Subordinates' Imperatives in a Faculty Meeting: Evidence of Social Inequality and Collegiality



Collegiality, Imperatives, Faculty Meeting, Social Inequality, Socio-pragmatics


Imperatives are ubiquitous, and may be interesting to analyze when deployed by subordinates especially in an institutional talk such as faculty meetings. This paper was built on our earlier paper, where it describes the pragmalinguistic structures of Tagalog imperatives and the local academic conditions that hastened the production of subordinate’s imperatives for the chair of the meeting to do something. This paper is distinct because it reports and describes the proofs of social inequality and collegiality invoked during the meeting. Five meetings formed the corpus of this study. Drawing on the interface of Critical Discourse Analysis and Conversation Analysis, results show that subordinate’s imperatives are evidence of social inequality because of the subordinate’s higher epistemic knowledge compared to the Chair of the meeting. The Chair wrestles with the subordinates through a number of exasperated prosodic and paralinguistic elements. Meanwhile, subordinate’s imperatives are evidence of collegiality with the shift to positive prosodic, paralinguistic, and embodied cues of the Chair and the subordinate. Overall, the discourse of imperatives is a depiction of the sharing of members’ power, knowledge, and other socio-pragmatic local academic conditions. There is also a push and pull of use and abuse of power and collegiality. Toward the end, we propose a longitudinal case to widen the scope and instances of imperatives.


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