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A
CONVERSATION ANALYSIS OF PRE-SEQUENCES USED BY THE MAIN CHARACTERS IN HANCOCK’S
THE BLIND SIDE MOVIE

 

A Pragmatic Project

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ENGLISH LITERATURE STUDY PROGRAM

ENGLISH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

FACULTY OF LANGUAGES AND ARTS STATE
UNIVERSITY OF YOGYAKARTA

2018

A.   
Introduction

Language is one of the most
important thing in human’s social life. People have to use a certain language
as a medium to communicate with others. In a verbal communication, at least it must involve a speaker and a
hearer. By saying utterances, the
speaker sure has intention to deliver his or her certain
meanings. She
or he expects the hearer to catch the speaker’s meaning like
what the speaker has said to the hearer.
Therefore, the
hearer has to try to understand
what the speaker wants.
A good communication will happen when the same thought and understanding appear between the speaker
and the hearer themselves.

To study this, there is a field of
linguistic study called pragmatics. Pragmatics is the study of the
interpretation of speaker’s utterance in particular context. In this case, both
of the speaker and the hearer have to be aware of the context that follows the
speaker’s utterance. Sometimes when people communicate, what they utter is not
always the same as what they mean. In other words, the speaker has another
meaning behind what is said. Therefore, according to Yule (1996), one of the advantages
is that pragmatics allows
human to discuss about the speakers’ implied meaning, their purposes, and the sorts
of actions that they are showing when they speak. Then, by knowing the speaker’s intention, the hearer can place themselves
to respond in a certain way.

There is a lot of interactions between human beings that take place in many occassions. Besides, each person has different characteristics
and temperaments, then people who need and want to take this interaction have
to deal with those different things with a certain treatment. If someone want to interact with others in a proper way, she or he has to be polite.
Hence, politeness helps people to
communicate better. In the interaction to maintain relationships with others,
especially speaking to a person, the person must have the right ethics by
paying attention to what he or she is saying. He or she must also be able to choose the
right words without being something that can offend the listener. In addition,
being nice and not using harsh language can also prevent the emergence of a relationship
that is not good with someone else.

Yule (1996) states that within the everyday social interactions, people generally
behave as if their expectations concerning their public self image, or their
face wants, will be respected. In their interaction, while
saying something people consciously or unconsciously threat faces of others
which is called as Face Threatening Act (FTA). Alternatively, according to Yule
(1996), they can lessen the possible threat by saving their face which is
called as Face Saving Act (FSA).

This concept of face saving may be helpful in understanding how participants
in an interaction inevitably understand more than is said. However, face is
typically at risk when the self needs to accomplish something involving other.
One way of avoiding risk is to provide an opportunity for the other to halt the
potentially risky act. Before making a
request, for instance, it often makes sense
that the speaker will first produce what can be describe as pre-request
to check whether the other person has the item or time to do one wants. In other words, it is
often necessary to use pre-sequences which can supply speaker’s useful hints to get
their communication purposes
successfully.

According to Levinson
(1983), conversation may be
taken to be that familiar predominant kind of talk in which two or more
participants freely alternate in speaking, which generally occurs outside
specific institutional settings like religious services, law courts, classrooms
and the like. Pre-sequences
seem to be an important aspect in people’s daily conversation, they are also
used in the same way and frequency, therefore that is why they can be analyzed
in a lot of dialogues as a source of the data.

The other sample verbal communication
source is data that taken from movie.
Movie is a
medium which provides space for literature. The film is drawing to an event or
story that is poured into the visual media to make a literary work is more
beautiful and looks more real. Hence, watching movie whether
in cinema or home theatre is being
common activity used by some people,
because movie and the real world have some similarities, which include
several kinds of expressions. It could become an object of the study about the type of pre-sequences. This study is expected to reveal
the fact that there are some classification which
described as pre-sequences in a social environment happened,
especially in the main characters conversation.

The
way language is used will be different from how it is used in other occasion.
In  this case, the language used by the
main characters in Hancock’s The Blind
Side movie becomes interesting to be analyzed, because the male main
character of this movie comes from the different social backgrounds and
education levels from his new family as an adopted son. Therefore, there are
many things that can be brought into a 
study related to the language used by the main character of this movie.
His language will be different from his daily-used language when talking with
new people. The way he chooses the word, the tone, the diction, and the way he
speaks is different from what he usually does outside his new family. Thus,
this is why the object which are related together with the study can be an
interesting thing to be analyzed.

