Dramatic Dialogue Analysis - Sample Essay

Language is a natural process of living. It plays a great part in our lives. Its effects are remarkable, and include much of what distinguishes man from animals. We use it to interact with one another, to construct and maintain our interpersonal relations and order. In doing so, we interpret and represent the world for one another and for ourselves. Language is used to store the experiences built up, both personal and collective. It is a tool for constructing knowledge and for constructing meaning (http://www. isfla.

org/Systemics/Definition/ chap elle. html). The study of language is an inquiry into the nature of mind and thought on the assumption that languages are the best mirror of the human mind (Stainton, 1999). Analysis of everyday language use affirms that it is in the realm of art that their challenges are most evident and tangible (Gerbig and Muller-Wood, 2006). Linguistics shares a common tradition with literary study. Not so long ago, language and literature were studied together by philologists, who saw the study of both areas as mutually beneficial.

Later development and the advent of specialization in both fields have oven produced scholars whose work does not cross over form one field to another (Oaks, 1998). Even so, scholars in either discipline regularly voice the truism that there is natural conjunction between literature and linguistics. After all, both fields deal with the raw material of human communication and expression – language. There is a need for interdisciplinary cooperation between the disciplinary identity of linguistics as empirical and descriptive while literary study being interpretative and analytical (Gerbig and Muller-Wood, 2006).

Linguistics helps us to “trust the text” (Gerbig and Muller-Wood, 2006), to interpret the text, rather than impose interpretations upon on it. Application of linguistic empirical tools to literature may not lead to ultimate truths. It can nevertheless bring precision to otherwise often impressionistic treatment of text. There is a need to treat text as interchangeable products of a discursive system. Mogliola (1981) posed the question: “what are the structural conditions for the valid reading of a text, in so far as these conditions are revealed by a phenomenology of interpretative experience?

” Heideggerian hermeneutics takes as its origin the pre-objective oneness of interpreter and phenomenon (be the literary text) – sees in interpretation a reading that is faithful to this oneness. Interpreter is never neutral, but always approaches a text with an explicit or implicit question. Interpretative activity manifests three functions: the interpretative question, the textual aspect, and the interpretation which is the meaning. Any given interpretative question should select and illuminate its affiliated “textual aspect”, an aspect which is there is the text.

Linguistics can place literature more firmly and credibly in its context for other aspects of meaning depend more on the context and the communicative intention of the speakers. Communication clearly depends not only on recognizing the meaning of words in an utterance, but recognizing what speakers mean by their utterances. The principles and rules of grammar are the means by which the forms of language are made to correspond with the universal form of thought. The study of generative grammar represented a significant shift of focus in the approach to problems of language.

The shift focus was from behavior or the products of behavior to states of mind/brain that enter into behavior, the central concern becomes knowledge of language: its nature, origins, and use. The three basic questions arise: ‘What constitute knowledge of language? ’, ‘How is knowledge of language acquired? ’, and ‘How is knowledge of language put to use? ’. The answer to the third question would be a theory how the knowledge of language attained enters into the expression of thought and the understanding of presented specimen of language, and derivatively, into communication, an other special uses of language (Stainton, 1999).

The third question takes an important part in this study, particularly in the performance of the language which main purpose is communication. Communication is conceived as a relation that binds together the three elements: sender, receptionist, and topic. Corresponding to the three elements are three distinct functions: expression, appeal, and representation. These functions consist communicative function depending on what takes the center-stage. The function does exclusively what is represented or depicted in the communicative act. The three functions become the explicit focus of conversation (Medina, 2005).

Alongside communication is conversation. Smith (2001) describes conversation as a process of two people understanding each other. Thus it is a characteristic of every true conversation that each opens himself to the other person, truly accepts his point of view as worthy of consideration and gets inside the other to such an extent that he understands not a particular individual, but what he says. The thing that has to be grasped is the objective rightness or otherwise of his opinion, so that they can agree with each other as a subject. Furthermore, in conversation, knowledge is not fixed thing or commodity to be grasped.

It is an aspect of process. It arises out of interaction. In conversation, there is a to-and-fro play of dialogue. Dialogue is the encounter between men, mediated by the world, in order to name the world. It is culturally and historically specific way of conceiving certain verbal transactions and as such has considerable rhetorical force (Maranhao, 1990). The root sense of dialogue is that of talk (logos) that goes across or back and forth (dia). In contemporary English, dialogue is a conversation of two persons. At formal level, it is an economics of verbal exchange.

In the functional usage of dialogue, a text or social interaction is treated as a social field across which multiple voices and multiple cultural logics contend with each other (Tedlock and Mannheim, 1995). What makes something as dialogue? The spirit of its participants of the form its utterances take? In Plato’s inception, dialogue has always been and continues to be programmatically liminal: interstructural, between two states or conditions, essentially unstructured rather than structured by contradictions; because of its deliberate avoidance of closure and finality.

It serves perpetually as a vehicle for reformulating old elements into new patterns. Dialogue provides a meeting ground, community, and manifests itself in a variety of spontaneous and ritual modes of discourse in which nature and structure meet. Understood as a conceptualization of a kind of discourse and also a way of viewing and interpreting discourse, dialogue shares with narrative the characteristic of being atemporal, existing in many times and places. As discourse phenomena, it is internally atemporal.

It does not talk about events in time; instead it spans in ‘dialectic event (i. e, discourse event) and meaning’; it presents utterances, ideas, and undertakings in nonlinear, recursive, diaeretical, and synthesizing sequences (Maranhao, 1990). Treating dialogue as an ideal evidently has an ethical implication. Furthermore, when a particular mode of communication is chosen as a model of dialogue, it becomes identified with the sense of goodness or rightness adhering in the ideal to the exclusion of other modes of communication. (Maranhao,1990).