attitudes are because it is in aggravation and annoyance that the women blurt out what appears to be competently spoken JC which was previously scorned. A similar attitude is displayed by Rhona when she describes the conductor as an ambitious young man for having blown a kiss to Keisha and yells, Mi wi bi yuh loverboy yuh nuh! Anytime yuh want! d) Bearing in mind that communicative behaviours refer to communicating impressions to others unconsciously and inevitably, you should be able to identify several examples in the Act. One example is, Rhona rolling her eyes and facing the direction in which the bus headed. This indicates her frustration with Keisha's insistence to get a bus rather than take a robot taxi. Another is, when Rhona pulls away from and places a shopping bag between herself and the old lady. This signals distance and reveals her condescension and disdain for the woman. This description could fit Keisha's comment when, in reference to the taxi driver and perhaps his passengers, she says, Those are who you want us to travel with? These are some observations I made on last week's reflective piece: A bus stop hour. I hope you were also able to recognise them in your analysis and application exercise. You should begin practising how to analyse similar types of writing. Until next week then, walk good!

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INTERNAL

ASSESSMENT

THE

REFLECTIVE

SECTION

Language registers refer to the forms of language (in this case English) appropriate to particular situations and purposes. It refers to the various levels of formality or informality as well as the tones that are correct for a specific context. Registers are either written or spoken language and can be identified and described as formal, casual, intimate, consultative or frozen. (See Martin Joo's Levels of Formality in English for Academic Purposes by Barbara Lalla) Dialectal Variations refer to spoken and written differences in the use of language within a speech community: in the case of Jamaica English. (Various forms of English are used in the Caribbean). Speech related variation within the Caribbean may be located on the Creole continuum. This is a spectrum of language variation linking the more standard end of the linguistic range to the Creole end. This standard variety is called the acrolect, the mesolect refers to the varieties which are closer in features to the standard language and the basilect represents the variety which has mainly creole features. In commenting on dialectal variation you need to be aware of the different types of English used in the Caribbean. (Differences are made manifest in their inflection and accent). Attitudes to Language refer to the manner in which people use and view the varieties of English spoken in the Caribbean. These attitudes result from several factors, including historical and social ones. An integral consideration adopted in looking at attitudes is the association of education, formality and good taste with Standard English. Another consideration is the question as to whether Creole English is fitting and appropriate for certain uses. There may be attitudes of celebration, pride and confidence and on the other hand shame, contempt and ridicule of the language one speaks. Code switching or adopting the variety of English spoken also indicate specific attitudes to language. (Harold McDermott, 2003 CAPE Student Workshop) Communicative behaviours refer to communicating impressions to others unconsciously and inevitably. The six elements which are included in this activity are:

Vocalics: the use of volume, rate, tone and pitch of the voice to give dimension to meaning Proxemix: the use of space to communicate Artefacts the objects that relay a message about you Movement: the posture, gesture, eye contact, facial expression that say something about you Chronemics: the attitude and use of time that communicate something about you. The five senses: these convey information to you about others (Harold McDermott, 2003 CAPE Student Workshop

AN EVALUATION OF HOW HAVE WE CHANGED? In the paragraph the writer expresses her opinion that the most interesting change in America since the 1950s involves increased opportunities for social mobility. This is the

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [50] ______________________________________________________________________ main idea and it is clearly stated in the first sentence. She then describes certain changes that have occurred in her lifetime that support this conclusion. She says that attitudes toward 'life station' have changed as a result of social movements that have altered irrevocably the notion of station and have given new meaning and breadth to the parameters of the American dream. She expresses the view that minority groups and women who were formerly marginal are now able to 'participate in a fluid class structure based on notions of meritocracy' as white men have always been able to. It is clear that the writer feels that it is a good thing that some Americans are no longer 'consigned to limitations on the basis of the circumstances of birth'. It is also clear that she wants readers to understand and accept this view. Thus, by informing readers of these changes, the writer is trying to convince them to agree with her interpretation of them. So, while the passage is informative its main purpose is persuasive. In terms of the strategies and language techniques the writer has employed an authoritative tone. She begins by noting specific years, suggesting confidence in stating her opinion regarding the change in America. Additionally, in using her personal experience she gives the impression of being an authority on the issue. Many words and phrases such as 'altered irrevocably', 'most interesting', 'more inclusive' and 'most fundamental redefinition' have been used to describe and present her ideas on the increased opportunities for social mobility in America. This has not exhausted all that one could say in an evaluation of this sort but, if you were able to write an essay which includes at least these given points then you are on your way to writing an appropriate evaluation of discourse types. Certainly, it is imperative that you be able to measure the validity and the reliability of writings such as this one but, the focus today does not allow us to discuss these to any great extent. In the future we will do this exercise.

