Original scientific article
Page 445 - 459

Patterns of dispreferred verbal disagreement in dialogues from American and Serbian films

Olga Panić-Kavgić
E-mail: olgapk@sbb.rs
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3136-2990
Sveučilište u Novom Sadu

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Abstract: Starting from the definition of verbal disagreement as a dispreferred second turn in a conversation, this paper aims at establishing the predominant patterns of such comments and answers found in a selection of dialogues from three American and three Serbian films. The dialogues were extracted from the scripts of the US films Crash (Paul Haggis, 2004), Noel (Chazz Palminteri, 2004) and Playing by Heart (Willard Carroll, 1998), as well as of the Serbian titles Žena sa slomljenim nosem (Srđan Koljević, 2010), Ljubav i drugi zločini (Stefan Arsenijević, 2008) and Bure baruta (Goran Paskaljević, 1998). Characterized by the interlocutor’s action-environment restriction and an inherent involvement of conflict and clash of interests, a verbal oppositional stance may take the form of a straightforward disagreement or it may be mitigated, so as to avoid or soften the effects of a more direct disagreeing comment. When it comes to mitigation, various downtoning strategies are applied in order to weaken the force of a dispreferred assessment. This leads to a broad division of disagreements into mitigated and unmitigated ones, whose distribution in the six films will be described and analysed in this paper. The scripts of the three American and three Serbian films lend themselves well to comparison of the kind, since the plots have many features in common (turn-of-the millennium urban setting, interwoven stories and characters with deep social and psychological traumas burdening their lives). By means of describing and exemplifying certain patterns of verbal disagreement in the comparable contexts of the chosen films, applying the method of qualitative analysis, the paper aims at comparing and contrasting various aspects of the phenomenon at the more general levels of the two languages (English and Serbian) and their two cultures (American and Serbian).
Keywords:
dispreferred verbal disagreement, face-threatening act, mitigated disagreement, mitigating strategy, straightforward disagreement, directness, indirectness, individualistic culture, integrative culture,
Article data in other languages: Croatian