RRN 3.3 (Pinker)

RRN 3.3 (Pinker) - Japheth Ebanks Prof Coker ENC 1101 26...

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Japheth Ebanks Prof. Coker ENC 1101 26 October 2014 Rhetorical Reading Notes 3.3 (Pinker) Article Title: “The Logic of Indirect Speech” PART I -- Rhetorical Situation 1. Main Idea a. Pinker argues that indirect speech is an advantageous tool used in social situations, and explains through game theoretic principles the motivations behind its use. b. The object of study is indirect speech. 2. Author a. There were three authors of this study, but the main author emphasized is Steven Pinker, a Harvard professor and experimental psychologist. The other two authors are psychologists Martin A. Nowak and James J. Lee. b. The text is an entry in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) journal. c. The text was published in 2008. 3. Structure a. Pinker first introduces the concept of indirect speech, before explaining the motivations for humans to communicate this way. In Part 1, he discusses plausible deniability. In Part 2, he tackles relationship negotiation. In Part 3, he describes language as a digital medium. He then concludes his three-part theory by explaining the implications of the use of indirect speech by humans.
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b. The journal entry is cited using APA citation. c. The narratives presented in the text are examples to illustrate Pinker’s three- part theory on indirect speech. In one narrative, Harry indirectly asks for a sexual favor by asking Sally if she wanted to “come up and see his etchings” (837). The purpose of this narrative is to show that indirect speech is advantageous because indirect speech is not meant to provide common knowledge capable of nullifying relationships the way that direct speech might. Another narrative deals with a driver who is pulled over by an officer, who must choose whether to bribe the officer and risk arrest or simply pay the traffic ticket. The purpose of this narrative is to show that in a situation such as this, indirect speech is best because ambiguity provides for plausible
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