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Contribution to a Book

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The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction


Karen Tracy, Cornelia Ilie, Todd Sandel


Speech codes theory is an account of communication as a deeply cultured human activity. The theory, and the empirical research on which it is built, demonstrate that the kinds of local knowledge people deploy to talk about—to characterize, interpret, and rationalize—their communicative conduct is indeed local, particular knowledge, and that such knowledge can be discovered and described through systematic inquiry. This article describes the key theoretical commitments of speech codes theory, identifies its six propositions, illustrates research within the tradition, and assesses its purposes.


This is the Version of Record, and has been reposted here with permission from Wiley.

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