A Model of Transactional Negotiation of Meaning

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Ernest Michael Seely


Transactional competence as related to strategic competence, and ultimately communicative competence, is a rarely studied phenomenon regarding linguistics. Most literature on transactions focuses on the mechanics of business transactions and tends to gloss over what happens linguistically in such transactions. Therefore, as original research, this study posits A Model of Transactional Negotiation of Meaning that demonstrates the relevance of Strategic Competence within transactional communication. By analyzing the directive function of language within the context of Referential Communication, the model herein lays out the basis of discovery where miscommunication, as the result of Language Related Episodes (LREs), is addressed by Communication Strategies (CSs). Ten international university students demonstrated their Transactional Competence by navigating the completion of a closed task. The results demonstrated procedural breakdowns of the transactional process where achievement strategies such as asking for clarification or confirmation, interactional strategies, and maintenance strategies were needed to remediate problematic communication. It is believed that the transactional model herein is an excellent resource for discovering Language Related Episodes and the use of communication strategies found in common miscommunications. The model demonstrates that LREs are primarily referential and that establishing common reference points is crucial to competent transactional communication.  

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