Romel Noverino: Speech Act Analysis in Conversation

Zainurrahman and Romel Romel Noverino*, 2009. Speech Act Analysis in Conversation

This writing is published in the Zainurrahmans’ Personal Journal 2009/04/03

*Romel Noverino is a Lecturer of Linguistics in a University in Indonesia (Gunadarma University). He is now studying in a Postgraduated School for his Doctorate Degree in Indonesia University of Education. This article is written and published in English version based of the website policies.

Transcript of Conversation between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Lenore Marconi, Monday,     February 15, 1999 at 10:00 am, at the California Pacific Hospital’s Inpatient Psychiatric Ward.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Lenore. How are you?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as Dr. Balis attempts to get Ms. Marconi to give answer to his question on her condition)

Ms. Marconi: Uh, okay, I guess.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive. Ms. Marconi expresses her condition as reply to Dr. Balis’ question)

Dr. Balis: How do you like it here?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives. Dr. Balis attempts to get Ms. Marconi to give answer to his question on her situation staying at the hospital)

Ms. Marconi: Well, it’s different from what I expected.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressives and assertives (representatives) as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts her situation related to her stay at the hospital)

Dr. Balis: How so?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as response to her answer)

Ms. Marconi: It’s kind of like a college dorm, except some of the people walk around naked and talk to themselves. I’m sharing a room with an elderly Russian woman. I think she was put here against her will by her daughter. She cries all the time. It’s really sad.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts by describing and reporting her situation)

Dr. Balis: I see.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as the sign of acknowledging her situation)

Ms. Marconi: The nurses are nice…well, most of them. There’s cable TV in the main room.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive on the situation of the people and facility at the hospital)

Dr. Balis: Is there anything you need?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he wonders of the things she might need other that what she has got from the hospital)

Ms. Marconi: Hmm, no, thank you.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she responds to his question, though “hmm” is an indication of hesitation whether or not she needs anything else other that what she has got then she replied by saying “no, thank you” that she does not need anything more)

Dr. Balis: Are you sure?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives making sure whether she really does not need anything else)

Ms. Marconi: Yes, I’m okay.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive that she does not need anything else and that she is fine)

Dr. Balis: Lenore, it’s been some time since your last encounter with Herb. I was wondering if we could talk a bit about what happened that night. Is it okay?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he wonders if she does not mind to tell what has happened to her)

Ms. Marconi: I don’t know where to start.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she does not mind to tell what has happened to her but indicates assertives that she is confuse where to start)

Dr. Balis: Last time we spoke, you were in the police station. You were arrested for biting off Herbert’s penis. After talking with you and the police, I called to make arrangements for you to be admitted into this hospital. Tell me what has been happening to you since.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and directives. It’s expressive that he acknowledged what has happened to her as why she was arrested. It’s directives that he asks her to tell him what has been happening since)

Ms. Marconi: Well, they taped up the cut on my head. Now it looks like there’s going to be a big scar, kind of like Frankenstein.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts her physical condition)

Dr. Balis: I see. I think it will fade more with time.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as he acknowledges her physical condition and asserts what shall happen to her physical worry)

Ms. Marconi: They checked me and…uh, I was bleeding from…uh, from down there. I was afraid I would lose the baby, but I didn’t. I was bleeding because I…uh, because I was all torn up down there, from what Herb did…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts by describing her physical conditions)

Dr. Balis: I see. How far along are you in your pregnancy?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and directives as he acknowledges her statement on her physical condition and asks her on the period of her pregnancy)

Ms. Marconi: I’m not sure. The doctor said it looked like about seven months now. He also said that I…I have…uh…oh, this is so gross…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses her reply on his question with hesitation)

Dr. Balis: Please continue.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as asking her not to hesitate to continue her story)

Ms. Marconi: I have genital warts. The doctor said it was caused by a virus, HPV. At first, I thought they meant HIV, the AIDS virus, but HPV is the Human Papilloma Virus. But I guess you don’t need me to tell you that–you’re a doctor, you already know. I must have caught it from Herb. I haven’t been with anyone else. Herb said he had them a long time ago, but was treated and cured. I have a really bad case; they’ve spread all over my insides. The baby will probably have them, too. The doctor said that babies can get polyps on their vocal chords if the mother has HPV.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses her physical state and asserts by describing her situation under the diagnose given by a doctor who has examined her)

Dr. Balis: Genital warts have a tendency to flare up during pregnancy. What else did the doctor say?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he clarifies what she has heard from the doctor and directives as he asks her to tell more on the diagnose of the doctor who has examined her)

