Monthly Archives: October 2009

Racism and discourse in Spain and Latin America

Racism and discourse in Spain and Latin America. By Teun A. van Dijk. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. Pp. 197. ISBN 9027227047. $126.

Reviewed by Sara McElmurry, Northeastern Illinois University

In an age when being politically correct is politically correct, Teun A. van Dijk’s Racism and discourse in Spain and Latin America examines the racist undertones that still readily permeate elite discourse in Spain and several Latin American nations. D synthesizes examples from a variety of sources—including the press, political commentary, popular culture, education, and everyday conversation—to explore racist ‘us’ versus ‘them’ themes stemming from both generations-old historical structures and recent immigration trends in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. D also draws from examples of racist discourse in Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Peru.

In Ch 1, ‘Racism and discourse’ (1–12), D opens with a reflection on racism, recognizing that although racism may present itself in discourse, its manifestations—including discrimination, marginalization, violence, and exclusion—extend far beyond the scope of discourse or language. Furthermore, D argues that discourse is often to blame for the reproduction of racism: ‘we all learn to be racist (or antiracist) through children’s literature, movies, TV programs, textbooks, conversations with friends, news reports and opinion articles, and so on’ (9).

D maintains that racism in its varying forms stems from polarized beliefs about ingroups (‘us’) and outgroups (‘them’). In Spain, as outlined in Ch. 2, ‘Elite discourse and racism in Spain’ (13–82), ‘us’ is a group of elite whites, while ‘them’ has traditionally included a Muslim, Arab, and Romaní (gitano) minority group. More recently, ‘them’ also includes new groups of immigrants from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Racism is particularly highlighted in regions such as Catalonia and Andalusia, where immigration is considered a threat to autonomous identity, language, and culture.

In Ch. 2, D presents an analysis of discourse taken from the Spanish mass media, politicians, employers, academia, and the Catholic Church and concludes that while most discourse may not be blatantly racist, racism exists in most domains of society, especially toward new immigrant groups. Discourse surrounding immigration focuses on illegal immigration (rather than ‘regular’ immigration), crime, stereotypes, and cultural differences.

In Ch. 3, ‘Elite discourse and racism in Latin America’ (83–163), D reveals that the same racist trends hold true in Latin America, but the target of the racism in these countries is not new immigrants (with the exception of Koreans in Argentina). Rather, analysis of discourse from a variety of sources reveals underlying racist statements toward various indigenous groups, along with blacks in Brazil. Indigenous and black sources are rarely cited in newspapers; these groups are often associated with crime and are readily portrayed as victims in media coverage and in popular culture. In many Latin American countries, race is intertwined with class, with the latter often used by elites to justify inequalities in their countries.

While D holds politicians, the media, and academia responsible for eliminating racism in Spanish and Latin American society, he also calls for more research in the areas of discursive racism and ethnic relations. According to D, only a combined effort can effectively combat racism across the globe.


Lakota.  By Bruce Ingham. (Languages of the world/materials 426.) Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2003. Pp. v, 113. ISBN 3895868493. $52.64.

Reviewed by Shahrzad Mahootian, Northeastern Illinois University

This book presents a descriptive overview of Lakota, one of three closely related Siouxan dialects that include Dakota and Nakota, as Ingham explains in the introductory remarks. The grammar is divided into five sections: ‘Phonology’, ‘Morphology’, ‘Syntax’, ‘Semantics and lexical usage’, and ‘Texts’.

’Phonology’, though brief (3–7), provides a thorough inventory of the phones in Lakota, beginning with the eight vowels. Consonants, syllabics, and stress are also covered, leading to phonological processes (Section 1.5) and phonological variants (1.6). The phonology section ends with a short paragraph on sound symbolism.

‘Morphology’, which is organized into thirteen sections, each with its own subsections (8–72), constitutes the bulk of this grammatical sketch and rightfully so, since Lakota is a language that ‘relies heavily on morphology for all its grammatical functions’ (8). The section on the verb, Section 4, is the lengthiest, with fourteen subsections addressing verb classes and the personal pronoun prefixes associated with them; valency; instrumental, locative, and indefinite patient prefixes; nonfinite verb forms; motion verbs; combination and complex verbs; and auxiliary verbs.

