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Title:Dialogue Structure in Modern French Plays and Spontaneous Conversation
Author(s):Snyder, April Falkin
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Modern
Abstract:An adaptation of Thomas Klammer's (1971) tagmemic model of dialogue paragraph structure was applied to five modern French plays and three cassette recordings of spontaneous conversation. The plays used were: Huis clos by Jean-Paul Sartre, Knock by Jules Romains, Les Bonnes by Jean Genet, Les Chaises by Eugene Ionesco, and La Belle de nuit by Pierre Wolff. They were chosen on the basis of their close resemblance to or deliberate deviation from actual dialogue and their limited number of speakers. Recordings were made of native French speakers in Paris, France interacting with the investigator. The model was used with the plays first as a stylistic tool to substantiate the findings of traditional criticism and add further insight into theme and characterization as reflected by the dialogue structure of each work. Secondly, the inadequacies of the model were pointed out in several examples drawn from the texts. Statistical comparison of the twenty-five utterance types occurring in each play was shown to account in part for variations in the playwrights' style. Similar analysis and statistical counts of the recorded conversation were carried out in order to ascertain the relationship between literary and actual dialogue. It was found that the structure of literary dialogue often closely approximates that of real conversation, especially in the proportion of certain response types made to the corresponding initiating and continuing utterances, Differences in the two types of dialogue may be accounted for either by a playwright's deliberate attempt to emphasize his theme through the speech of his characters or by what we term the "politeness factor" in actual conversation: recognition of the social constraints governing informal interaction between relative strangers.
In our conclusion, we offer possible additions to and modifications of the model for dialouge paragraph structure. We propose, further, the adoption of the terms "narralogue," "telelogue," and "lectologue" to identify three types of linguistics units above the sentence level found in either literary or spontaneous dialogue samples. Finally, we investigate the elusive notion of dialogue paragraph boundary in an effort to further the progress of linguistic analysis beyond the sentence unit and to contribute to the incorporation of dialogue structure into an eventual theory of discourse grammar.
Issue Date:1980
Description:174 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108667
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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