This book offers a critical reflection on interpersonal positioning across both large- and small-scale contexts and highlights the multi-faceted nature of intercultural communication in today’s global world. The volume establishes positioning primarily as the negotiation of interpersonal relationships, and draws on concepts from across disciplines by way of reappraisal before applying them to two specific domains: MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) and private ELF couple interaction. While acknowledging and showcasing the unique features of positioning in these two contexts, Klötzl and Swoboda point to their commonalities by looking at how language and specifically English is used as a communicative resource in lingua franca situations. The book also identifies new directions for future methodological innovations in that it demonstrates how the same interaction can be looked at in methodologically-different ways and how the authors’ own positions projected on to such interaction create an integrated tri-partite perspective on the two domains. Shedding light on interpersonal positioning in different contexts and in turn on global communication more generally, this book will be of particular interest to students and researchers in discourse analysis, pragmatics, computer-mediated communication, sociolinguistics, and applied linguistics.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: from text to discourse
Why English as a lingua franca?
Why ingame (disembodied) interaction?
Why ELF couple interaction?
Two domains – the same basic issues
THE DISCOURSE OF ELF
COMMUNICATION AS POSITIONING
Communication as "a meaningful whole"
Positioning as polyphony
Positioning as Bakhtin’s dialogicality
Positioning in the social sciences
Positioning and the face
Positioning as politeness: personal wants and other motivations
Positioning as involvement and independence: pro-social and relational approaches
The co-operative and territorial imperatives
POSITIONING AS POLYPHONIC METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH
Methodological issues: "a paradox of irreducible subjectivity"
Research design: triangulated inquiry
Couple 1. Nargiz (Ukrainian) and Dan (French) (C1/ua-fr)
Couple 2. Sue (Israeli) and Henry (Austrian) (C2/il-au)
Couple 3. Sandy (Italian) and Peter (Austrian) (C3/it-au)
Couple 4. Monica (Austrian) and Patrick (Czech) (C4/au-cz)
Couple 5. Anna (Austrian) and Paul (Hungarian) (C5/au-hu)
Third-person data: self-compiled corpus of ingame and out-game interaction
Second-person data: questionnaire
First-person data: critical incident log
Third-person data: corpus of couples’ self-recordings
Second-person data: interviews and participants’ comments
First-person data: the researcher’s diary and field notes
Summary and conclusion
DISEMBODIED COMMUNICATION: Positioning in computer-mediated gaming discourse
MMORPGs and its communication
Communication channels and their functions
Aspects and challenges
Places and positions in gaming
The gamers' motivations
Finding place and assigning place
LFG (Looking for group) sequences: finding help and grouping ingame
Wiping: the death of all party members
A LOVE AFFAIR WITH ELF: positioning as interpersonal dynamics in ELF couple discourse
"What מאמי /mami/?": achieving meaning in couple talk
"Schatzi what does your mother do there eigentlich": use of language to the pragmatic effect of togetherness
"This dog is a topic": ‘others’ as interactional resource in the process of establishing coupleness
"Lustig mein mann ist": intertextuality as an interactive resource in ELF couple talk
"Mucho bueno": achieving ‘coupleness’ through representational function of couples’ ELF
Conclusion: ELF as "refuge in this little world of ours"
CONCLUSION: Positioning as a universal process of human communication
Svitlana Klötzl received her PhD from the University of Vienna. Her research interests include discourse analysis, English as a lingua franca, applied linguistics, and private couple interaction. Her publications include articles in Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, Discourse and interaction, and a chapter in Globalisation: Myth or Reality?
Birgit Swoboda is a freelance researcher publishing and presenting on language use in computer-games. She studied English Linguistics and History at the University of Vienna and holds a PhD degree (thesis title: L2P n00b – The pragmatics of positioning in MMORPGs). Her research focus is CMC, politeness and positioning theory.