Family vs Discourse

Keywords: family discourse, dialogicality, addressability, spontaneity, situationality, informality.


The article presents the investigation of the main communicative characteristics of the English family discourse considering some psycholinguistic aspects. The investigation was based on the discourse fragments which were microdialogues between family members selected from literary works of the XX – beginning of the XXI century by means of continuous sampling. The scientists’ views concerning the peculiarities of communication in the family were analyzed. The research is theoretically based on the modern linguistic approaches to the study of the discourse as a complex versatile phenomenon.

The article treats the family discourse as the communicative interaction of the speakers related by family (marital and consanguineous) ties, connected spiritually, by common household and mutual moral responsibility. It is found out that the discourse under investigation is characterized by such communicative characteristics as dialogicality, addressability, spontaneity, situationality, everyday character and informality. The communication in the family acquires a dialogical form. The interaction takes place through the direct contact of the speakers that are keenly conscious of the circumstances in which the communication proceeds. The content of the family dialogical speech can be understood when the situation in which it is developing is considered. There is a distinct correlation between the dialogical speech and the situation whose external circumstances can be absent at the moment of speech, but they are implied in the interlocutors’ consciousness and definitely reflected in it. Speech behaviour of each dialogue participant is greatly determined by partner’s speech behaviour, his/her psychological state, character and breeding. The interaction of the relatives displays the absence of the strict regulation of literary norms, arbitrary choice of lexical units, breach of normative speech rules, use of deictic means. The necessity to study the family discourse regarding a communicative situation that presupposes the notions of dominating strategy and tactics is focused on.


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How to Cite
Brovkina, O., & Baranova, S. (2019). Family vs Discourse. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 25(2), 31-49.