Based
on the introduction of the research and the research  focus, the 
objectives are formulated by the writer. The first objectives of the
research can be stated to identify the types of presequences used by the main
characters in Hancock’s The Blind Side
movie, the second is to describe the purpose of using the each types of
presequences in conversation by the main characters in Hancock’s The Blind Side movie and the last is to
determine the tendency of using pre-sequences by the main characters in
Hancock’s The Blind Side movie.

 

B.    
Research Method

This research employed descriptive qualitative approach. According to Bodgan and Biklen (2007), a
qualitative approach is a research bringing about
the descriptive data in the written and oral form data from the subjects of the
research being investigated. It is concerned with providing the description of
the phenomena which occur naturally without any intervention of an experiment
treatment. This research describes
phenomena in words. Therefore, the data and analysis in this research were in
the descriptive forms. The collected
data are also in the form of words and the conclusion was made without making generalization.

The data of this research were dialogues among the main
characters and the others in which utterances containing the types of pre-sequences
used by the main characters in the movie that were found. Meanwhile, the source
of the data was the script of The Blind
Side movie and the movie itself. The script which was retrieved from www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/b/the-blind-side-script-transcript.html.

As this research was qualitative research, and as Bogdan and
Biklen (1982) states that only human instrument that is flexible to capture the
complexity of the human  experience,
therefore the primary instrument of this study was the researcher herself. Therefore,
in this research, the researcher was the main instrument of the research since
she was the one who could lead the process from the data collected to the
conclusion made. And as the secondary instrument, the researcher used data
sheets to note the data which were related to the objectives of the study. The
data sheets were used to help the researcher in the process of identification
and analysis of the data.

There are some data collecting techniques in qualitative
research, they are interviewing, ethnographic observation, analysis of
documents and material culture, and visual analysis (Vanderstoep and Johnston,
2009:  189). In order to collect the
data, the researcher used the script of The
Blind Side movie as the source of the research. The technique which was
used by the researcher was note-taking. Note-taking is known as the practice of
recording information that enables the researcher to write the data on a data
card. Note-taking was used to record the linguistic phenomena which were found
in the movie.

 

C.   
Theories

In order to answer the research
questions, some major theories are elaborated as guidance and references of
this research. The first
is related to pragmatic studies, it  is 
a  branch  of 
linguistics  which  concerns 
the  connection between  the 
forms  of  linguistics 
and  the  people 
who  applying  those 
forms  (Yule, 1996).  The 
language  phenomena  which 
are  discussed  in 
pragmatics  mostly  deal with 
the  use  of 
language  by  its  user.  As stated by Yule (1996), pragmatics is
concerned with four areas. Firstly, pragmatics is the study of speaker’s
utterances and the effort of the hearer to interpret those utterances.
Secondly, pragmatics is the study of the interpretation of `speaker’s utterance
in particular context. In this case, both of the speaker and the hearer have to
be aware of the context that follows the speaker’s utterance. Thirdly,
pragmatics is the study of how to recognize the implied meaning of the
speaker’s utterances. The last, pragmatics is the study which focuses on the
expression of the closeness between the speaker and the hearer. Pragmatics is a
study that focuses on deliberate human acts. 
It means that pragmatics requires the interpretation of acts to get the
correct meaning  of utterances. Thus, it
is important to pay attention to the context of utterances to get  the correct interpretation.

It is in line with Yule’s statement
(1996) that the context will give details and help the speaker to understand
the utterances well. Furthermore, Yule (1996) adds that context is the
situation in which a word or a sentence is uttered. An example of word “ball”
to understand the context in different sentences were also given by Yule. The
word “ball” in “He kicked the ball into the net,” may be visualized as a soccer
ball. However, in a sentence “She dribbled the ball down the court and shot a
basket,” the word “ball” would be visualized as a basketball. In these
examples, the word “ball” is interpreted in different ways according to what
kind of action is related with it. Thus, the context is an important aspect in
pragmatics.