The sixty-five pages devoted to morphology are filled with helpful examples of the morphemes under discussion. The glosses in most cases are in the form of an equivalent English translation. Near the end of this section, I provides morpheme-by-morpheme glosses and then gives the translation. The latter format is far superior to the former, especially for a language so vastly different from English.

‘Syntax’ follows the helpful morpheme-by-morpheme glossing method as it goes through the structure of simple and complex sentences, noun incorporation, and noun phrase structure. I concludes the grammatical overview of Lakota with a brief section on semantic features and verbs of being. In the last section, he presents four texts in Lakota from the Bushotter papers, dating back to the 1890s, with morpheme-by-morpheme glosses and full English translations. These texts provide a welcome glimpse into the Lakota culture.

The three appendices on tribal names, Lakota names for items of white culture, and the Lakota time system are interesting and informative, and present additional cultural dimensions.

The descriptive nature of Lakota makes it a useful book for linguists interested in comparative studies as well as serious students of the Lakota language (to be used as a supplemental grammar text). I’s style is clear, concise, and accessible. The many examples he provides for each grammatical feature make it easy to follow as the reader is taken deeper into the complexities of this language.

Semantics versus pragmatics

Semantics versus pragmatics. Ed. by Zoltán Gendler Szabó. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. 465. ISBN 0199251525. $70.

Reviewed by Reda A. H. Mahmoud, University of Minya

Semantics versus pragmatics focuses on ‘what is said’ and ‘what is meant’, and makes the distinction between the two. The book consists of ten papers that commonly address a number of important theoretical distinctions—for example, truth-conditionality, encoding, and compositionality—that could sum up the semantic-pragmatic divide. These theoretical distinctions are supported by empirical data of some phenomena—for example, deixis, presupposition, and asserting—which help determine whether a certain linguistic phenomenon is semantic or pragmatic in nature.

In the first paper, Kent Bach adopts John L. Austin’s and H. Paul Grice’s views of semantics and argues in ten points that the scope of semantics is marked by what is said and that there is a correspondence between elements of what is said and elements of the linguistic expressions that say it. Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore refute the arguments of moderate and radical pragmatics, proving their inconsistency and instability. They adopt an alternative view of truth-conditional semantics in which meaning determines the truth conditions of utterances and sentences, and context interacts with meaning only when activated by the grammar of the sentences. Michael Glanzberg deals with the basic semantic and pragmatic effects of focus. Focus shows that what appears on the surface to be pragmatic can turn out to indicate underlying syntactic structure.

Jeffrey C. King and Jason Stanley distinguish among three views of the distinction between semantics and pragmatics. They try to provide a clear characterization of semantic content in order to evaluate the debate about its scope and interest. Within a broad view of pragmatic interpretation, Stephen Neale states that the binding theory seems to explain the behavior of reflexive and nonreflexive pronouns across languages, while semantics fails to place more than nondeterministic constraints on the interpretation of pronouns. In ‘Deixis and anaphora’, François Recanati outlines a pragmatic theory in which the anaphoric uses of pronouns are free uses. He attacks the idea of ambiguity in pronouns and Gareth Evans’s semantic view of bound uses of pronouns.

Nathan Salmon distinguishes two opposing conceptions of semantics: expression-centered and speech-act centered. He adopts the expression-centered conception according to which semantic properties of linguistic expressions are intrinsic to the expressions themselves. In ‘Presupposition and relevance’, Mandy Simons appeals to the ideas of Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson against the views of Robert Stalnaker. She makes use of their implicated assumptions because they play an important role in explicating the nature of presupposition. Scott Soames investigates the relationship between the semantic content and assertoric content of names. He views the real relationship between the semantic contents of sentences and the propositions they are used to assert as even more indirect than indicated in his 2002 book Beyond rigidity (Oxford University Press). Finally, Robert J. Stainton introduces a pragmatics-oriented approach to nonsentential speech, and defends it against the syntactic and semantic views of Jason Stanley and Peter Ludlow. He claims that pragmatics plays a part in determining the content of what is asserted.

