Subordinate’s Imperatives in Faculty Meetings: Pragmalinguistic Affordances in Tagalog and Local Academic Conditions

Leonardo O. Munalim, Cecilia F. Genuino

Abstract


Subordinate’s imperatives are generally known to be a sort of a deviant speech act, especially when employed for a person in authority to do something. This paper explores two major dimensions that underpin the possible forbearance of the subordinate’s imperatives. Firstly, it is shown that the Tagalog basic imperative has pragmalinguistic properties that may be followed or broken based on some socio-pragmalinguistic affordances. Secondly, a number of contextual factors such as power, distance, and ranking, including the Filipino cultural and academic orientation of pakikisama or smooth interpersonal relationships are described. The study employed Conversation Analysis and socio-pragmatic analytic approach. The imperatives came from five meetings from three departments in a private university in Manila, Philippines. The meetings lasted for 5 hours and 50 minutes. Results show Tagalog Basic Imperative has pragmalinguistic properties that may be followed or broken based on the following likelihood: the awkwardness, indirectness and insincerity of mitigated imperatives; and the level of urgency for the hearer to do something. The giver’s socio-pragmatic conditions also hasten the production of imperatives. These results draw into the conclusion that local conditions are negotiated in during turns at talk. Within the sphere of a faculty meeting, subordinate’s imperatives are socio-pragmalinguistically legitimate, acceptable and non-deviant. Subordinate’s imperatives play an indispensable pragmatic role in the realization of the purpose of the meeting. Although the analyses are parochially based on Tagalog, implications of these microscopic findings bear out cross-linguistic, universal and cross-cultural relevance.


Keywords


Conversation Analysis, Faculty Meeting, Socio-pragmalinguistics, Tagalog Imperatives

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References


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