In this piece of conversation, the major theme is a dispute between three children, with the younger children Ayesha and Zaynad appearing to unite and take sides against the elder Kahlidja. The major issue is whether or not Khalidja went to her aunt’s house to read the evening prayer to her aunt and whether she was doing her school work on her computer or downloading other materials. In the process of arriving at a resolution of what appears to be a simple issue, the conversation in this instance reveals conflicts arising out of the differences between the conveying of a message by a speaker and its interpretation by a listener. Wardaugh (1985) states that conversation is a social activity, the participants must take each others’ feelings and sensitivities into account if communication is to be successful. They need to be conscious of each others’ needs especially the need not to be offended (Wardaugh,1985:2).
In this transcript, there are several instances where participants interrupt each other, and also offend each other. For instance, analyzing the conversational trend shows that the confrontational stance seems to have developed because of the lack of sensitivity of the participants about not offending each other. For example, the conflict has developed because both Zaynab and Ayesha have alleged that Khalidja did NOT go to the mosque, whereas a better conversational approach could have been to pose their doubts about her attendance at a mosque in the form of a question. As Wardaugh (1985) states, the social nature of conversation mandates that all participants should get equal opportunities to speak; in this transcript however, some of the linguistic characteristics that may be noted arise out of the lack of sensitivity of the participants. Zaynab in particular, being the youngest, has been interrupted ever so often; hence he does not have the same opportunities for participation that the others