SPOKEN LANGUAGE INDICES OF UNCERTAINTY

Authors

  • JOHN SHERBLOM OWAYNE,

    1. John Sherblom (M. A., Oklahoma State University, 1979) is a computer programmer/ analyst and a Ph.D. candidate in communication and language use at the University of Maine, Orono, ME
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  • D. VAN RHEENEN

    1. Dwayne D. Van Rheenen (Ph. D., University of Missouri, 1975) is an associate professor of speech communication at the University of Maine, Orono, ME.
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Abstract

The present study investigates two propositions of uncertainty reduction theory and examines their effects on language use. Linguistic diversity and verbal immediacy were measured in two conversational segments taken from different periods of the entry phase of 72 interviews. A discriminant analysis function accounted for 19.36% of the variance in the measures. A sign test of the discriminant function coefficients showed a significantly consistent shift, across individuals, from the earlier conversational segment to the later. The results are consistent with the propositions of uncertainly reduction. Implications of this interpretation are discussed.

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