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RECOGNISING A WRITER'S PURPOSE


All good writers have a purpose, and this week we want to look closer at how we can better recognise a writer's purpose. Being able to understand a writer's purpose will greatly increase the meaning that a piece has for you. In determining the writer's purpose, you should look for: * Any hints in the title * Any hints in the heading or subheadings * Any ideas/points in an introductory or concluding statement. Sometimes in non-fiction writings, the main idea of a piece may suggest, or in some cases even, state the writer's purpose. However, because writers rarely state their purpose directly, in most cases you will need to determine a writer's unstated purpose through inference. In addition to the writer's specific rhetorical purpose, is the particular effect that he wishes to have on the readers. Readers sometimes confuse this purpose with the effect that a passage may have. Here is an example of what I mean. An objective news account of a ghastly murder may be intended to inform readers about something that happened, but the effect on some readers may be fright and disgust in others. In this case, the writer's purpose should be thought of as what he is trying to accomplish rather than as a reader's personal reaction to the details of the writing. The following are some examples of writings in which the writers purposes are identified for you. When it comes to sports, I am not particularly interested. Generally speaking, I look upon them as dangerous and tiring activities performed by people with whom I share nothing in common except the right to trial by jury. It is not that I am totally indifferent to the joys of athletic effort; it is simply that my idea of what constitutes sport does not coincide with popularly held notions on the subject. There are a number of reasons for this, chief among them being that to me the outdoors is what you must pass through in order to get from your apartment to a taxicab. Fran Lebowitz, Metropolitan Life This passage is clearly meant to amuse; therefore, it is serving the purpose of entertaining you. The writer is expressing her view through humour. In the following passage, the writers are informing you about the importance of vitamins in the healthy functioning of the human body. Firstly, they mention the necessity of vitamins, and secondly they explain why vitamins are so essential. Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that are essential to life. They are so-called micronutrients because, in comparison with the other nutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water, we need them in relatively small amounts. Vitamins function by and large as coenzymes. Enzymes are catalysts or activators in the chemical reactions

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [52] ______________________________________________________________________ that are continually taking place in our bodies. Vitamins are a fundamental part of the enzymes, the way your muscles are a fundamental part of your arms and legs. Most people are aware that we have enzymes to help us digest our food. But enzymes do more than help us to digest our food. They are at the very foundation of all our bodily functions. Enzymes are what make things happen faster. (Shari Liebeman & Nancy Bruning The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book) Here is the third and final passage. Notice that the main point is an opinion and that the details are provided to present convincing support. The writer's purpose is to convince readers that affirmative programmes are absolutely necessary for minorities. Read it. Opponents of affirmative action, including many liberals, genuinely believe in their stance's righteousness. Others want nothing more than to maintain white privilege. Both are obstacles to progress. They can't understand that setting aside a small percentage of jobs, contracts, and university admissions for minorities isn't about preferential treatment or reverse discrimination; it's about including us in a mix. For minorities the issue is not whether there should be a level playing field, but whether we'll make it to the field. Under affirmative action, if 20 per cent of a city's contracts are set aside for minority firms, 80 per cent could go to white firms. The same question could apply to job and university slots. So I ask, who's getting preferential treatment? Affirmative action has helped many minorities escape dire beginnings. But even today the vast majority remain isolated and trapped in poverty and pathological self destruction. Angelo Figueroa, Must Fight Back On Affirmative Action You will sometimes read passages that may do more than one thing and accomplish more than one purpose, but a writer usually has one dominant purpose in mind that is accomplished by whatever else may be going on in one piece. Consider the following passage as an example of such writing and look out for a suggested response next week! I think the most interesting change in America since 1954 is the way in which attitudes about "life station" have evolved. When I was born in 1947, the American dream was essentially defined in terms of the capacity of white males to challenge the capacity of the social and economic class into which they had been born and to participate in a fluid class structure that was based on notions of meritocracy. Women, blacks, the disabled, and gays were for all intents and purposes invisible people and were considered the exceptions to the American dream. That is no longer the case. The combined effects of the movements for civil rights, for gender equity, for freedom of choice for abortion, for disability rights, and for gay rights all have altered irrevocably the notion of station and have given new meaning and breadth to the parameters of the American dream. No longer are some Americans consigned to limitations on the basis of the circumstances of birth; today the notion of meritocracy is more inclusive than it was in 1954. This development has far-ranging consequences, reflected in the work force and otherwise, but it may well represent the most fundamental redefinition of American life of this century. Carol Moseley-Braun, How Have We Changed

