ANALYZING DISCOURSE WITH A CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

Abstract

Author(s): Defne ERDEM METE

This study, based on the Cultural Discourse Analysis framework of Carbaugh (2007), presents the cultural nature of a discourse analysis example that focuses on parts of a conversation between two Turkish graduate students. The paper highlights the fact that the framework is useful not only to analyze and interpret practices of intercultural communication, but also interpersonal communication. It examines several excerpts taken from the conversation to reveal how culture plays a role in the communication practices including the choice of topics and certain language devices. When viewed especially from the perspective of functional accomplishments in the conversation, the participants use indirectness, reported speech and personal topics to build trust, do relational work and hence, maintain a supportive communication on the whole. It is seen that one of the significant cultural symbols or values related to the discourse elements used in the study is modesty. The study suggests that cultural discourse analysis can be used in foreign language teaching in order to draw learners’ attention to how culture plays a role in our daily conversation.

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