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|Title:||Children's Silences in Mareeba Aboriginal English|
Department of Linguistics
|Abstract:||This thesis examines the role of silence in conversations between teacher’s aides and 5-6 year old Indigenous Australian children at school. Recent studies of conversation among adult Aboriginal Australians have observed that a positive value is ascribed to silence, and that it is not percieved as indicating a breakdown in communication. Studies of Aboriginal children in school settings have similarly remarked on the prevalence of silence, observing that Indigenous students appear reticent to speak in certain types of classroom interaction. This thesis uses a Conversation Analysis approach to analyse in depth the role of silence in one-on-one conversations between young Indigenous children and teacher’s aides. These conversations were recorded in Mareeba in Far North Queensland, with children who speak varieties of Aboriginal English at home. Factors influencing the extent to which the children were silent in these conversations are considered. The results of this study are in line with previous research, in finding that factors such as the language variety spoken by the children, the structure of the discourse, and whether or not the interlocutor is Indigenous play a role in the extent to which the children are silent.|
|Department/Unit/Centre:||Department of Linguistics|
|Appears in Collections:||Honours Theses|
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