Sociolinguistic Studies https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS <p>This journal takes an ecumenical approach to the different schools, methodological principles or research orientations within sociolinguistic research and also accepts contributions from related fields such as pragmatics, discourse analysis, conversational analysis, interactional linguistics, language acquisition and socialization, linguistic anthropology, ethnomethodology and the ethnography of communication. Papers may examine any issue in sociolinguistic research and occasionally papers are accepted for publication in Spanish, Galician, Portuguese or French (90% of the contents are in English). <a href="https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/about">Read more</a>.</p> en-US <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> xoanp@uvigo.es (Xoán Paulo Rodríguez-Yáñez) aparkin@equinoxpub.com (Ailsa Parkin) Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 3.3.0.11 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Multilingualism in Migrant Contexts https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20251 <p>Connecting School and the Multilingual Home: Theory and Practice for Rural Educators Maria R. Coady (2019) Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Pp. 152 ISBN-13: 978-1-78892-326-2 (hbk) </p> <p>Multilingualism in European Language Education Cecilio Lapresta-Rey and Ángel Huguet (2019) Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Pp. xxi+219 ISBN-13: 978-1-78892-330-9 (hbk)</p> Reshara Alviarez, Elena Danilina, Latifa Soliman (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20251 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Current trends and the way forward on call center research in a post-covid world https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21180 <p>Applying sociolinguistic perspectives, this issue explores the most recent developments in call center research and the impact call center work has on agents. Significant issues are addressed in call center interactions, including web chat, agent stigmatization, agent resistance, agent training and the impact of Covid-19. The essays provide a forum where developments are critically reviewed and future areas of research explored, including how call center work can be improved. The first article by Nielsen addresses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in India and working from home through the notions of chronotopes. The second article in the issue by Lockwood develops a framework for the assessment of written web chats in offshore call centers. The third essay by Friginal examines how the voice assessment of Filipino agents can be improved through caller clarification sequences. Tovar’s paper, the fourth paper in this collection, focuses on the strain that working in a call center creates for agents and how they resolve this. The fifth paper by Orthaber examines resistance and passive compliance in call center interactions in a Slovenian call center using turn-by-turn micro-analysis of service conversations with a focus on silences. Despite the different angles, the papers share themes of resistance (creative compliance) and the development of a new register of call center speak, while also highlighting agency among call center workers. </p> Johanna Tovar (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21180 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Call center timespace and working from home https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21137 <p>Ethnographies of Indian call centers highlight the space of the global call center and its separateness from domestic life. This separateness is manifested in a chronotope (depiction of place, time and personhood) which allows for the coordination of sociolinguistic practices between call center workers and their colleagues, both domestic and international. Learning to speak like a ‘professional’ is one reason that many people seek work in call centers. For many call center workers this register is learned on the job from colleagues, trainers and managers. Covid-19, a global pandemic which has forced many industries to take adaptive measures in the face of national lockdowns, has led to many workers suddenly working from home. On May 24th 2020, the Government of India ordered a 21-day nation-wide lockdown, limiting the movement of over a billion people and forcing call center employees to work from home. Drawing from interviews with call center employees impeded by the lockdown, along with an analysis of metalinguistic commentaries from call center trainers before the lockdown, I propose that call center timespace serves the purpose of coordination of sociolinguistic practices and the enregisterment of professional forms of personhood emblematically linked to an array of speech norms including but not limited to pronunciation, grammatical norms and the phrasing structure of customer service interactions. The newly mediatized formulations of workers in a work-from-home environment result in a clash between the chronotopes of home and office. </p> Kristina Nielsen (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21137 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 The design of a webchat assessment framework for contact centres in Asia https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21140 <p>In the global contact centre industry, workplaces are rapidly replacing phone customer support with written webchat exchange. This means that webchat agents use their computers, phones and other mobile devices to communicate synchronously through texting, when serving customers. As with voice assessments in the previous decade, there has been an urgent need for webchat communications assessment solutions in the outsourced and offshored sites in China, India and the Philippines, where English is the second language. Such webchat assessment requirements range from recruitment benchmarking to diagnostic communications profiling of webchat agents leading to coaching solutions that enhance business performance. An assessment solution for diagnostic profiling is the specific subject of this article. Whilst some scholarly research has been carried out on webchat exchange, there is little on assessment processes. This article therefore describes a diagnostic assessment to appraise and diagnose webchat communication competency to underpin webchat coaching.