Communication is part of every living being, from human to animals each have their own way of communicating. Mankind mostly communicates through speech with each other, but on many occasions, speech will be less meaningful and the body language and attitude of the communicator would hold more meaning or may mean something different altogether. The explanation of speech acts involves the manner in which the speaker makes use of an utterance with some definite objectives in mind and the manner in which the listener is affected by the utterance in a particular situation. To illustrate, the speaker may be indirect (e.g., “That book should not be on the floor”) or direct (e.g., “Pick up the book”). With regard to speech acts, Sonnenmeier, Duchan, and Hewitt (1994) argue that “language is obtained by children to affect the world – so that they can express their personal intentions and make others listen and respond to those intentions.” Similarly, Wilson, Muller, and Guendoui (2008) assert that “the advancement of intention and its expression is the keystone of the linguistic and cognitive maturation.” The classification policies differ while attempting to control the development of speech acts (impaired as well as the typical). According to Justice and Pence (2008), “The communicative functions or the speech acts are the pragmatic building blocks.In pragmatic behavior, speech acts play a very significant role.
In the case of Nikkyta, the propensity to be “loud” in the typical style of the African-American interaction is mainly seen when ‘cappin’, ‘dissin’, ‘snappin’ and ‘rappin’ (i.e., verbal jousts) exist. The pattern of the call/response is illustrated by a continuous disagreement or interruption of confirmation (backward and forward understanding of interest and attention in the subject matter), whereas the sucking of her teeth shows her disgust to responding (Rickford&Rickford, 2000; Green, 2002). The narrative style of Nikkyta reveals a topic associative style of the oral tradition of the African-American communication (Burns, 2004) when stories are generated.
Kayla performs a non-verbal speech act in the first and third lines of this conversation when she moves her neck and head (rolling the neck), giving a sign of disgust or signaling to get off (Green, 2002).
In the seventh line, Kayla uses’ signifying’, i.e., an earlier version of the AAE speech act which is an indirect verbal insult (Green, 2002; Smitherman, 1999). When Kayla interacts with others (e.g., with her teacher’s aide, or a classroom teacher, or a graduate in Pathology Speech-Language – all Caucasians), the pattern of communication is different and appears to be an expression of the skill to code-switch – needing perspective-taking – and efficient utilization of the rules of the AAE interactions.
Children that suffer from pragmatic language disorder are unable to code-switch because code switching needs the ability to deduce the mindset (or linguistic knowledge/world) of others. Furthermore, children with pragmatic impairment may not be imaginative while using a slight offense.
Kayla was rude and even insulted Yasmine by stressing on the word “me”, when she says my spectacles make “me” look beautiful, stressing on the word me, communicated to Yasmine that her spectacles didn’t make her look nice. Her neck roll and her and the way she watched Yasmine and after giving brisk answer she walked away at once without saying goodbye or farewell also clearly communicates the fact to us that Kayla did not like the conversation with Yasmine
Two cases of abortion occurred in Birmingham and Manchester, the UK, where abortion is a crime and renders those involved in it liable to prosecution (BBC News). Yet, as the very first sentence of the DPP makes it clear, it was decided not to prosecute the two doctors for the gender-based abortions, indicating that there were some doubts about the incident, or the evidence were insufficient. Thus, the fact that the two doctors were left unpunished for something regarded as a crime by the law proves that there was a lack of certainty.
However, KeirStarmer, the QC, said that the evidence was enough to prosecute the two doctors, but it was not in the public interest to do so while a health regulator inquiry was still on. This statement shows the different views of the government bodies on the issue. The fact that even the MPs have begun to engage in a debate over the issue shows that there are divisions among the politicians as well. As many as 50 politicians have decided to file a complaint against the decision taken against the provisions of the abortion Act. The incident caused a furor; Jeremy Hunt called for immediate clarification and Mr. Starmerpromised to make the details public.
However, Mr. Stramer later wrote to the Attorney General saying that the case was not clear. This proves that he was under pressure to make his statement promising to make the details public because of the opposition, though he really didn’t believe that the case had enough merit. He clearly states that the case can be brought to the court but does not have enough evidence for prosecution.
In a further sentence, he displays his joy by saying, “I am glad”. He adds that it is not just gender-specific abortions that are not banned in the UK, but all sorts of abortion. This is another sentence proving that the prosecution of these two doctors would have been difficult. Moreover, abortions are allowed on certain grounds, e.g., if the risk to the mother as a result of pregnancy is high.
Mr. Stramer in the second last paragraph gives warning to other doctors that they are not to believe that abortion in the future would go unpunished. He states this by saying that the result of this hearing does not mean that abortion will go unpunished in the future. Though he does not directly warn or threaten action on any doctors in the future, indirectly the words chosen by him, is of a warning to other doctors that abortion is still illegal and if done they would not escape punishment.
