Types of Conversations

Transactional conversations and Interactional conversations



Not personal


Purpose is to get goods or service. The conversation has a specific purpose

About talking = chatting

Phatic talk exists sometimes

Can begin with phatic talk

However, usually there is no clear-cut conversations. The conversation tend to be a mixture between the two i.e. a hybrid. 

Specimen Paper: Text message analysis

Text message analysis

Lola’s Texts 

This data was taken out of the specimen paper. Read it and then we can answer some questions on it.

Language and Technology – Text I

The text messages below were copied from the mobile phone of Lola, aged thirteen, over a single day. Natalie and Sarah are school friends and Kate is Lola’s Aunt who works in a clothing store.

NATALIE (to Lola) Hi L, hw r u? Wat did u put in ur xmas card 2 ur French prson? I ant dne it yet :-/ oops! Sofa I av salut ca va n that is it how do u say mery xmas? Tb lv n

LOLA (to Natalie) Lol, thatís so weird, was jst thinking bout tht when u txtd!! I havnt done it either, u wanna go on msn n do it 2getha ther? ñ Lx ps. Merry xmas is joyeux noel!

NATALIE (to Lola) Kk, am like on already wel nearly!

KATE (to Lola) hav asked girls at work 2 look after you! Or Ö Iím back in wed ñ K x

LOLA (to Kate) Thank u! We r goin ther now! L x 🙂

SARAH (to Lola) Do u av maroon 5’s album? Luv s XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXx

LOLA (to Sarah) Sure do! Do u wanna watch jackass the movie n luv actually 2moz? Lx

SARAH (to Lola) Not lov act. But jackass ya! Cu 2moz! Can we watch stepford wives aswel?! Luv s xx

LOLA (to Sarah) Totally! Y not jst a quick pop in2 town 4 pizza or starbucks ñ i donít hav much money left! Then we can chil @ mine n watch movies 4 ages!! L x

SARAH (to Lola) I don’t av any money so shall we just eat at ur place? i’ll cum round at like 4.30pm luv s xx

Source: Private data

  1. What is the purpose of each exchange? Have the different purposes affected the way texters communicate?

The purpose of all three text strings differs. All three exchanges have a blend of transactional and interactional purposes. The second one between Lola and her aunty is the most transactional. It is clear, direct and has a specific purpose of informing. From the very first lexical item we can gather the purpose ‘hav asked’. The lack of phatic talk makes this clear too. The first one between Lola and Natalie, her school friend is the most interactional. Phatic talk is prominent e.g. ‘hw r u’. However, like the last exchange, the conversation is a hybrid containing transactional elements such as ‘ Wat did u put in…’. 

  1. In each exchange, Lola texts a different recipient. Does this difference affect the language and style of her texts?

The difference does affect the language and style of the way she responds. For instance, when she texts her aunty, whom I presume is older, the text seems more formal in terms of grammatical structure e.g. ‘Thank u!’. Conversely, when she texts her friends we see more alternative styles of language and grammar e.g. ‘Y not jst a pop in2 town 4 pizza…’.

  1. What politeness features are present?

 In all text exchanges we can see politeness employed. In some e.g. exchange two we see politeness markers being employed to do this job e.g. ‘Thank u!’. However, exchange one uses phatic token to denote this politeness e.g.  ‘Hi L, Hw r u?’. This phatic token protects Lola’s negative face when she immediately makes her request (xmas card), revealing the transactional nature of the message. Exchange three on the other hand utilizes positive politeness features as a way of saving face. For example, when Sara initially sends the text, she starts it with a question (revealing transactional nature of message) and then appeals to Lola’s positive face by showing her appreciation for her with a polite and personal sign off ‘Luv s XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXx’.

  1. How do the text messages resemble (i) speech (ii) writing?
  1. The exchanges presented are very similar to spoken language. For example, Sarah uses fillers e.g. ‘at like 4.30pm’ which is a common feature of speech. She has done this to make her text sound more informal. It might be that she is just writing every word that come to her mind and as ‘like’ would have been a common feature of spoken language she wrote that down too. However, it could also be politeness strategy – a way of mitigating the transactional nature of the text and making it sound interactional.
  2. However, the exchanges seem to be punctuated correctly, making them similar to written language. For example, ‘Lol, that’s so weird,…’.These commas have been used to indicate a subordinate clause. In this particular text it helps create a particular voice or persona. For example, if it was not written Lola would come across as happy and excited. Text messaging technology use some written language devices to help create a particular voce and make the text distinctive.
  1. Do the texters establish a shared context, or do they assume one?

