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  • 1.
    Tryggvason, Marja-Terttu
    Södertörn University.
    Comparison of topic organization in Finnish, Swedish-Finnish, and Swedish family discourse2004In: Discourse processes, ISSN 0163-853X, E-ISSN 1532-6950, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 225-248Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether there are cultural differences in topic organization and role-related topic control in dinner conversations; such differences may function as a means for socialization into communicative styles. The research was designed as a comparative study of two geographically close but linguistically very different ethnic groups: Swedes and Finns, including Finns in Sweden as an intermediate group. Previous research has shown Swedes to generate more talk and to produce considerably shorter pauses than Finns. Furthermore, previous studies have indicated that lengthy pauses often precede topic changes. Empirical data were collected by video recording conversations in each of the three cultural groups: 11 Finnish families in Finland, 11 Finnish immigrant families in Sweden, and I I Swedish families in Sweden. Due to the shared setting, the conversations displayed many similarities, but there were also some intercultural differences. The main result was that the Swedish family dinner discourse was significantly more encyclopedic and coherent than the Finnish and Swedish-Finnish one. The findings support the hypothesized connection between pausing and topic organization. The mothers in each group were most active in controlling topic development.

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