Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

"Honourable Bigotry"? Relevance theory, conversation analysis and radio talk-backs

Stephen Pattemore


Relevance Theory (RT) and Conversation Analysis (CA), two disciplines with a shared interest in the pragmatics of conversation, have interacted very little. This essay shows that they have much in common in their understanding of the nature of context and its progressive construction through a conversation, and should thus be able to benefit from each other's insights into the process of communication. By means of examining the transcript of a broadcast radio-talk back conversation, two points are established. Firstly, CA can helpfully apply insights from RT to its treatment of the cooperative construction of meaning in conversation. And secondly, application of RT does not need to be restricted to fragments of invented conversation but can profitably be extended to the more complex situations of actual language in use.


Radio; Programas de radio; Pragmática; Análisis de la conversación; Teoría de la relevancia; Medios de comunicación social


Copyright (c) 2006 Stephen Pattemore

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.