Ms. Marconi: He said I had a mild concussion. That’s probably why my head hurt. One of the nurses said they had to report domestic violence, but I didn’t want to press charges.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive Ms. Marconi expresses by describing her situation)

Dr. Balis: Were most of those injuries from Herb’s assault on you in early November?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks for confirmation)

Ms. Marconi: The concussion and some other things…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as Ms. Marconi validates her statement )

Dr. Balis: When you talked to me back then, you promised to go the emergency room and then straight to a shelter. Why did you go back to Herb?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as asking what she did though have been instructed otherwise)

Ms. Marconi: I did go to the shelter. I spent the next few weeks there.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as Ms. Marconi asserts that she did as instructed to)

Dr. Balis: When did you return to the Herb’s apartment?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he wonders why she did as what he might think that she wouldn’t do after what has happened to her before at the apartment)

Ms. Marconi: I know I wasn’t supposed to go back by myself, but I needed to get some things. I decided to go to the apartment on a Friday night. I didn’t think he’d be home. He’s still into that vampire role-playing, he likes to get dressed up and go out. And he also goes to these parties to sell…well, you know.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as Ms. Marconi explains the reasons why she returned to the apartment)

Dr. Balis: I know that Herb sells drugs. Was Herb at home?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he knows what herb’s profession is and directives as he wants confirmation on the situation of the house)

Ms. Marconi: He wasn’t home when I first got there. When he came in, I was putting my things into a bag. He took the bag from me and told me to make him a drink. I didn’t want to start any trouble, so I did what he asked. He drank, and smoked, and watched TV for a while. He told me to sit on the couch, and then he pushed me down, and…uh, I’m sorry. I…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she describes the situation in the house)

Dr. Balis: Let me get you some tissues.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he pays his concern because of her crying)

Ms. Marconi: Thank you.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her gratitude of his concern)

Dr. Balis: Did Herb force himself on you again?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks the following situation)

Ms. Marconi: He’s done that before, lots of times. I used to try and fight it, but it was easier to lay there and wait for it to be over. The last couple of times he…uh, he…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her sadness as she tells what happens as reply to her question)

Dr. Balis: That’s all right, take your time.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive he calms her down by not forcing her to continue her story)

Ms. Marconi: I had to tell this to the police, too. I have to keep telling this story over and over again. I cry every time.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts what she feels when people ask her to tell this story)

Dr. Balis: It’s all right, Lenore. Did Herb make you do?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he feels the sympathy of what she feels and directives as he asks her to continue her story)

Ms. Marconi: He did it, you know, the normal way. And then he did it the other way. It really hurt, it hurt a lot. I never got used to it. Before he was finished, he took it out and told me…uh, he told me he wanted it in my mouth. I didn’t want to, because…you know. He grabbed my hair and forced it all the way into my mouth. I started to gag, I almost threw up. He kept shoving it in my throat and pulling me by my hair. While he did it, he called me a bitch and a whore. Then, all of a sudden, I realized how much I hated him, how I much wished he were dead. I felt all the anger and hate building up inside me until I couldn’t stand it any more. That’s when I did it–I bit down as hard as I could.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and confirms by describing her situation)

Dr. Balis: What happened after that?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks her to continue her story)

Ms. Marconi: Herb screamed and fell back on the couch. I ran outside and sat on the steps in front of the building until the ambulance came. The police took me to the station.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts by describing the situation)

Dr. Balis: What was going through your mind at that time?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as why Ms. Marconi did such a thing)

Ms. Marconi: I felt numb and calm, like I was in a dream. I didn’t even realize I still had it in my mouth. The police took me to the station, and I waited a long time in a jail cell, until they brought me out to talk to you on the phone.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts by describing what was on her mind and what she had after)

Dr. Balis: Were you examined by a doctor that night?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks for confirmation)

Ms. Marconi: Yes, I did what you said–that part about not cleaning up or going to the bathroom. The doctor saw the bleeding, and he put something on a slide. They took my clothes, too. They said it was evidence because of the bloodstains.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts by telling what happened after)

Dr. Balis: I see. How does it make you feel to talk about it now?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and directives as he acknowledges her statement and asks how she feels after telling it)

Ms. Marconi: It’s like I relive it each time I talk about it. I wish I didn’t have to keep telling people what happened. I feel like it was my fault–I went back there when I wasn’t supposed to. I’m afraid of what will happen now. Am I going to jail?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and directives as Ms. Marconi expresses how she feels. Also, she wonders what will might happen to her next)

