Spoken Discourse Of Dynamic Exchange English Language Essay

In the societal context, all people are assigned with different functions, which differentiate them in footings of position and power. Although sometimes the hierarchy between two parties is already known in progress, we are interested in looking into spoken discourse of dynamic exchange, to calculate out how power is exercised through linguistic communication usage in world. Therefore, in this paper, I will research the power relationship between the talkers through analysing the linguistics picks made, the exchange construction and the address maps.

The chosen spoken discourse is from the episode 3 of the American world show ‘The Apprentice ‘ ( Season 6 ) . Participants are divided in two opposing squads and are assigned concern undertakings and Donald Trump, the justice, chooses one or more members from the losing squad and fires them in the council chamber.

I will foremost by and large depict the registry of the text, followed by analysing the temper picks and address maps, pick of lexical words and average verbs, positive grasps by Michelle, straightness by Donald, exchange construction ( turn-taking and break form ) and signifier of reference.

The unequal power relationship between the justice, Donald Trump and the participant, Michelle will so be unveiled.


Register, which describes ‘the relationship between linguistic communication and context of the state of affairs ‘ , includes three facets: field, manner and tenor ( Martin, 2001, p.152 ) .

The field is the council chamber confrontation in a world show. We can deduce it by looking at the verbs used like ‘quit ‘ , ‘work ‘ , ‘have learnt ‘ from which the stuff procedures are illustrated and the participants like ‘organization ‘ , ‘boardroom ‘ , ‘business ‘ .

The manner is face-to-face talk in which the participants are allowed to show their positions in immediate responses. The tenor is the Judgess, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump, and the campaigners, Michelle Sorro from the losing squad. Power and solidarity are the two facets of tenor ( Martin, 2001, p.160 ) . Michelle is decidedly in an inferior place compared with Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Donald. One obvious hint demoing the hierarchal relationship is that the three has heckled Michelle. Their societal distance is big as shown by the subject they were discoursing ( the quitting of the campaigner ) and the usage of personal pronouns, ‘I ‘ and ‘you ‘ to distance themselves from each other.

Gardner ( 1994, p.99 ) suggested that ‘ aˆ¦certain functions with greater power in footings of the control of turn-taking, and the people busying these rolesaˆ¦take on that greater power every bit long as they are in that function, and for every bit long as that interaction continues. ‘

Therefore, in the undermentioned parts, I will concentrate on the power dealingss in tenor by explicating the different salient linguistic and exchange characteristics throughout the whole meeting.

Mood pick and address maps

Although the whole discourse contains largely declaratory and several interrogative sentences, without any imperative construction, we can still understand the power relation through the address maps performed by the temper picks.

At the beginning of the treatment in the council chamber, Michelle started off by seting a yes/no-interrogative request for permission to show her feelings. Michelle used it alternatively of a declaratory sentence to demo her purpose, as it gave Donald the picks of leting or declining. This pattern is normally seen when people in a low-level place want to originate the conversation at the same clip to demo regard.

Furthermore, there are more inquiries used by Donald than Michelle. He raised inquiries at the beginning of the confrontation in bend 4, 6 and 9 to inquire for information. This is interpreted as one manner of Donald ‘s effort of authorization, since Fairclough ( 2001, p.105 ) indicated that oppugning can be a mark of power in a sense that the higher-ups inquire for information and demand their subsidiaries to supply it. It is particularly outstanding that the less powerful individual, i.e. Michelle, gave responses instantly without vacillation. She was non given an option of declining to reply it.

In bend 4, Donald used a WH-interrogative to inquire Michelle about the material she was covering with. In bend 6, Donald used a short decreased inquiry signifier ‘Too tough? ‘ alternatively of ‘Was it excessively tough? ‘ with lifting modulation to execute the address function of inquiry, demanding the information from Michelle. Harmonizing to Fairclough ( 2001, p.38 ) , this type of inquiries is ‘abrupt and curt ‘ and can demo the hierarchal relationship.

In bend 9, Donald asked Michelle whether she was discontinuing. It shows Donald ‘s higher power position since as Fairclough ( 2001, p.113 ) pointed out, when the significances by middlemans of lower power position are equivocal, the more powerful middlemans will ‘enforce explicitness ‘ by oppugning them with an purpose to compel them to do themselves clear. The same map was exercised here to coerce Michelle to acknowledge she was discontinuing.