In the first two sets of messages the texts assume a shared space. We can see this because in the first one they are talking about some kind of French homework and in the second one they are talking discussing about confirming some sort of plan. They assume this shared context because there aren’t explicit details yet they seem to understand what each other are texting hence they are able to respond.

In the third one, the texter establish a shared context. Hence, why the exchange is longer. The shared context is established around the second text where Lola and Sarah begin making plans. The technology has helped make the shared context quickly established. A lot of information is crammed into one text. For example, in the third exchange from Sarah four separate points are expressed. 

  1. What typical features of textspeak occur here (other than those you have already mentioned)?

In all three exchanges, we can see a lot of textspeak being utilized. The most common is vowel omission e.g. ‘luv’, probably because as well as making texts faster, it can be understood by many more people than say initialism. Initialism requires previous knowledge/experience of textspeak. 

In exchange two when Lola talks to her aunty we chooses to use vowel omission as opposed to initialism e.g. ‘ther’. Homophonic representation is similar to vowel omission in that previous experience is not really required to work out what the person has written e.g. In Lola’s text to her aunty she says ‘r’ instead of ‘are’. Similarly variant spelling is present e.g. ‘wel’ (1st exchange) ‘goin’ (2nd exchange) and ‘cum’ (3rd exchange). 

Furthermore, phonetic spelling and homophonic spelling is used. Her aunty too uses this, demonstrating the universality of this textspeak e.g. ‘2’. It also shows that even a transactional conversation is affected by technology!

  1. How do Lola’s text messages help to establish her identity? (Does she express her personality in her texting?)

Lola’s persona and personality are revealed through texting. For example, we get the impression she is a poplar and sociable person because when she texts she signs off in a polite way by the use of symbols such as ‘x’ and acronyms like ‘ly’. Exclamation marks in the context she has used them in make her texts dynamic and come out to life. They represent prosodic features which help the recipient hear a “voice”. This helps her communicate her identity.

Suburbanisation in Los Angeles


SUBURBANISATION: This is the physical growth of areas on the fringes of major cities because of more and more people moving in suburbs.

Los Angeles as a ‘donut city’

Los Angles was booming with industry in the centre of the city with all sort of manufacturing firms e.g. car, steel and tyres industries. Then the city de-industrialised i.e. secondary industry died down and there was a growth in tertiary and quaternary sector. As many of these industries were footloose i.e. can be located anywhere they choose to be located on suburbs because there was big greenfield sites which had fewer planning regulations. This left the centre derelict and full of migrants, unemployment and crime. So that is when suburbanisation took place. Today this hole has been filled with TNCs as a way of attracting people back into inner cities.

So why did suburbanisation occur  in Los Angles?

One of the reasons this has happened because access to the fringes of cities had been improved and increased due to the construction of highways and most importantly the popularity of  CARS. To a certain extent the creation of  the electric tramway have also helped encourage suburbanisation. This meant that now people could live is quite and peaceful areas while gaining the economic benefits of cities e.g. working in cities, shopping in cities etc.

Push and pull factors are the crucial reasons why the introduction of motor vehicles and electric tramways had such a major impacts. In the table below I have put together push and pull factors of urban areas like Los Angles.

Urban Push

Suburban Pull


Cheaper land for larger properties

Declining Jobs – because there was a change in economy (decline in manufacturing and increase in services) and it appeared to be that average incomes were higher in suburbs 

Accessible – electric tramways/cars and higher personal mobility because of this. Before fuel was relatively cheap making commuting less expensive. The government had made large investments in transport services.

High Land rents

Large shopping centres

Fears for safety

Better schools and services

Businesses were looking for greenfield sites – there are huge land masses in suburban areas and fewer planning regulations

More open spaces

Crowded housing 

Low density, single family housing 

Congestions and overcrowding

Safer neighborhoods

Poor schools and services

So where to some of these migrants move to?

  1. Anaheim 
  2. Irvine
  3. Ontario

Problems of suburban sprawl:

  1. Time spent travelling meant that there may be no time left for family and friends
  2. Communities may only exist at night time – dormitory settlements
  3. Congested highways = more air pollution
  4. Loss of some of the best farmland 


1. What is suburbanisation?

2. What left L.A. with a hole in the middle? This was why it was called ‘donut city’.

3. What has now filled the hole?

4. Explain two urban push factors.

5.Explain two rural pull factors.

