The forms and functions of indeterminacy and uncertainty have been investigated in ordinary talk where ambiguity and approximation appear to be very well tolerated. Recent studies show that – in ordinary talk – even numerals (i.e. the signs of exactitude par excellence) are used to index indeterminacy and rough quantities (Bazzanella et al. 2011). This epistemic modality can be even preferred in ordinary life because the space opened up by indeterminacy is also the space for negotiation and mediation. What if indeterminacy marks discursive productions that are institutionally (expected to be) characterized by exactitude and precision? This chapter analyses examples of questions/ answers sequences from a survey focused on how managers opened and closed their working e-mails. We will analyses the tactics used by respondents to resist standardization and the cues they use to frame their replies as uncertain, local and provisory. We will also analyze the strategies used by the interviewer (in the filed) and by the analyst (at the desk) to behave as if uncertainty, vagueness, and indeterminacy were not part of the data. We contend that ignoring approximation and indeterminacy and turning almost any reply into a declarative statement are epistemic techniques: by ignoring the markers of uncertainty in the first order utterances (i.e. the answers to our questions) we craft our data in ways they support the construction of those second order certain statements about the world that normatively constitute and express what we call scientific knowledge.

“Direi, una specie di…”: incertezza, approssimazione e pratiche di purificazione nell’intervista di ricerca / Caronia, Letizia. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 363-392.

“Direi, una specie di…”: incertezza, approssimazione e pratiche di purificazione nell’intervista di ricerca

CARONIA, LETIZIA
2015

Abstract

The forms and functions of indeterminacy and uncertainty have been investigated in ordinary talk where ambiguity and approximation appear to be very well tolerated. Recent studies show that – in ordinary talk – even numerals (i.e. the signs of exactitude par excellence) are used to index indeterminacy and rough quantities (Bazzanella et al. 2011). This epistemic modality can be even preferred in ordinary life because the space opened up by indeterminacy is also the space for negotiation and mediation. What if indeterminacy marks discursive productions that are institutionally (expected to be) characterized by exactitude and precision? This chapter analyses examples of questions/ answers sequences from a survey focused on how managers opened and closed their working e-mails. We will analyses the tactics used by respondents to resist standardization and the cues they use to frame their replies as uncertain, local and provisory. We will also analyze the strategies used by the interviewer (in the filed) and by the analyst (at the desk) to behave as if uncertainty, vagueness, and indeterminacy were not part of the data. We contend that ignoring approximation and indeterminacy and turning almost any reply into a declarative statement are epistemic techniques: by ignoring the markers of uncertainty in the first order utterances (i.e. the answers to our questions) we craft our data in ways they support the construction of those second order certain statements about the world that normatively constitute and express what we call scientific knowledge.
2015
Parole, gesti, interpretazioni Studi linguistici per Carla Bazzanella
363
392
“Direi, una specie di…”: incertezza, approssimazione e pratiche di purificazione nell’intervista di ricerca / Caronia, Letizia. - STAMPA. - (2015), pp. 363-392.
Caronia, Letizia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/514627
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