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [53] ______________________________________________________________________ Here is the suggested response to last week's assignment (i.e. Vacationing by Maya Angelou): The writer's main point in the piece Vacationing is that resting after working is something human beings deserve and often do get but even as they engage in this activity, they occupy some or even most of their holiday by working. The discourse of this prose is artistic in nature. The writer seeks to convince us that we rarely ever do rest while we are vacationing; instead we work, unaware that we are working. She executes this task of persuasion by presenting her opinion couched in much emotional appeal - this is psychological persuasion and it is the primary mode of this discourse. A story is told of a personal experience the writer has while holidaying in Mexico. Not only does this provide entertainment for the reader, but also and even more importantly, it expresses an example to support and emphasise her main point. This technique of using narration is effective in achieving the writer's purpose. Indeed, we are more convinced when the persuader can provide first hand experience. Narration is performing a secondary function and therefore is deemed to be the secondary mode of discourse. The writer has aimed her piece at a general audience. This is evidenced by the simple common everyday words/phrases such as "... if we snag on a nail" and the conversational tone employed by her suggested in "I am not suggesting..." and "No, I am merely observing..." By referring to God and activities common to man, such as the right to vote, "hold political office" and "compete for a $10 million lottery prize" the writer creates an informal atmosphere thereby appealing to a general audience. In addition, mention of "blood", which is also common to all humanity is used by the writer to achieve this purpose. The most striking device used by the writer is irony. The irony is two-fold. The first instance of irony is in the point made that we work to survive and earn a vacation and yet when we do, we spend it working. The second instance is that the main point made by the writer and emphasised by her story is ironical itself for while on vacation she laughs at others who appear to be wasting their holidays yet she rushed to (her) room, unpacked (her) yellow pads, pen, dictionary and thesaurus all her tools for her craft and spent three days of her vacation writing the essay.

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THE COMBINATION OF DISCOURSE TYPES


ALTHOUGH EACH discourse type or rhetorical mode, as it is also called, was discussed separately in last week's lesson and although each type or mode was found to have its own purpose or function, more often than not the types are combined. It can be expected that there might be some description intertwined with narration, and nearly all arguments have some exposition. In such combinations one of the types is usually controlling the primary function of the text and the others, secondary function(s). For example, in an expository piece, my primary function is to explain something concrete, however, because of the nature of the object I may need to describe it. In this case my description is the secondary function as it is not only being used in order that you may perceive the object, but also that you understand it or be informed about it. Similarly, if in an article I attempt to convince you about an issue, I may have to explain something relating to the issue so that you may better understand it. Here, my primary type of discourse would be argument/persuasion while exposition would be secondary. PRIMARY VS SECONDARY MODE Read the following extract and identify the types or modes used. Say which is performing the primary mode and which is performing the secondary mode(s). Provide support for your choices. After creating the universe, all the stars, each grain of sand, the humpback whale and the soft-shell crab, even God tired and took a day off. There's no argument that we humans, who at our best can only create opportunities and at our worst create havoc, need time to rest. I am not suggesting that vacations are a sacred right on par with the right to vote, hold political office or to subscribe to one hundred magazines in order to compete for a $10 million lottery prize. No, I am merely observing that paltry creatures such as ourselves, who labour two thirds of our lives to oppose gravity and remain erect, require some time to laze on sofas, relax before fireplaces, to recline on white beaches under a benevolent sun. One would think that those are not inordinate desires. We labour day and night to fill two small sacks in our chests with that which is everywhere available. We hold a torrent of blood inside our bodies which are covered with tissue so thin that if we snag on a nail and do not close the aperture, the precious fluid would run out leaving husks dry and lifeless. All that is to say we work even when we are unaware of our efforts. So, we do need rest periods. However, there is that about us so perverse that even on a much needed and hard-won holiday, we feel the irresistible need to spin and toil.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [55] ______________________________________________________________________ On a beach in Mexico I sat near an artisan who had made some objects for sale. There were ash-coloured birds, vases and other knickknacks, along with brushes in jars and bottles of paint. I settled down comfortably, expecting to watch him turn the clay-coloured objects into gay souvenirs. However, the man did not take up the brushes, nor did he touch the paint. In moments, a line formed before his table and buyers began to bargain. At each sale, the buyer was given a seat, which was taken eagerly. One woman noticed that I was watching. She smiled at me, a cat-with-bird-in-mouth smile. Here we get to paint them ourselves. Then I noticed the seller's sign, THINGS, HAND PAINTED. I almost laughed aloud. These were tourists who had paid good money to come to Mexico to relax and here they were, working at something that if they had been asked to do, they would have declined without even thinking about it. I was amazed at how they were squandering their free time, so what did I do? I rushed to my room, unpacked my yellow pads, got out my pen, dictionary and thesaurus, and sat down and took three days of my vacation to write this essay Vacationing in Even the Stars Look Lonesome by Maya Angelou, 1997 Read this text carefully and complete the given task. Next week, I will provide a suggested response on it for you. Here is the suggested answer to last week's exercise: 1 argument: 2

