Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper focuses on those speech activities which foreground the conversational accomplishment of alliance building in pre-adolescent girls’ talk. The methodology and analysis of alliance building is synthesised from the theoretical frameworks of interactional sociolinguistics and Conversation Analysis. Delicate microanalysis reveals how playfully negotiated behaviours are interwoven into interactions by participants during the course of their talk in a range of interactional tasks. Findings demonstrate that alliance building is accomplished in a diversity of forms that contribute to the overall gamelike key of pre-adolescent girls’ talk. Some of the selected resources foreshadow documented interactional practices associated with women, realised in turn taking procedures and features such as close monitoring of talk complimenting actions and statements of self deprecation (Coates, 1991; Holmes, 1993; Tannen, 1993). Findings also reveal that alliance building is not confined to overtly positive affect practices and supportive behaviours reported in the widely embraced cooperative model. Results are discussed in terms of their contribution to the literature on older children’s language use.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bauman, R.
    (1986) Story, performance and event: contextual studies of oral narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620935
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620935 [Google Scholar]
  2. Baxter, L.A.
    (1992) Forms and functions of intimate play and personal relations. Human Communications Research, 18 (3), 336–363. doi: 10.1111/j.1468‑2958.1992.tb00556.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1992.tb00556.x [Google Scholar]
  3. Blum-Kulka, S. , & Kasper, G.
    (1993) (Eds.) Interlanguage pragmatics. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Boe, S. K.
    (1987) Language as an expression of caring in women. Anthropological Linguistics, 29 (3), 271–285.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Boxer, D. , & Cortes-Conde, F.
    (1997) From bonding to biting: Conversational joking and identity display. Journal of Pragmatics, 27, (3), 275–294. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(96)00031‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(96)00031-8 [Google Scholar]
  6. Coates, J.
    (1996a) Discourse, gender and subjectivity: the talk of teenage girls. In M. Bucholtz , A. C. Laing , & C. Hines . (Eds.) Cultural Performances: Proceedings of the 3rd Berkeley Women and Language Conference. Berkeley Women and Language Group, University of California, Berkeley.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (1996b) Women talk: Conversation between women friends. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. (1998) (Ed.) Language and gender: A reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. (1999) Changing femininities: the talk of teenager girls. In M. Bucholtz , A. C. Liang , & L. A Sutton . (Eds.) Reinventing identities; the gendered self in discourse. (pp.123–144). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Eckert, P.
    (1990) Cooperative competition in adolescent girl talk. Discourse Processes, 13: 91–122. doi: 10.1080/01638539009544748
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638539009544748 [Google Scholar]
  11. Eder, D.
    (1990) Serious and playful disputes; variation in conflict talk among female adolescents. In A. D. Grimshaw (Ed.) Conflict talk (pp.67–84). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. (1991) The role of teasing in adolescent peer culture. Cahill, S. (Ed.) Sociological studies of child development. (4), 181–197. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (1993) Go get ya a french!: romantic and sexual teasing among adolescent girls. In D. Tannen (Ed.) Gender and conversational interaction (pp.17–30). N.Y.Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Eder, D. , Evans, C. C. , & Parker, S.
    (1995) School talk, gender and adolescent cultures. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Ellis, Y.
    (1997) Laughing together: Laughter as a feature of affiliation in French conversation. Journal of French Language Studies, 7 (2), 147–161. doi: 10.1017/S095926950000363X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S095926950000363X [Google Scholar]
  16. Ervin-Tripp, S. & Kuntay, A.
    (1997) The occasioning and structure of conversational stories. In T. Givon (Ed.) Conversation. Cognitive, communicative and social perspectives (pp.133–163). Amsterdam. Philadelphia: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.34.06erv
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.34.06erv [Google Scholar]
  17. Goodwin, M. H.
    (1988) Cooperation and competition across girls’ play activities. In A.D. Todd & S. Fisher (Eds.) Gender and discourse: the power of talk (pp.55–94). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. (1990) He-said-she-said: talk as social organization among black children. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. (1993) Tactical uses of stories: participation frameworks within boys’ and girls’ disputes. In D. Tannen (Ed.) Gender and conversational interaction (pp.110–142). N.Y. Oxford: University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Heath, S. B.
    (1998) Working through language. In S. M. Hoyle & C. T. Adger (Eds.). Kids talk: strategic language use in later childhood (pp.217–240). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Herbert, R. K.
    (1990) Sex-based differences in compliment behaviour. Language in Society, 19, 201–24. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500014378
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500014378 [Google Scholar]
  22. Holmes, J.
    (1984) Hedging your bets and sitting on the fence: some evidence for hedges as support structures. Te Reo, 27, 47–62.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. (1986) Compliments and compliment responses in New Zealand English. Anthropological Linguistics, 28 (4), 485–508.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. (1988) Paying compliments: a sex-preferential positive politeness strategy. Journal of Pragmatics, 12 (3), 445–65. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(88)90005‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(88)90005-7 [Google Scholar]
  25. (1995) Men, women and politeness. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (1993) New Zealand women are good to talk to: An analysis of politeness strategies in interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 91–116. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(93)90078‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(93)90078-4 [Google Scholar]
  27. (1998) Complimenting – A positive politeness strategy. In J. Coates . (Ed.). Language and gender: a reader (pp.100–119). Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Hoyle, S.M. & C.T. Adger
    (1998) (Eds.) Kids talk: strategic language use in laterchildhood. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hughes, L.
    (1988) But that’s not really mean: competing in a cooperative mode. Sex Roles, 19, 669–687. doi: 10.1007/BF00288984
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288984 [Google Scholar]
  30. Long, D. & Graesser, A.
    (1988) Wit and humor in discourse processing. Discourse Processes, 11, 35–60. doi: 10.1080/01638538809544690
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638538809544690 [Google Scholar]
  31. Miller, P.
    (1986) Teasing as language socialization and verbal play in a white working-class community. In B. B. Schieffelin & E. Ochs (Eds.) Language socialization across cultures (pp.199–212). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Ochs, E. & Schieffelin, B. B.
    (1979) Developmental pragmatics. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Pomerantz, A.
    (1978) Compliment responses. In J. Schenkein (Ed.) Studies in the organization of conversational interaction. New York: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑623550‑0.50010‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-623550-0.50010-0 [Google Scholar]
  34. (1984) Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: some features of preferred / dispreferred turn shapes. In J. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.) Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis (pp.152–63). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Powell, M.J.
    (1992) Folk theories of meaning and principles of conventionality: encoding literal attitude via stance adverbs. In A. Lehrer & E.F. Kittay (Eds.) Frames, fields, and contrasts: new essays in semantic and lexical organization (pp.333–353). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Rogoff, B.
    (1990) Apprenticeship in thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Sacks, H.
    (1987) On the preferences for agreement and contiguity in sequences in conversation. In G. Button & J. Lee (Eds.). Talk and social organization. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Schiffrin, D.
    (1990) The management of a cooperative self during argument: the role of opinions and stories. In A. D. Grimshaw (Ed.) Conflict talk (pp.241–259). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Tannen, D.
    (1993) Framing in discourse. N.Y: Oxford University Press.
  40. (1994) (Ed.) Gender and discourse. N.Y: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Yedes, J.
    (1996) Playful teasing: kiddin’ on the square. Discourse and Society, 7, (3), 417–438. doi: 10.1177/0957926596007003006
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926596007003006 [Google Scholar]
  42. Wierzbicka, A.
    (1997) Understanding cultures through their key words. N.Y: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Wolfson, N. , & Manes, J.
    (1985) (Eds.). Language and inequality. The Hague: Mouton. doi: 10.1515/9783110857320
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110857320 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error