Dr. Balis: I can’t say for certain right now. You need to find an attorney and tell him everything that happened. Are you planning to press charges against Herb?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he does not know what will happen to her and directives as gives suggestion and ask for confirmation of whether she will take legal action)

Ms. Marconi: I don’t know. I’m not sure if I can do that.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she replies his question and commissive as she is not sure what she will do next)

Dr. Balis: Herb assaulted you numerous times, the emergency room records bear that out. You need to consult with an attorney about that, too. Legal Aid provides assistance at a sliding scale. You should give them a call after you’re released from here.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he shows the facts of what herb has done to her and directives as he suggests what she should do because of what herb has done to her)

Ms. Marconi: When am I getting out of here?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as Ms. Marconi wonders till when she’ll be at the hospital)

Dr. Balis: I’d like you to stay for a few more weeks. You’ve suffered a serious emotional and physical trauma. If you could stay here until the baby is born…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he confirms her physical and mental state and directives as gives suggestion on what she should do)

Ms. Marconi: But my job–I’ve probably lost it already. It’s been so long…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her worry on the status of her employment)

Dr. Balis: Lenore, you’ve been through a traumatic ordeal, and you and your baby need time to recover. You could tell your employer that you’ve been hospitalized; you don’t need to reveal all the details. Here, have another Kleenex.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive, directives and assertive as he says what she needs to do and gives suggestions and expresses his sympathy)

Ms. Marconi: It’s probably too late already–I’ve been here for almost two months, I think. You must think I’m terrible.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her worries, sadness and assumption)

Dr. Balis: No, Lenore, I don’t think that at all. What makes you say that?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertives as he clarify that her assumption is wrong and directives as he asks her why she has such assumptions)

Ms. Marconi: I’m…I did all these bad things.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses why she has such assumption about herself)

Dr. Balis: You’ve been thrust into a difficult situation at a very young age. Many adults wouldn’t know how to handle themselves in these circumstances.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as he expresses that her state is due to very hard ordeals and asserts that many people have similar situation and condition when they are in her shoes)

Ms. Marconi: I feel so stupid. I’ve ruined the baby’s life, too. It would have been okay if I only ruined my own…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she feels that she has jeopardize her life and her baby’s)

Dr. Balis: The doctors told me that your baby seems to be fine. And if there’s something wrong…
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he clarifies the condition of her baby)

Ms. Marconi: I couldn’t stand it if it got hurt because of me. Sometimes I wonder if it might be dead. It feels like I’m carrying a dead weight inside me.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her worry and sadness)

Dr. Balis: You’re not. Didn’t you have an ultrasound while you were here?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he explains that what she feels is wrong and directives as he asks her whether she has had ultrasound check on her baby)

Ms. Marconi: Yes. It was so small. It was strange to see it’s heart beat–it doesn’t feel real.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she tells how her baby is and how she feels about it)

Dr. Balis: Can you feel the baby move?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks for confirmation on the state of her baby)

Ms. Marconi: Sometimes, although I’m never sure if it’s not just me–just my stomach doing something. What happened to Herb?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she responds to the questions with doubt and directives as what happens to herb)

Dr. Balis: They were able to reattach it, and he seems to be recovering okay.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he explains what happens to herb’s condition)

Ms. Marconi: Did you talk to him? How did he sound?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as Ms. Marconi wonders about herb’s situation)

Dr. Balis: He sounded all right. Do you want to see Herb again?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he explains herb’s situation and asks if she wants to meet herb)

Ms. Marconi: No! No, I don’t.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts that she does not have such intention)

Dr. Balis: Hmm.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he gives his opinion on her decision)

Ms. Marconi: Was that a bad thing to say?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as Ms. Marconi wonders of whether her decision is good or bad)

Dr. Balis: Frankly, I’m relieved. I’d like you to stay away from him.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he shows his agreement to her decision)

Ms. Marconi: Okay.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her acknowledgement on his opinion)

Dr. Balis: Lenore, is there anything else you would like to talk about?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks whether she has anything else to tell)

Ms. Marconi: Are you leaving now?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as she thinks that he will be leaving)

Dr. Balis: I can stay a little longer. Would you like that?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he states that he can still accompany her and directives as whether that what she wants)

Ms. Marconi: Yes.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as agreeing that she prefers his company)

Dr. Balis: All right.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as agreeing to her request)

Ms. Marconi: I guess I better think of something to talk about. I’m glad you came to see me. I don’t have a lot of people to talk to here.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of commissive as she will talk more with him and expressives as she feels glad that she can talk to him)

Dr. Balis: How about the psychiatrists and counselors here? Are doing therapy?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks her the treatments given to her)

