PART Ⅰ LISTENING COMPREHENSION
SECTION A TALK
Language is used for doing things. People use it in everyday conversation for transacting business, planning meals and vacations, debating politics, and gossiping. Teachers use it for instructing students, and comedians use it for amusing audiences. All these are instances of language use — that is activities in which people do things with language. As we can see, language use is really a form of joint action.
What is joint action? I think it is an action that is carried out by a group of people doing things in coordination with each other. As simple examples, think of two people waltzing, or playing a piano duet. When two dancers waltz, they each move around the ballroom in a special way. But waltzing is different from the sum of their individual actions. Can you imagine these two dancers doing the same steps, but in separate rooms, or at separate times? So waltzing is, in fact, the joint action that emerges as the two dancers do their individual steps in coordination, as a couple.
Similarly, doing things with language is also different from the sum of the speaker speaking and the listener listening. It is the joint action that emerges when speakers and listeners, or writers and readers, perform their individual actions in coordination, as ensembles. Therefore, we can say that language use incorporates both individual and social processes. Speakers and listeners, writers and readers, must carry out actions as individuals, if they are to succeed in their use of language. But they must also work together as participants in the social units I have called ensembles. In the example I mentioned just now, the two dancers perform both individual actions, moving their bodies, arms, and legs, and joint actions, coordinating these movements, as they create the waltz. In the past, language use has been studied as if it were entirely an individual process. And it has also been studied as if it were entirely a social process. For me, I suggest that it belongs to both. We cannot hope to understand language use without viewing it as joint actions built on individual actions. In order to explain how all these actions work, I’d like to review briefly settings of language use. By settings, I mean the scene in which language use takes place, plus the medium — which refers to whether language use is spoken or written. And in this talk, I’ll focus on spoken settings.
The spoken setting mentioned most often is conversation — either face to face, or on the telephone. Conversations may be devoted to gossip, business transactions or scientific matters, but they’re all characterized by the free exchange of terms among the two participants. I’ll call these personal settings. Then we have what I would call nonpersonal settings. A typical example is the monologue. In monologues, one person speaks with little or no opportunity for interruption, or turns by members of the audience. Monologues come in many varieties too, as a professor lectures to a class, or a student giving a presentation to a seminar. These people speak for themselves, uttering words they formulated themselves for the audience before them, and the audience isn’t expected to interrupt. In another kind of setting which are called institutional settings, the participants engage in speech exchanges that look like ordinary conversation, but they are limited by institutional rules. As examples, we can think of a government official holding a news conference, a lawyer crossquestioning a witness in court, or a professor directing a seminar discussion. In these settings, what is said is more or less spontaneous, even though turns at speaking are allocated by a leader, or are restricted in other ways.
The person speaking isn’t always the one whose intentions are being expressed. We have the clearest examples in fictional settings. Vivian Leigh plays Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind”, Frank Sinatra sings a love song in front of a live audience, the speakers are each vocalizing words composed by someone else — for instance a playwright or a composer — and are openly pretending to be expressing opinions that aren’t necessarily their own. Finally there are private settings when people speak for themselves without actually addressing anyone else, for example, I might explain silently to myself, or talk to myself about solving a research problem, or rehearsing what I’m about to say in a seminar tomorrow. What I say isn’t intended to be recognized by other people, it is only of use to myself. These are the features of private settings.
SECTION B TALK
W：Good evening, I’m Nancy Johnson. The guest on our radio talk this evening is Professor Wang Gongwu. Hello, Professor Wang.
W：Professor Wang, you’re now professor emeritus of Australia National University, and in you
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