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EVALUATING TYPES OF DISCOURSE


IN PAPER Two, Section 1 of the examination you are often required to read an extract taken from a passage, and then write an essay in which you not only state the writer's main point but also comment on the strategies used by the writer as well as discuss the suitability of the extract for a specific audience. In order to respond adequately to such a question, you ought to be able to identify each type of discourse. Generally, this is done according to the writer's purpose, the intended audience and the writer's style (structural techniques, devices and strategies). Here is a table which shows the common discourse types along with detailed characteristics of each. TYPE OF DISCOURSE PURPOSE STYLE: STRUCTURAL TECHNIQUES/DEVICES APPLICATIONS Narration (tells a story, details a series of related events) To entertain, to inform Action Verbs Dialogue Narrative point-of-view First/third person narration Novels, biographies, short stories and autobiographies Description (gives sensuous details about people, places, times of day, feelings and so on) To identify, to construct a verbal picture, to express what a thing looks, sounds, feels, smells or tastes like. Adjectives Sense data Descriptive sequence Catalogues, travel books, scene settings, word portraits Exposition (makes an idea clear, analyses a situation, defines a term, gives instructions) To explain, to identify the subject in a number of alternative ways, to inform Analysis, classification, definition, illustration, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, analogy Textbooks, reference books, training manuals, essays, reports Persuasion (1) Psychological to convince by using emotional/ non-rational appeals (2) Argument to convince by appeals to reason/logic/the intellect

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [57] ______________________________________________________________________ To cause belief or action (1) Repetition, rhetorical questions, emotional appeals (2) Evidence facts, authoritative opinions, personal experience Refutation of counter argument (1)Advertisements, political speeches, sermons (2) Essays Use the given table to draw lines to link each type of discourse in Column A with an appropriate example from Column B. Column A a. Description b. Exposition c. Argument Column B 1. She did not sit the Spanish examination in May. 2. Therefore, the expression is meaningless. 3. We jumped in the back of the pickup and headed towards the beach. We were in for a fun-filled day, little did we know that some of us would not have made it back. 4. Seth draped the multi-coloured satin scarf around her neck as she strutted down the runway.

d. Narrative

ANSWERS (a) (b) (c) (d) 4 Note the adjectives: multi-coloured, satin, strutted 1 Note the informed tone: the use of a factual statement 2 Note the opinionated tone: therefore, meaningless 3 Note the sequence of events/actions: we jumped, headed