In add-on, several cases of interpersonal metaphor, in which ‘Mood picks and address functions do non ever co-occur ‘ ( Thompson, 2004, p.231 ) , are shown. In bend 9, he uttered a declaratory sentence started with ‘so ‘ , and ‘you ‘ as the Subject followed by the Finite ‘are ‘ . The sentence was realized as a inquiry, non a statement, in response to turn 7 of Michelle in which her negative feelings towards the procedure were expressed.

The temper construction in bend 11 is three back-to-back yes/no-interrogative constructions. The 2nd and 3rd 1s are yes/no questions, which take the map of non inquiring for information, but of a statement to demo his judgement towards Michelle ‘s surrender. The intent is to abash her and besides do it an duty for her to give responses. If it was a declaratory sentence, the duty would non be as outstanding because she could take to get down a new bend unit.

In bend 22, there was besides a declaratory sentence acting as inquiry. However, he did non anticipate an reply really, but raised the attending. It did non function as providing options for Michelle but merely a signal that he was traveling to give information, presuming that Michelle wanted to cognize it.

In bend 37, Donald raised a WH-interrogative with his ain answer, working as giving his ain judgement, but non inquiring for sentiments. This is besides a technique in exerting his power since he pre-assumed the state of affairs and the reaction of Michelle.

Politeness by Michelle

As Holtgraves ( 2002, p.47 ) pointed out, “ we are more likely to be polite aˆ¦ to a higher-power individual than to one who is in lower power than us. ” Politeness is manifested through pick of words and positive grasp by Michelle.

Choice of lexical words and modal verbs

It is noticed that in Michelle ‘s address, she used average verbs like ‘would ‘ and ‘ can non ‘ . Examples can be found in bend 3, 7 & A ; 10 ( ‘would love/like ‘ alternatively of ‘want ‘ ) , and turn 25 ( ‘ca n’t appreciate ‘ alternatively of ‘do n’t hold with ‘ ) to do her tone less strong and demo her dissension indirectly. In bend 7, ‘a small ‘ was adopted as a ‘downtoner ‘ ( Martin and Rose, 2007 ) to cut down the strength of the judgement so that it did non sound violative to Donald.

Overall, she showed niceness and respect to the hearer because she indicated her penchants and dissension indirectly and politely.

Positive grasps and judgement

Michelle included rather a batch of positive grasps to extenuate her negative grasp on the competition procedure. Extenuation happened in bend 7, 16, she mentioned that she appreciated the chance and in bend 18, she used some positive grasp like ‘insightful ‘ , ‘great ‘ to depict the procedure. These cut down the consequence of kicking. In bend 28, she expressed a positive judgement on Donald ‘s candid. This acts as grant to do it sound more pleasant and polite for the listener.

In bend 18, Michelle used ‘so much/many ‘ , ‘incredibly ‘ to add force to her positive grasp to the procedure. It is like a blandishing address to the superior to salvage the face of Donald.

The fact that Michelle gave positive judgements and grasps before or after negative grasp towards the procedure reflects that she wanted to relieve the overall negative ambiance and do it less aggressive.

Directness by Donald

Tannen ( 2000, p.195 ) points out that “ Many in the United States find it axiomatic that straightness is logical and aligned with poweraˆ¦ ” . Directness can be shown in pick of words and usage of intensives.

Choice of negative lexical words

Donald has adopted many negative appraising looks to judge straight on Michelle ‘s public presentation and behaviours. This ‘evaluative feedback ‘ or ‘evaluative remark ‘ is common for dominant individuals towards low-level individuals ( Fairclough, 2001: 113 ) . For illustration, Donald explicitly used words like ‘hate ‘ , realized as negative affect ( used repeatedly in bend 24, 26, 27, 29 ) , ‘trouble ‘ ( turn 17 ) , ‘loser ‘ & As ; ‘quitter ‘ ( turn 11 ) , ‘mistake ‘ ( turn 27 ) , wholly realized as negative judgement. These are adopted to build Michelle ‘s determination as a incorrect and unacceptable act exlicitly. In bend 20 & A ; 37, he used the word ‘never ‘ , which shows definite and determined rating, to judge on Michelle ‘s failure. This inclusion of ‘never ‘ makes him look unchallengeable.

He did non try to extenuate the accusal of discontinuing against Michelle. Rather, he used these subjective, personal affects and judgements to foreground his negative attitude towards Michelle and her behaviour of discontinuing, puting up a negative and assailing ‘prosody ‘ ( Martin & A ; Rose, 2007, p.59 ) .


