The Contextualization of Language

John Benjamins (1992)
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Abstract

This volume suggests a novel treatment of context in the analysis of everyday interaction. On a theoretical level, it advocates a switch of focus from 'context' as a preestablished, monolithic category which constringes co-participants' verbal and nonverbal behaviour, to an active notion of 'contextualization': in order to make oneself understood, participants have to establish and maintain those shared contextual frames which in turn are relevant to the local interpretation of their verbal and nonverbal activities. On an empirical level, the volume contains exemplary analyses that show how participants employ 'contextualization cues' of prosodic (rhythm, intonation, tempo, etc.) or nonverbal (gaze, gesture, etc.) nature in order to 'achieve context'.The volume is also an appraisal of the theory of contextualization developed by John Gumperz. In their contributions, researchers from various schools of research, such as conversation analysis, micro-ethnography, phonetics/phonology and metapragmatics, relate their work to this theory.

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Citations of this work

Discourse, context and cognition.Teun A. van Dijk - 2006 - Discourse Studies 8 (1):159-177.
Language and biosemiosis: Towards unity?Stephen J. Cowley - 2006 - Semiotica 2006 (162):417-443.

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