Talk Mandarin today

Talk Mandarin today. By Hong Xiao. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 2003. Pp. 338. ISBN 9629961121. $19.50.

Reviewed by Feng-hsi Liu, University of Arizona

Talk Mandarin today is a beginning Chinese textbook designed for adult beginning learners, especially for people who plan to conduct business or travel in China. The book consists of a brief introduction to Mandarin, thirty lessons, appendices, and a Chinese-English glossary.

The lessons are organized around an American businessman (Mr. Green) who goes to China for the first time and takes on a manager position in an IT company in Beijing. Topics covered include real-life situations such as opening a bank account, making hotel and train reservations, dealing with computer viruses, inquiring about shipments, mailing packages, changing money, bargaining, being a guest of a Chinese family, and emergency situations. The thirty lessons are organized into three parts, and the last lesson of each part (Lessons 10, 20, and 30) is a review, containing a reading passage that summarizes the experience of Mr. Green on the basis of the previous nine lessons.

Aside from the three review lessons, the rest of the lessons are organized in a rather traditional format and include the following components: dialogue, new words, grammar, notes (explanation of terms or expressions), key sentence construction, exercise, and supplementary vocabulary. The dialogue is presented first in characters, followed by Pinyin and the English translation. Between ten and twenty-five new words are introduced in each lesson. The number is higher if the number of characters, rather than words, is counted. For example, Lesson 1 introduces twenty-four words, which include thirty-five characters. Grammar explanations are few and simple; in some lessons the grammar component is absent. Key sentence construction presents the new sentence structures, and each one is built up step by step from one word to two words, three words, and so on. One example is used to illustrate each structure. The exercise consists of four or five parts, including filling in the blanks, substitution, translation from Chinese to English, dialogue reading, and answering questions. For the translations and questions, the answers are provided in the appendices.

A few characteristics of this book stand out. First, unlike most college-level Chinese textbooks, which focus on student life, the book has its setting in a business and work environment. The content is therefore especially appropriate for businesspeople. Second, the book also differs from most current textbooks in providing very few grammar explanations or exercises. This may reflect the author’s intent to keep things simple for the beginning learner. Third, the book incorporates some words that are newly introduced into Chinese, for example, yimeir ‘e-mail’ and ku ‘cool’. To learn how to use ku, however, the learner would need more examples, as ku is not necessarily used in exactly the same contexts where cool is used in English. With respect to the Chinese writing, characters are often an obstacle for learners. In this book, the Chinese characters are always accompanied by Pinyin. This certainly makes it easier for the learner to read, but it also makes it more difficult to become independent of the Romanization. Another characteristic that makes it easier to read is that all of the Chinese sentences are printed with spaces that serve as word boundaries. This is a practice that is not found in normal Chinese writing or any Chinese textbooks that I have seen. At the beginning level, however, this feature facilitates reading comprehension and makes the task of reading characters less daunting.

The appendices include phrases and structures covered in the lessons; they also include a list of sentence-final particles, measure words, time words, place words, and currency words. Such lists are useful to learners.

Progressives, patterns, pedagogy: A corpus-driven approach to English progressive forms, functions, contexts and didactics

Progressives, patterns, pedagogy: A corpus-driven approach to English progressive forms, functions, contexts and didactics. By Ute Römer. (Studies in corpus linguistics 18.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2005. Pp. xiv, 328. ISBN 9027222894. $156 (Hb).

Reviewed by Feng-hsi Liu, University of Arizona

Although there has been extensive research on progressives in English, this book is perhaps the first study that examines both how progressives are used and how progressives are taught in the classroom. It includes two corpus studies: a large-scale empirical study of progressive verb forms in contemporary spoken British English, and a study of progressives in English textbooks used in Germany. This is therefore a book that bridges linguistic analysis and language teaching.

The book contains eight chapters. After the introduction (Ch. 1), Ch. 2 introduces the corpus-driven approach as the theoretical basis of the study, which is distinct from a corpus-based approach. Whereas in the latter the researcher may rely on corpus data to support a preconceived hypothesis, in the former the researcher does not come with any preformulated ideas; findings are derived directly from the raw data. Ch. 3 gives a brief review of how progressives have been treated in earlier studies, including theoretical studies as well as reference grammars.