Ms. Marconi: I kind of…I have a hard time with them.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and assertive as Ms. Marconi expresses and asserts how she feels on the treatments given to her)

Dr. Balis: Do you find it easier to talk to me?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks her if she feels more open by talking to him)

Ms. Marconi: Yes.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as feels more comfortable talking to him)

Dr. Balis: Why are you crying?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks her why she cries)

Ms. Marconi: I don’t know. That’s stupid, isn’t it?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she even does not know why she cries and directives whether it is a silly thing that she cries)

Dr. Balis: No, it’s all right. Have you had a chance to get to know the other patients here?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive that there’s nothing wrong by crying and directives as he asks her of her interaction with the other patients)

Ms. Marconi: No. They’re kind of…uh, this isn’t going to be very nice, but some of them have problems. They’re kind of creepy.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her reluctant desire to interact with the others)

Dr. Balis: I see.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he acknowledges how she feels)

Ms. Marconi: That must sound funny coming from me, after what I did. I hope they don’t know.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her reluctant)

Dr. Balis: That’s confidential. No one but the doctors will know unless you tell them.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of assertive as he explains that whatever she tells will be confidential)

Ms. Marconi: It’s hard to be around people like that when you feel like you’re not in your right mind.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her thought of being at the hospital)

Dr. Balis: Is that how you feel? Do you feel like you’re not in your right mind?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks her of that is how she feels about herself)

Ms. Marconi: Yes, kind of. I lie in bed and pretend this is not really happening. This is all just a bad dream.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses how she copes her situation at the hospital)

Dr. Balis: Where would you like to be when you wake up?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as he asks conditional question regarding her state of being)

Ms. Marconi: In your office.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive on her state of being)

Dr. Balis: Hmm.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he feels that she really needs someone whom she feels comfortable with)

Ms. Marconi: Nothing bad happens there.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive confirming how she feels by preferring to be at his office)

Dr. Balis: I see.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive acknowledging her reason)

Ms. Marconi: That doesn’t make sense, does it?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives that what she feels might be too illogical)

Dr. Balis: It does. Unfortunately, I can’t treat you. I’m Herb’s therapist. But after you’re released from here, I can help you find a psychiatrist that you feel comfortable with. Okay?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive that he understands how she feels and gives her the reason why he cannot treat her and commissive that he promises her that he will help her finding someone with whom she will be comfortable)

Ms. Marconi: Yes, I would like that.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as agreeing to the idea)

Dr. Balis: All right.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive and commissive that he confirms his idea and will do so)
Ms. Marconi: Doctor Balis?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives as she has something to ask him)

Dr. Balis: Yes?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he is all ears to what she wants to ask)

Ms. Marconi: What’s going to happen to me when I get out of here? Where will I go? Will I go to jail?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of directives on her future state of being)

Dr. Balis: That depends. I know you’re worried about that, Lenore, but I can’t answer those questions right now. I’m hoping you won’t go to jail. The city of San Francisco does have a system of what they call “halfway houses.” It’s a government-subsidized program that provides shared housing on a temporary basis. You can stay in a halfway house until you find something more permanent. I think you’ll qualify for that program. The social workers at the hospital will help you with that when it’s time.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive that he does not what will happen to her and assertive as giving facts on how she can look for assistance and directives as he gives suggestion what she ca do)

Ms. Marconi: I was afraid if I didn’t go to jail, I’d end up homeless. I can’t go back to Herb’s place.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as Ms. Marconi expresses her worries)

Dr. Balis: I don’t think you’ll be homeless; I’ll try to find something for you. And I don’t want you to go back to that apartment again, understand?
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as reply to her worries and commissives as he will help her on that matter and directives as he asks her to do as he tells her to do)

Ms. Marconi: Okay.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive complying to his suggestion)

Dr. Balis: Good. Well, I really need to be going now. I’ll contact you when you’re out. Take care of yourself and your baby, Lenore. You’ll be okay.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as he must go and commissive that he will contact her and directives as he asks her to take care of herself and her baby)

Ms. Marconi: Okay. Thanks for coming, Doctor.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive as she expresses her appreciation of his coming)

Dr. Balis: You’re welcome. Goodbye, Lenore.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive of appreciation and his state of departing)

Ms. Marconi: Bye bye.
(This statement is identified as illocutionary act of expressive of appreciating his departure)
You can download the PDF-Version of this article

Edited by Zainurrahman

One thought on “Romel Noverino: Speech Act Analysis in Conversation

  1. what is the use of analyzing this article in such a way ???? Is there any conclusion or what????????

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