Selasa, 18 November 2008


George Major
BA, Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting, MA
Research assistant, Language in the Workplace
Project, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington,
New Zealand.
Janet Holmes
BA Hons (1st class), MPhil, FRSNZ
Professor of Linguistics, Director, Language in the
Workplace Project, Victoria University of Wellington,
Wellington, New Zealand.
The authors would like to thank those who allowed
their workplace interactions to be recorded, as well
as other members of the Language in the Workplace
Project team who assisted with collecting and
transcribing the data. Particular thanks to Maria
Stubbe and Bernadette Vine who provided valuable
support and advice during the data collection process.
The research described in this paper was funded by
grants from the New Zealand Foundation for Research,
Science and Technology and Victoria University of
Wellington, New Zealand.
Key words
Nurse-patient communication, describing medical
procedures, discourse analysis, authentic data,
How do nurses describe health care procedures?
Analysing nurse-patient interaction in a hospital
Nurses’ communication skills have a significant
impact on their professional effectiveness. This study
examines the communication strategies used by
nurses on the ward in one aspect of the job, namely
the ways that they describe health procedures to
Design and setting
The data used in this project was collected by nurses
on a busy hospital ward as part of Victoria University’s
Language in the Workplace Project. Three nurses
carried minidisc recorders as they went about their
normal working day, recording their conversations with
patients, visitors, and other staff. Relevant sections
of this talk (totalling 300 minutes) were transcribed
and analysed using a discourse analysis approach,
thus providing a sound basis for analysing the
communicative act of describing a health procedure
and for identifying a range of relevant sociolinguistic
components of the interaction.
The data was collected in a women’s hospital ward.
All patients, nurses, cleaners and ward clerks were
female; two doctors were female and two were male.
Twenty three instances where nurses described
procedures to patients were identified in the data set.
The analysis identified several typical components;
indicated there was no fixed order of components; and
demonstrated that all except the core component of
describing the procedure were optional rather than
obligatory elements.
This is qualitative and exploratory research. Our
findings demonstrate the benefit of discourse analysis
within a sociolinguistic framework for the analysis
of nurse-patient interaction. The results indicate
that health discourse is not one-sided, nor is it as
straightforward as many nursing textbooks suggest.

Gender and conversational dominance
in Japanese conversation
Department of English
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong
AMY B . M . T S U I
Faculty of Education
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
A number of studies have been conducted on “dominance” as reflected in
spoken interactional features, most of which deal with English. Many of
these studies adopt a quantitative approach, examining the amount and distribution
of interactional features such as amount of talk, interruptions and
overlaps, turn-taking, questions, and topic initiations, and they have drawn
conclusions on “dominance” accordingly. The present study explores gender
dominance in conversation by analyzing conversational data from eight
Japanese dyads by integrating quantitative and qualitative analyses. The quantitative
analysis of two dimensions of conversational dominance, sequential
dominance and participatory dominance, does not show any obvious gender
dominance; however, the qualitative analysis of three of the dyads finds a
clear pattern of male speakers’ self-oriented conversational style, which is
manifested in their storytelling and claiming expertise, and this is supported
by female speakers’ other-oriented conversational style. Gender dominance
therefore is seen as a mutual construction. The conclusion discusses the
importance of integrating findings from both quantitative and qualitative
analyses in situated contexts to deepen understanding of the complexity of
gender dominance. (Japanese conversation, gender, conversational dominance,
conversational orientation, conversational style.)*