Ch. 4 presents detailed findings of how progressives are used in spoken British English. Two corpora serve as the data source: the British National Corpus (BNC) spoken subcomponent and the spoken British subsection of The Bank of English. The 100 most frequently used verbs were selected, and their progressive forms (totaling 9,468 tokens) are the data for the first study. With respect to the contexts of progressives, it is found that they occur mostly in present progressive forms, and contracted forms (e.g. ’re V-ing) occur more frequently than noncontracted forms (e.g. are V-ing). Other features of contexts that are examined include the types of subjects, objects, prepositions, and adverbials that collocate with progressive verbs and the frequency of negation with progressives. With respect to the functions of progressives, two major functions are identified: continuousness + nonrepeatedness and continuousness + repeatedness. In the BNC, for example, 54.7% of the forms have the continuous but nonrepeated function, while 26.6% of the forms have the continuous and repeated function. Another finding is that repeatedness itself is frequently expressed by progressives, constituting 35% of the forms in the BNC. When the 100 verbs are considered separately, it is found that individual verbs show distributional differences, and several cooccurrence patterns can be observed between verbs and contexts, and between functions and frequencies.

Ch. 5 presents the findings of the second corpus study, a study of how progressives are treated in EFL books and grammars in German secondary schools. The data come from two book series: Learning English Green Line New and English G 2000 A; 702 tokens were selected for analysis. The two series are shown to be comparable in a number of aspects, including contexts, functions, and sequence of introduction.

Ch. 6 compares the findings of the two corpus studies. The textbook corpus is found to deviate from the spoken corpus in many aspects, including underrepresentation of ’re V-ing forms, overuse of time adverbials, and underrepresentation of the repeatedness function. Ch. 7 discusses pedagogical implications of the two studies. The author suggests that research in EFL textbooks can benefit much from corpus-driven linguistics, which reveals how language is used in natural contexts. He also sketches a new approach to teaching progressives, including using authentic materials, teaching what is typical in natural contexts, and teaching the most common functions of the progressives. Ch. 8 is a brief conclusion.

This rich, comprehensive book is a good example of how corpus study can inform both linguistic theory and language teaching. It is of great value to researchers who are interested in corpus linguistics, aspectual systems, language use, and language teaching.

Task-based instruction in foreign language education: Practices and programs

Task-based instruction in foreign language education: Practices and programs. Ed. by Betty Lou Leaver and Jane R. Willis. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2004. Pp. 344. ISBN 1589010280. $29.95.

Reviewed by Feng-hsi Liu, University of Arizona

This book is intended as a practical guide for language teachers who plan to incorporate task-based instruction (TBI) into their programs. The collection of papers presents case studies of how TBI is carried out in English and Asian and European languages in a variety of programs in the US and abroad, in the classroom and on the internet, and at different levels of language instruction. Many examples of learning tasks are introduced; detailed decision-making processes, challenges, and student feedback are also discussed. The reader therefore comes away with a rather concrete picture of what a TBI language program is like.

The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 (3–44) consists of just one article, by Jane R. Willis, one of the editors, who gives an overview of TBI and its emergence, characteristics, syllabus design, and methods.

Part 2 (45–177) is the core of the book, consisting of eight articles. Betty Lou Leaver, the other editor, and Marsha A. Kaplan (47–66) describe the Slavic language programs at the Defense Language Institute and the Foreign Service Institute, including in the discussion a basic course in Czech, an advanced course in Russian, and a distance-learning course in Ukrainian. Alicia Mora van Altena (67–82) talks about an advanced course in Spanish journalism that she designed at Yale University. The article by Juarez Lopes (83–95) portrays a success story, an English program in a private school in Brazil where the introduction of a TBI approach boosted student enrollment substantially. The basic Arabic language program at The Ohio State University, where a communicative-functional and task-mediated approach is used, is the topic of Mahdi Alosh’s contribution (96–121). Yoshiko Saito-Abbott (122–41) discusses the Japanese language program at California State University, Monterey Bay, which is an outcome-based institution. A beginning Spanish course for professionals at Hartnell College, a community college in Salinas, California, is described by Clemencia Macías (142–60). Finally, Wayne Richard Hager and Mary Ann Lyman-Hager (161–77) discuss an advanced French course for engineering students at Pennsylvania State University, which prepared students for industrial internships in France.