HOMEWORK Write the appropriate type of discourse on the dotted line next to each example. 1. ........... I am of the view that air transport continues to offer a great combination of convenience, speed and safety unmatched by any other means of transportation. 2. ........... Getting lost can be a frustrating experience. Last summer three friends and I took a camping trip to YS Falls. We loaded our camping equipment and started for the campground. 3. ........... The little trees had real, scratchy barks and were bristled with leaves and needles. Some of the branches held tiny pine cones, walnuts, apples and pears. 4. ........... The rocks found on the earth and the moon are composed of the same minerals and elements.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [58] ______________________________________________________________________ Try doing these activities. As simple as they may seem, you are practising how to identify the different types of discourse. While you are reading this week (that is, for academia or for entertainment), see if you can do similar exercises. See next week's lesson for the answer to the homework assignment. So, until then, walk good! narrative: 3 descriptive: 4 expository

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APPENDIX ANSWER SHEETS RESEARCH DESIGNS & DATA COLLECTION METHODS

QUESTION 1 Any TWO of the following are sources from which Kishauna could gather background information on the research topic: * * * * Previous similar researches Archives at television stations Newspaper clippings Magazines

QUESTION 2A Any TWO of the following are methods of data collection which Kishauna could use in her research * Opinionnaires * Interviews * Observation schedules QUESTION 2B If you chose the opinionnaire then any of the following strengths/weaknesses could be given: Strengths * It facilitates a survey of a large population * It is easily administered * It is easily and reliably scored * It allows for anonymity Weaknesses * Limited scope for probing responses * Inflexibility * Responses can be misleading * Limitations posed by the literacy of the respondents * Respondents cooperation is imperative If you chose the interview then any of the following strengths/weaknesses could be given:

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [60] ______________________________________________________________________ STRENGTHS * It yields in depth information * It allows the researcher more flexibility * It can yield a high return of data WEAKNESSES * It gathers a lot of unnecessary information * It can be affected by researcher's biases * It is not always easy to set up interview sessions * The respondent s memory can be poor the mind selects only some aspects, others may be lost. If you chose observation schedule then any of the following strengths/weaknesses could be given: STRENGTHS * It allows for the collection of primary data * It can yield a high return of data * It allows for researcher flexibility * It lessens respondents bias and possible interference, which could contaminate the data WEAKNESSES * It can be affected by researcher's bias * Reactions of the respondents may be misinterpreted * Important and relevant data may be missed as chosen times of observation may not be appropriate or even significant QUESTION 3 Any TWO of the following are sources from which Kishauna could collect her research: * * * * Students Parents Any other family members Teachers

I trust that you have read all the information that I gave you last week. Do not forget to keep it in a safe place so that during revision time you can find it easily. This week we will continue studying research by looking at sampling. In addition, we will analyse the notions of validity and reliability in both argument and research. But first, how did you manage to apply the appropriate type of research and data collection method(s) in last week's exercise? Here are the suggested answers. Let s see how you did! QUESTION 1

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [61] ______________________________________________________________________ Any TWO of the following are sources from which Kishauna could gather background information on the research topic: * * * * Previous similar researches Archives at television stations Newspaper clippings Magazines

QUESTION 2A Any TWO of the following are methods of data collection which Kishauna could use in her research * Questionnaires * Interviews * Observation schedules QUESTION 2B If you chose the questionnaire then any of the following strengths/weaknesses could be given: Strengths * It facilitates a survey of a large population * It is easily administered * It is easily and reliably scored * It allows for anonymity Weaknesses * Limited scope for probing responses * Inflexibility * Responses can be misleading * Limitations posed by the literacy of the respondents * Respondents cooperation is imperative If you chose the interview then any of the following strengths/weaknesses could be given: STRENGTHS * It yields in depth information * It allows the researcher more flexibility * It can yield a high return of data WEAKNESSES * It gathers a lot of unnecessary information * It can be affected by researcher's biases * It is not always easy to set up interview sessions * The respondent s memory can be poor the mind selects only some aspects, others may be lost.

COMMUNICATION STUDIES [62] ______________________________________________________________________ If you chose observation schedule then any of the following strengths/weaknesses could be given: STRENGTHS * It allows for the collection of primary data * It can yield a high return of data * It allows for researcher flexibility * It lessens respondents bias and possible interference, which could contaminate the data WEAKNESSES * It can be affected by researcher's bias * Reactions of the respondents may be misinterpreted * Important and relevant data may be missed as chosen times of observation may not be appropriate or even significant QUESTION 3 Any TWO of the following are sources from which Kishauna could collect her research: * * * * Students Parents Any other family members Teachers