In studying language through pragmatics,
there are some advantages and disadvantages. According to Yule (1996), one of the advantages
is that pragmatics allows human to discuss about the speakers’ implied meaning,
their purposes, and the sorts of actions that they are showing when they speak.
Meanwhile, the disadvantage is that it is hard for human to be consistent and
objective when he or she has to analyze those concepts. Therefore, pragmatics
is an interesting study to be learnt because it is about how someone tries to
understand other people linguistically. However, it is also a complicated study
since it is about a deep understanding of what people have in their mind. Pragmatics
can be best described as one of linguistics’ branches which studies how people
use language in their conversation. As one of linguistics branches, pragmatics covers
several scopes such as politeness.

The speakers have to know the ways how
they are speaking. Wardhaugh (1998) states that people have to make a choice of
many different kinds: what they want to say, how they want to say it, and the
specific sentence types, words, and sounds. Politeness is one of the ways to
employ the expression. To see how to use the politeness in their expression,
the speakers can see the face of the hearer. Goffman (1967) states that there
may be several reasons why people want to save their face. They may have become
attached to the value on which this face has been built, they may be enjoying
the results and the power that their face has created, or they may be nursing
higher social aspirations for which they will need this face. However, face is
also called as self-image which face means the public self-image of person
(Yule, 1996).

Brown and Levinson (1987) states that
face is something that is emotionally invested, and that can be lost,
maintained, or enhanced and must be constantly attended to in interaction. In
their interaction, as already
described in introduction of this paper, while
saying something people consciously or unconsciously threat faces of others
which is called as Face Threatening Act (FTA). Alternatively, according to Yule
(1996), they can lessen the possible threat by saving their face which is
called as Face Saving Act (FSA).

Goffman (1967) defines face as “a
positive value a person effectively claims for himself by the line others
assume he has taken during a particular contact”. Brown and Levinson (in Goody,
1978) add that the term face can be defined as something invested within human
being which can be lost and maintained during the interaction. In maintaining
this face, it needs cooperation from the two parties, the addresses and the one
who is addressed. Goffman (1967) explains further that actually face or the
self-image is closely attached to the feeling. Sometimes they feel good when
their images are sustained or they feel bad or hurt when their images are
imposed.

According to Levinson (1983), he devides
the sub-classes of pre-sequences, including pre-invitations, pre-announcements,
pre-requests, and the like. The
first that the most
recognizable pre-sequence could also be the pre-invitation, since it is
actually a demand for a meeting with someone at some place. That means a
pre-invitation occurs before a request is given to someone to do something.
For example:

A: Hi, John.

B: Say, what’re you doing?

A: Well we’re going out. Why?

B: Oh, I was just going to say come over here this evening.

It can be seen in line 2, it is a perfect example of a
pre-invitation. Pre-invitations have to be followed up by a request to do
something as in line 4. (Emanuel, 2007).

The second
main type of pre-sequences is the pre-announcement. Unlike the pre-invitation,
the pre-announcement is not often followed by a question, but rather it is the
question itself and mostly followed by stories or news for the recipient.
Therefore a pre-announcement attends the preference not to re-tell known news.
For
example by Teresaki (1976):

A: I forgot to tell you the two best things that happen’ to me
today.

B: Oh super. What were they?

A: I got a B+ on my math test … and I got an athletic award.

The next pre-sequence is about the pre-request. Pre-request sequences have
a four-position sttucture. For example by Merritt (1976):

A: Hi. Do you have uh size C flashlight
batteries?                  ((PRE-REQUEST))

B:
Yes sir                                                                                 ((GO
AHEAD))

A:
I’ll have four please                                                ((REQUEST))

B:
(turns to get)                                                                       ((RESPONSE))

The
main reason for utilizing a pre-request is that it allows the speaker to check
out whether a request is likely to succeed or not. Beside that, it is used in
order to avoid its subsequent dispreferred response, which is commonly referred
to as a rejection. In fact, on its application, when the speaker in cases of
doubt, pre-requests are to be preferred rather than in requests way.

 

D.   
Findings and Discussion

The
findings were collected and analyzed from the dialogues among the main characters and the
others in which utterances containing the types of pre-sequences used by the
main characters in The Blind Side
movie that were found. This section identifies the
findings of the types of
presequences used by the main characters in Hancock’s The Blind Side movie, describes the purpose of using the each types
of presequences in conversation by the main characters in Hancock’s The Blind Side movie and determines the
tendency of using pre-sequences by the main characters in Hancock’s The Blind Side movie. From the object of the research, there are some data found by
the researcher.