</p> Jane Lockwood (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21140 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 I’m sorry, my what? https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21141 <p>This paper explores caller clarification sequences in outsourced call center interactions, with the goal of categorizing distinguishable causes or reasons for their occurrence, as identified by third-party evaluators – i.e., raters who are not participants in the call. Caller clarifications are questions, requests, or follow-up statements raised by a caller after a call-taker’s turn while providing information or a procedure during call center interactions (Friginal, 2009a). These potentially unnecessary caller clarifications should have been avoidable if both speakers had been able to communicate and process simplified information effectively. Data were collected from a corpus of transactions, with 545 audio files from the same number of unique Filipino call-takers communicating with customers from the U.S. (N = 578, 511 words). Results show that there are 2.051 caller clarifications per 1,000 words in the corpus, based on a total of 1,186 raw instances of caller clarifications. Implications for agent training, the framework of analyzing and categorizing caller clarification, and understanding the nature of intercultural business communication are discussed.</p> Eric Friginal (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21141 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Rethinking call centers https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21181 <p>Call centers have been critiqued in academia and the media for widespread standardization. This paper argues that although this critique of working conditions is well-intended, it has led to unwanted stigmatization of not just call center work but also of call center agents. Much has been published on call centers, but the stigma this work entails and the effect this has on agents on and off the phone has been overlooked. This paper applies Goffman’s notion of stigma to data collected through long-term ethnography and interviews with over seventy call center agents in a London call center. I show how agents experience, manage, and resist stigma. The analysis reveals that agents attempt to hide where they work by adopting different accents and avoiding specific lexis associated with call center language. I conclude by suggesting potential avenues for reducing the stigma of working in a call center, e.g. shifting the dominant discussion in academia beyond debates surrounding standardization.</p> Johanna Tovar (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21181 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 ‘Silence is not always golden’ https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21142 <p>The past two decades have seen a growing interest in research on call centre discourse from sociolinguistic and pragmatic perspectives. Turn-by-turn micro-analyses of call centre interactions have looked at the complex power relations and face-considerations in dealing with customers’ and agents’ impolite behaviour. Although silence is ubiquitous in dyadic conversations, surprisingly few studies of call centre interactions have investigated silence between adjacency pairs and the potential trouble it may indicate. To fill this gap, this paper explores silence in service calls. Specifically, it first looks at routine calls for information and the most common ways in which silence is accounted for by the agents. It then examines non-routine calls where silence becomes interactionally meaningful following the agents’ withheld responses at a transition-relevance place. Thus, silence becomes marked behaviour by virtue of being oriented to as unexpected by the customer and thus open to evaluations of impoliteness.</p> Sara Orthaber (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/21142 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 The Coral Way Bilingual Program Maria R. Coady (2019) https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20466 <p>The Coral Way Bilingual Program Maria R. Coady (2019) Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Pp. 168 ISBN: 9781788924573 (hbk) ISBN: 9781788924566 (pbk) ISBN: 9781788924580 (ebook, PDF) ISBN: 9781788924597 (ebook, EPUB)</p> Kara D. Brown (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20466 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Study Abroad. Second Language Acquisition and Interculturality Martin Howard (ed.) (2019) https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20669 <p>Study Abroad. Second Language Acquisition and Interculturality Martin Howard (ed.) (2019) Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Pp. 296 ISBN: 9781788924146 (hbk) ISBN: 9781788924139 (pbk) ISBN: 9781788924153 Ebook(PDF) ISBN: 9781788924160 Ebook(EPUB)</p> Irina Golubeva (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20669 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Linguistic Mitigation in English and Spanish: How Speakers Attenuate Expressions Nydia Flores-Ferrán (2020) https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20656 <p>Linguistic Mitigation in English and Spanish: How Speakers Attenuate Expressions Nydia Flores-Ferrán (2020) London: Routledge. New York: Taylor and Francis. Pp. 256 ISBN: 9781138584655 (hbk) ISBN: 9780429505867 (eBook)</p> Ying Fang, Diexi Lu (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20656 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 Lithuanian: A Comprehensive Grammar Meilute Ramoniene, Joana Pribušauskaite, Jogile Teresa Ramonaite and Loreta Vilkiene (2020) https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20398 <p>Lithuanian: A Comprehensive Grammar Meilute Ramoniene, Joana Pribušauskaite, Jogile Teresa Ramonaite and Loreta Vilkiene (2020) London: Routledge. New York: Taylor and Francis. Pp. 354 ISBN: 9781138063617 (pbk) ISBN: 9781138063600 (hbk) ISBN: 9781315160900 (eBook)</p> Laura Kamandulytė-Merfeldienė (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20398 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000 All Media Are Social: Sociological Perspectives on Mass Media Andrew M. Lindner and Stephen R. Barnard (2020) https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20825 <p>All Media Are Social: Sociological Perspectives on Mass Media Andrew M. Lindner and Stephen R. Barnard (2020) New York and Oxon: Routledge. Pp. 206 ISBN: 978041574953 (hbk) ISBN: 9780415749541 (pbk) ISBN: 9781315796055 (eBook)</p> Jack Rosenberry (Author) Copyright (c) 2022 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/SS/article/view/20825 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 00:00:00 +0000