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What do we do when we talk at dinner?: a study of the functions of family dinner table talk and conversation
Södertörn University.
2003 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study was focused on the functions of family dinner table talk and conversation in twenty Swedish families with 1 – 4 children aged 7 – 17 years. As pointed out by a number of researchers (e. g. Blum-Kulka (1997), dinner conversation is a highly domain-specific activity, deeply impacted by contextual constraints. However, the different functions full-filled by language during the dinner have hardly received any attention nor has the influence exerted on the conversation by such contextual factors as different age and number of the participants during the dinner.

The results suggested that two main functions considered, instrumental talk and non-instrumental conversation, as well as certain more specific functions (or conversational genres), such as co-narration, commenting and co-planning, varied considerably in the 20 conversations – though systematically and within rather constant ranges.

Thus, on the one hand, certain variables seemed sensitive to the age of the participating children: a larger share of utterances serving instrumental functions, a larger share of commenting utterances, as well as of attention and focus regulating utterances in families with younger children. Other variations appeared to be a consequence of the number of participants: more narrating and planning in “small” families and more regulating utterances in “big” families.

Some of these fluctuations seemed to be due to individual factors in the family settings (age of the children and number of participants) or circumstances turning up in the actual situation. But the results also suggested strong socially and culturally conditioned frames constraining the variations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2003. , p. 28
Series
Working Paper, ISSN 1404-1480 ; 2003:1
Keywords [en]
Languages and linguistics
Keywords [sv]
Språkvetenskap
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-57OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-57DiVA, id: diva2:16279
Available from: 2003-09-12 Created: 2003-09-12 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Brumark, Åsa

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf