The girls in Group IV exploit both co-operative and competitive forms, to produce / reveal simultaneously both hierarchical ranking within the group, and solidarity among three of the four group members.
Co-operative features occur between G5 and G6, such as lexical repetition and overlapping talk. G7 speaks less than G5 and G6, but also participates in co- operative, overlapping talk and lexical repetition. Joint turns are frequently constructed between G7 and G6, and between G6 and G5. There are occasions where three of the four girls participate in overlapping talk, and one in which all four girls participate in joint topic development. G5, G6, and G7 all give back channel support, and G6 and G7 regularly hedge their propositions.
There are other indications, however, that there is a hierarchy in the group. G5 and G6 speak the most, G7 speaks far less, and G8 speaks rarely. G5 uses far fewer epistemic modal forms and hedges proportionately than G6 and G7, while G8 uses none. G5 and G7 do not construct any joint turns with each other; G8 constructs joint turns with no one. Lexical repetition occurs between G5, G6 and G7, but not between these three and G8. While the other three speakers appear to overlap each other co- operatively, and to interrupt each other to similar extents while treating these interruptions as overlaps rather than competitive strategies, G8 makes two interruptions, which disrupt the course of the discussion.
Features of all three styles are exploited by group members, therefore. G5's behaviour includes co- operative behaviour towards G6, and non-co-operative behaviour towards G7 and G8. The co-operative features which are used co-exist with a hierarchy which has G5 at the top, G7 at the bottom, and G8 on the margins.
G5's profile is co-operative in the use of back channel support, lexical repetition, simultaneous speech, and joint turn construction with G6, and G7, though to a lesser degree with G7. She is non-co- operative in her use of hedging and questions, and competitive in her behaviour towards G8, who is largely ignored.
Back to Chapter 4 Main Page