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By Peter Eglin

The thesis of this essay is that social or cultural competence is composed extra of an interpretive or methodological skill to exploit language within the provider of interplay than of a important wisdom of collections of cultural different types and of the semantic kin among the phrases naming these different types.

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Extra info for Talk and Taxonomy: A Methodological Comparison of Ethnosemantics and Ethnomethodology with Reference to Terms for Canadian Doctors

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1 ) , bound together in the relation of cation. signifi- In ethnosemantics, signification is given a strictly referen­ tial interpretation by way of the sign 'lexeme'. Moreover, reference itself is restricted to denotation (Lyons 1963:4; Hymes 1970b:111). Ethnosemantic results consist of the mapping of lexemes on significata. The mappings take the form of semantical rules, such as the one propos­ ed for 'mother' in Chapter Three. Extrapolations from these results are made, on the one hand to statements about cognitive structure, and on the other hand to statements about social structure (Tyler 1969b:X; Colby 1966:8).

The observa­ tions gathered under (B ) are instances of accomplished social order. 21Said about talk this becomes: how is it that coherent conversations are produced despite (1) the non-grammaticality of utterances, (2) the absence of shared meanings, (3) the non-literalness of meanings, and (4) the indexicality of utter­ ances (Crowle 1971:IV) ? I shall now elaborate on indexicality and accomplished social or­ der, tying in aspects of ethnosemantics on the way. INDEXICALITY22 AND THE LOGICAL IMPOSSIBILITY OF RESULTS Indexical or occasional expressions are those whose sense cannot be decided by an auditor unless he knows or assumes something about the biography and the purposes of the speaker, the circumstances of the utterance, the previous course of the 41 PROGRAMMATICS conversation, or the particular relationship of actual or poten­ tial interaction that exists between user and auditor.

After outlining in a paragraph how ethnomethodology would formulate the order question and what answer it would give, I shall list ten ways whereby ethnosemantics achieves order using its theoretical and methodological apparatus to gloss over the underlying interpretive work (cf. Stoddart 1974; Katz 1975). Practitioners of ethnosemantics find social order in the world, in­ dependently of their accounts of it. In contrast, ethnomethodology treats social order as an accomplishment of societal members, such as professional ethnographers, and sees that order as a feature of the accounting by which it is told.

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