Based on Levinson (1983), there are some the sub-classes
of pre-sequences, i.e. pre-invitations, pre-announcements, pre-requests, and
the like.

Then the findings of types and purpose of using the each types of presequences in
conversation by the main characters in the movie are shown in the table below.

 

No.

Pre-sequences

Accept/success

Rejection/no
response

Total

1.

Pre-invitations

6

1

7

2.

Pre-announcements

5

2

7

3.

Pre-requests

8

1

9

Total

19

4

23

 

1)      Pre-invitations

This
is the example of pre-invitation used from the conversation by the main
characters, Anne and Mike, in the The
Blind Side movie.

Anne                : Do you have any place to stay tonight?

Mike                : (silent)

Anne                : Don’t you dare lie to me.

Mike                : (shaking head)

Anne                :
Come on. SJ, make room! Get inside, Mike. Come on. (get in the car)

Anne
ask him a question first, to know whether Mike has a place to stay that night
or not. This strategy also can be stated as a pre-invitation because the
question occurs before a
request and is given to Mike to do something. In the line 5, the
pre-invitation is followed up
by a request to do something, in this case she ask him to go to her house to stay
there for that night.

 

2)      Pre-announcements

Here is the example of the pre-announcements used by Mike’s teachers at the
school in the movie. They are afraid to know that Mike has no pretension to
study and cannot learn the course easily.

Teacher A        : He knows it!

Teacher B        : Who knows it and what
does he know?

Teacher A        : The
material. Michael Oher. I gave him this test verbally.

Teacher C       : Is
that even allowed?

Teacher D       : A
“C”? On how big a curve?

Teacher A       : He’s
been listening all along. It’s amazing what he’s absorbed. And, trust me, he’s
listening to you too. Now, his reading level is low … and he’s got
no idea how to learn in a classroom … I’m not saying he’s gonna pass, but Big Mike is not
stupid.

As
in line 1, the teacher A uses the pre-announcement to open the conversation
between the teachers there. It is not a question, but more likely a hint that
makes the other teacher asks her what is actually she talking about. Same as in
the theory that the researcher mentioned before, the pre-announcement is the question itself and mostly followed by stories
or news for the hearer.

 

3)      Pre-requests

This
is one of the example of pre-requests used by the main characters in The Blind Side movie.

Mike                : Can
you help me get something?

Anne                : What?

Mike                : Driver’s
license.

Anne                : Why do you
need a driver’s license when you don’t even have a car? Michael, why do you want a driver’s license?

Mike                : It’s
something to carry with my name on it.

Mike
uses this pre-requests strategy in order to check out first, whether his
request will be accepted by Anne or not, and in order to avoid a rejection
because if Anne says “No”, perhaps
Mike will stop asking his request. However, since Anne asks back about what he
wants, then Mike can go ahead with his request.

E.    
Conclusion

For the conclusion, pre-sequences are indeed necessary elements in the human’s daily conversation. These sequences of natural
conversation are somehow important for their interaction with other human
beings. The study of conversation analysis of pre-sequences is quite simple but very strict. Therefore, it might be the reason why this
study is rarely to be a thesis or a research for a researcher in English
Literature Study Program English Education Department Faculty of Languages and
Arts State University of Yogyakarta. This study
tries to label and classify a language and its usage in order to deal with the
fewest details of a
topic.
Even though, the use of such
terms carries advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, they
have got a clear all
purposes system for almost all variations in their language.
On the other hand, the fact that a language is in a constant state of fluctuation forces them to invent new rules and
terms, and this causes confusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Bogdan, R. and Biklen, S. K. 2007. Qualitative
research for education : an introduction to theories and methods. Pearson A & B.

Brown,  P.  and 
S,  Levinson.  1987.  Politeness: 
Some  Universals  in 
Language  Use. Cambridge:
Cambridge  University  Press.

Emanuel A.
S. 2007. Sequence Organization in Interaction: A Primer in Conversation
Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Goffman, E. 1967. Interaction
Ritual: Essays in Face-to-Face Behavior. Chicago: Aldine.

Levinson,
S. C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: University Press.

VanderStoep
S.W, and 
Johnson D. D. 2009. Research Methods for Everyday Life:
Blending Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (Research Methods for the
Social Sciences).
Jossey-Bass

Wardhaugh, R. 1998. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.

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