In common sense objects stand for material things that can be seen and touched. A building is an object; so is a car, table, and so on. All these material things are known as objects in the common language. However, in the common language, objects can be unseen as well, like an unseen issue turning to be an object of a certain decision. For example, an athlete’s failure may turn out to be the object of another athlete’s bid to succeed; sickness may become an object of cleaning the environment, and so on. According to Deely, an object is seen to have a greater intent and depth, as if capturing the sense of a person looking at an object so intently that the object begins to have an impact on the very being of the person, who begins behaving as if possessed by the object. According to Deely, the knower becomes dependent on the object and the relationship between them does not remain that of efficient casualty but rather becomes one of extrinsic formal causality. Deely further, states that knowledge depends on the object known by the objective causality since knowledge here becomes ad-judicable as true or false.
In the common language, a sign generally means a certain signal that gives an indication of something about to happen. It further means to make a gesture or do an action for another person to understand, e.g., placing one’s finger on the lips is a sign which means keeping quiet. Similarly, nodding the head may mean to warn someone not to do something or show one’s disapproval of something or someone. An X sign with a skeleton head in between is sign of danger; this sign is very common and is put on places that can be dangerous to a person’s life. Anyone who sees this sign will know that there is some sort of danger in that place and they should avoid going there. A sign of an arrow pointing to certain direction gives us an idea of where we are supposed to go. While traveling, we find many of these arrow signs on the main road, or near offices or malls, that give us directions. Thus, a sign gives us a certain understanding about a particular situation. Deely defines signs in a greater depth as something connected with the psychology of the human being. He points out that communication among mankind is dependent on signs since the mind of a human being displays independent objects in accordance with a certain sign. Signs can be verbal as well as non-verbal. They display mind-dependent as well as mind-independent objects, i.e. the objects that are true to us as well as those that are true in general. AsDeely illustrates, if someone finds a bone of a dinosaur in their compound that would be a sign that a dinosaur existed at a certain time in the past. However, in the common language, this would not be counted as a sign, but rather as a proof that a dinosaur existed at a certain time in the past and was probably buried at that place or was brought there with soil erosion. In the common language, signs are not objects in any sense and are particularly unstable.
In the common language, the term’ thing’ is generally used when a person does not want to name a particular object, e.g., “I don’t want that thing (table) in the house; it is broken and causing a nuisance.” Further, a thing in the common language is a non-living object, like a painting, chair or table. According to Deely, a thing is a picture of the real thing, like a painting, is the image of the thing or person painted. A thing is dependent on the object; if the object is non-existent then the thing is non-existent as well.
Burns, F. A. (2004) Elicited and open-ended narratives in African American children. UMI 3152676 Dissertation, Proquest Information, and Learning Company.
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BBC News UK 7 October 2013Last updated at 12:23 GMT
The Director of Public Prosecutions said that it was “right” not to charge the two doctors over the claims that they offered to arrange abortions based on gender.The doctors from Birmingham and Manchester were referred to the prosecutors after a Daily Telegraph investigation.KeirStarmer QC said that there was just “sufficient evidence” to prosecute but it was not in the public interest and a health regulator inquiry was going on.
MPs are due to debate the policy on the prosecution of abortion offenses later. In the wake of the decision, 50 politicians signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph to complain that offenses against the Abortion Act were not being pursued. The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, will respond to their concerns in the Commons. Last month, Mr. Starmer said that he would make the detailed reasons public after the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt called for “urgent clarification” on the Crown Prosecution Service decision. The CPS has published the details for its decision and, in a letter to the Attorney General, Mr. Starmer said that the cases were “by no means clear cut”.
He said: “Although there is sufficient evidence to bring such a prosecution, that is a very narrow basis for prosecution and the evidence is not strong… I appreciate that others may disagree with the decision arrived at in this case, but I am content that the decision not to prosecute on the facts in these cases was the right decision.”Mr Starmer said that the law did not expressly ban gender-specific abortions, although it did prohibit any abortion carried out without two medical practitioners deciding that the health risks of continuing with a pregnancy outweighed those of termination.
“On the facts of these cases, it would not be possible to prove that either of the doctors authorised abortion on gender-specific grounds alone…The only basis for a prosecution would be that, although we could not prove that these doctors authorised a gender-specific abortion, they did not carry out a sufficiently robust assessment of the risks.”Both the doctors had been referred to the General Medical Council and had conditions imposed on their registration.
“Having consulted the GMC, I am clear that the council will investigate these cases,” Mr. Starmersaid.”On the facts of these two cases, it is arguably more appropriate for a professional disciplinary body to evaluate the proper approach that doctors should take… than it is for a criminal court.”Mr. Starmer added, “The outcome in these cases should not be taken as an indication that the criminal proceedings will not be brought where abortion is procured on gender-specific grounds. These cases have been considered on their individual facts and merits.”
Mr. Grieve said that he was satisfied that the decision not to prosecute had been made “properly and conscientiously”.”This was a difficult decision, and different prosecutors might have come to different conclusions, but it is not for me to say whether it is the right or wrong decision,” he said.”It is for the DPP to make his decisions independently and based on the individual facts of the matter…”
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