In bend 17, ‘serious ‘ was uttered to add force to ‘trouble ‘ . It is a extremely violative judgement which made Michelle lose face. In bend 19, a batch of words indicate the attitudes and graduation. For illustration, ‘major ‘ was repeatedly used as an explicit ‘intensifier ‘ ( Martin & A ; Rose, 2007, p. 43 ) ; ‘only one individual ‘ was repeated as a measure intensive to emphasize the sum while ‘all the old ages ‘ was to stress the measure in clip. These intensives were used to beef up the force in building Michelle ‘s surrender as a rare instance and estrange her from the remainder of contestants who stayed. Merely the higher power position individual can take the hazard to magnify and amplify the other ‘s incorrect behaviour ( his ain judgement ) .

Exchange Structure

Turn-taking system

The turn-taking system is that current talker can choose the following talker or the following talker can choose himself ( 1978, Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson, p.701 ) .

The flow of bends between Michelle and Donald is by and large self-selecting despite some are through Donald ‘s choice by contiguity braces.

Harmonizing to Coulthard ( 1985, p.60 ) , when the current talker does the choice, he can besides take to state the first portion of an contiguity brace to curtail the following talker ‘s types of response. It can be shown that Donald exercised the power through stating the first portion of the contiguity brace, i.e. , a inquiry in the instances

Examples can be found in bend 4 and 5, 6 and 7, 9 and 10, 11 and 12.

There are two cases when Michelle tried to state something and wanted to vie for the bend between turn 19 & A ; 20 and within bend 22, but failed to make so since she chose to give up the opportunity of talking but allow Donald go on. This reviewed her ain restriction on her part since she knew that Donald would go on. It is important that her perceptual experience of herself being inferior was reflected.


Tannen ( 1989, p. 267 ) summarised that ‘West and Zimmerman ( 1983, p. 103 ) are typical in naming break “ a device for exerting power and control in conversation ” and “ misdemeanors of talkers ‘ bends at talk. ” ‘ Therefore, a higher power position of Donald is demonstrated through the breaks as the basic regulations of taking bends are broken.

More breaks were made by Donald than Michelle.

In bend 5-6 and turn 10-12, Donald interrupted Michelle ‘s history by interrogating her, and so Michelle could non go on her ain bend but responded to it.

In bend 16 & A ; 17, he ignored and refused to react to Michelle ‘s positive remark in the last sentence, but he interrupted and referred back to Michelle ‘s old sentences of account. It was to give important histories of the motivation for her surrender. It shows that he was in control of taking what to react or disregard. In bend 38 & A ; 39, Donald interrupted Michelle because she denied her easy-quitting. He wanted to demo his dissension instantly. Therefore, he started his bend by disregarding Michelle ‘s effort in farther account.

Breaks besides occurred when Donald wanted to alter the subject. Like bend 29, by disregarding what Michelle has said and non giving any responses to the old bend, Donald continued and stated his ain analogy remarks. Michelle was compelled to halt her bend because she was non allowed to go on.

At the terminal ( turn 41 ) , Donald all of a sudden stopped the focal point of the treatment of whether Michelle gave up easy and uttered that he accepted her surrender. He did non wait until Michelle finished her promise but he stated his ain credence at the clip he preferred.

In short, the bends were dominated by Donald because he could ever take the bend from Michelle while Michelle merely obeyed and gave in.

Despite that there are some cases that Michelle tried to disrupt Donald ( turn 25, 34, 36, 42 ) , Donald managed to prehend the bend, halt Michelle from disrupting and go on his ain bend. For case, in bend 35, when Donald depicting how tough it would be in existent concern, Michelle tried to take her bend by turn toing Mr. Trump as meaning, but Donald ignored her marks. This made Michelle halt her address but say ‘yes ‘ as feedback item. Her failure in taking the land reflects her low-level place.

Forms of reference

It is noticed in some cases that Michelle and Donald addressed each other otherwise. When Michelle referred to Donald Trump ‘s address in bend 32 and addressed him in bend 36, she used the signifier of rubric plus his last name, Mr. Trump, instead than his first name, Donald. On the contrary, Donald Trump addressed Michelle by her first name in bend 33. This ‘non-reciprocal signifier of reference ‘ is a clear manifestation of the hierarchal relationship between them ( Tannen, 1992, p.135 ) because the subsidiary should non name her foreman in first name to demo respect. It is the privilege of the foreman to name his subsidiaries by first names.


The power relationship between Donald and Michelle is illustrated through the niceness by Michelle, direct and negative judgements and affects by Donald and the exchange construction. All of them positioned Michelle in a lower power position while Donald in a higher 1. The hierarchy is observed through the verbal resources. Further probe could be made based on the non-verbal resources such as gestures, facial looks or even modulation in order to give a comprehensive analysis on the realisation of power in discourse.

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