6. Where did migrants move to i.e. names of suburbs?

7. Suggest three problems of urban sprawl

8. Define a megacity

9. Define megalopolis 

10. Define urban agglomerations 


1. Suburbanisation is the physical growth of suburbs due to increased number of people moving to suburbs.

2. Deindustrialisation

3. TNCs

4. Pollution – factories causes air, visual and noise pollution and high land rent rates due to high demand and high land prices.

5. Accessibility – electric tramways and motor vehicles made this possible and better schools and services 

6. Irvine, Anaheim and Ontario

7. (i) Dormitory settlements (ii) increased air pollution and congested highways (iii) loss of some of the best farmland.

8. A City with a population of 10 million

9. A large urban area with several metropolitan centres

10. An extended city of town e.g. urban areas spreading out into suburbs 

Global Warming: Causes

What are the natural and human causes of global warming?



Milankovitch cycles – Changes in the Earth’s axis and orbits.

Methane from animals or paddy fields

Angle of the Earth and axial tilts

Burning fossil fuels

Orbit shape around the sun


Changes in sun’s radiations – Sun spots increase radiation and there are natural fluctuations in solar output

CFCs (chloroflurocarbons) – From fridge and aerosols 

Volcanic eruption –  These can cool global temperatures so the lack of them can increase eruptions.

Nitrous oxides from fertilisers and industrial activities.

Cosmic collisions – These can increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere 

The Kyoto Protocol

Reaching global agreements; the 1997 Kyoto Protocol

What is the Kyoto Protocol?

The Kyoto Protocol is a global treaty which aims to cut carbon emissions by 2012. The initial conference was held on 11th December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. It involved 175 countries. 

How will it cut carbon emission?

  1. Industrialized countries have a target of cutting their carbon emission by 5% from their 1990 levels by 2008-12. The targets vary with high polluting such as EU have a target of 8%, 5% for countries like Japan which produce average amounts of emissions and some extremely low emissions countries like Iceland have been allowed to increase their emissions.


It does not include the whole world and big polluters like Australia are not signed up

The USA which is responsible for 25% of the world’s emissions withdrew under the reign of George W Bush.

Many of the countries are off target with high-emitting countries increasing their emissions by 8%. 

However, the UK actually cut emissions by 3%.

Many developing countries never actually used real emissions and calculated annualy.

Many climatologists believe 5% is too low emissions must cut by 60% but countries are struggling with 5% how will they manage 60%.

Implications for the UK…

  • A change from coal to cleaner fuels like wind has reduced emissions.
  • A renewable energy policy to produce 10% of electricity, has meant that sources such as wind power is closer to targets than other forms.
  • The government taxed petrol in order to cut demand however this just resulted in protests.
  • Big reductions in emissions can be made through the usage of nuclear power stations however opinion polls show that the public is against this.

Climate Change: Key Players

Key Players in managing climate change

Kyoto Protocol

This was a global treaty which aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 2012. Countries such as America (1/4 emissions come from here), China, India, Brazil were not involved. All in all the treaty reduced emissions by less than 1%. They were two reasons for this failure (i) countries did not like the idea that this could change their economy and (ii) The major emitting countries were not signed up.

Big Businesses

Some big TNCs are larger than developing countries and so actions they take can have large impacts. At the beginning large motor companies and oil companies were against this because they felt they would financially suffer. However, large TNCs and other large firms are now taking the incentive to become energy efficient and use energy efficient appliance e.g. lighting because this is what consumers demand and it gives them a good PR hence increased profits. So they are cutting emissions and meeting the preferences of consumers. 

National Governments 

National governments play a large role in controlling carbon emissions. They can do this in many ways. For example, they can tax polluters, invest in other energy sources e.g. nuclear, encourage the usage of energy efficient appliance, give subsidies and grants to develop carbon neutral eco-towns and investing in sinks such as planting trees.

Local governments 

Local governments tend to implement strategies of national governments. London led the way with congestion charge and Leicester being the first environmental city. Local authorities can do a range of factors including using LED lights for traffic lights, improving bus services, providing cycle lanes, rewarding energy efficient companies etc. 


NGOs are great with educating consumers and governments with dangers of climate how and why we should act fast. They also put pressure on organisations and governments to act in climate change, having the role of a catalyst in coping with climate change.


The point when it comes to individuals is once they understand the meaning of carbon footprint and calculate their carbon footprint they can work on reducing it by doing various things. They can walk to school/walk, eat less meat, buy food locally, use energy efficient appliance, install small scale energy productions in their home e.g. solar panels etc.