In my short story entitled, ‘Words Haunt Me,’ the language registers and variations in the short story as well as attitudes to language and communicative behaviour of the characters will be discussed. Throughout the story, an intimate register was used between Romain and Rae-Ann. This is because they are very comfortable with each other. Additionally, it is the language marked by specialized words and expressions as seen when Rae-Ann says “It’s going to be alright babe.” However, a more formal tone is exchanged between Romain and Mr. and Mrs. Carmino. This is level of formality may have been adopted because Romain was meeting them for the first time. This is apparent as Romain declares “Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Carmino, a pleasure to meet you!”
Mr. and Mrs. Carmino spoke Standard English using theacrolect variation as seen in this example “So what are your intentions with my daughter young man.” Their choice of language may have been because of their ‘upper class status’. However, Romain spokecreole at intervals throughout the passage and at some intervals even exclaiming inbas ilect as he was emotionally aroused. The comfort at which he spokebas ilect leads one to believe that this is his first language of choice and he is very comfortable with it as evident in the many features of the creole structuring such as the use of ‘mi’ as a subject adjective and the replacement of the ‘th’ with the‘d’ as seen in the example ‘Dere is nuting wrong wit de way I speak!’ Theattitudes formulated to language vary given a person’s perception.
In the extract, Mr. Carmino despises the creole used by Romain. He considers acrolect/ Standard English superior tocr eole. He indicates this by saying ““You speak the language of the underdogs.” Romain on the other hand, defends his language as he sees nothing wrong with it. He also, associates Standard English with a higher class… ‘Corporate world.’ An example of a communicative behaviour which was exhibited throughout the passage is gestures.
Romain wiping his hands showed his nervousness while Mr. Carmino’s stern handshake is interpreted as a sign of authority. Other communicative behaviours included facial expressions as seen when Mr. Carmino’s ‘eyebrows frowned together which illustrates his anger and also through vocalics when Romain raised his voice to show his frustration. In attempting to analyse my second reflective I have looked at the relationship between a person’s dialectal variations, choice of register, attitude to language and communicative behaviours, all of which are important in communication.
Subject: Short story,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 November 2016
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