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What is Task-Oriented Communication

Handbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication: Language Structures and Social Interaction
Communicative exchange focusing on affectively neutral instrumental activities that are related to task accomplishment.
Published in Chapter:
Politeness as a Theoretical and Empirical Framework for Studying Relational Communication in Computer-mediated Contexts
David A. Morand (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-773-2.ch050
This conceptual chapter draws on the sociolinguistic theory of politeness, showing how politeness provides a robust theoretical and empirical framework that can be usefully applied to the study of relational ties in computer-medicated-communication. The chapter first reviews politeness theory, and shows how politeness is operationalized relative to a definable set of linguistic indices that are used throughout everyday discourse to communicate respect and esteem for others’ face. The chapter then discusses how recognition of the central role of face-work in social interchange can enhance our understanding of why and where emotion-work might occur in CMC, how such emotion-work (in the form of politeness) can be reliably observed and quantitatively measured at a linguistic level of analysis, and how the distribution of politeness phenomena is systematically related to relational variables that are mainstays of CMC research – variables such as socioemotional versus task orientation, status, cohesion, impersonality, friendship, and communicative efficiency.
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