Part 3 (181–250) consists of three papers, all having to do with delivering TBI on the internet. Natalia Antokhin, Abdelfattah Boussalhi, Kuei-Lan Chen, Pamela Combacau, and Steve Koppany (181–203) report on a project called GLOSS, developed at the Defense Language Institute and National Foreign Language Center. It is an online program that incorporates a TBI approach, covering Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Vance Stevens (204–27) discusses an online community called Webheads, formed by students and teachers, where writing tasks and community building take place. Franziska Lys (228–50) describes an advanced writing course in German at Northwestern University, where students publish their work as a web project.

Part 4 (253–95) consists of two articles on assessment and teacher development. Cláudio Passos de Oliveira (253–79) reports on how task-based assessment is developed and implemented at an English-language teacher center in Brazil. Kathryn Cozonac (280–95) describes a teacher development program at the American Language Center in Moldova, conducted before the summer program. It has three components: teacher training, collaborative lesson planning, and class observation.

These case studies demonstrate that TBI can be used successfully in a wide range of circumstances. The collection is informative and full of details. It is a valuable resource for language teachers and language-program administrators.

Interpretation and understanding

Interpretation and understanding. By Marcelo Dascal. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003. Pp. xxii, 714. ISBN 1588114147. $150 (Hb).

Reviewed by Bingyun Li, Fujian Normal University

Interpretation and understanding brings together Marcelo Dascal’s major contributions to pragmatics and the philosophy of language and mind over the last three decades. This substantial volume contains thirty essays, all of which have been published as journal articles, book chapters, or conference presentations, and some of which are hard to access (e.g. Chs. 1, 5, 10, 12, 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 30). Part 1 (Chs. 1–9) focuses on theoretical considerations. Part 2 (Chs. 10–21) explores how pragmatics can be applied to different lines of inquiry. In Part 3 (Chs. 22–30) D shows how various disciplinary endeavors can be linked together for better insight into understanding and interpretation. This is a large book in terms of both number of pages (714 in all) and content (as shown below). It is a splendid book for discovering how a unified account of understanding and interpretation can be realized by breaking up rigid disciplinary boundaries. It should engage readers who wish to enjoy a clear, understandable description of many intricate issues pertaining to human understanding of language, thought, meaning, and the world within and without.

A summary of the chapter titles reveals that this is a very important collection for the study of language and mind. Part 1, ‘Theorizing’, contains the following chapters: ‘Pragmatics and communicative intentions’, ‘Conversational relevance’, ‘Strategies of understanding’, ‘Two modes of understanding’, ‘Individual and collective intentions’, ‘How does a connective work?’, ‘Commitment and involvement’, ‘Cues, clues and context’, and ‘Models of interpretation’. Part 2, ‘Applying’, covers ‘Understanding digressions’, ‘Understanding a metaphor’, ‘Three remarks on pragmatics and literature’, ‘Understanding controversies’, ‘Understanding misunderstanding’, ‘Understanding the law’, ‘Understanding jokes and dreams’, ‘Understanding art’, ‘Why does language matter to artificial intelligence?’, ‘Pragmatics in the digital age’, ‘Interpretation and tolerance’, and ‘Understanding other cultures’. And Part 3, ‘Meeting the alternatives’, looks at ‘Why should I ask her?’, ‘Speech act theory and pragmatics’, ‘The pragmatic structure of conversation’, ‘Contextualism’, ‘Does pragmatics need semantics?’, ‘Pragmatics and foundationalism’, ‘The marriage of pragmatics and rhetoric’, ‘Hermeneutic interpretation and pragmatic interpretation’, and ‘The limits of interpretation’.

Interpretation and understanding covers an enormous range, expanding from pragmatics into fields as diverse as literature and artificial intelligence. Most of the topics discussed in this excellent collection are so important that students interested in human communication and interaction cannot afford to neglect them. The issues covered in this book will intrigue them for the foreseeable future. This book is a must-read for students of pragmatics and the philosophy of language and mind. It would, however, have been much better if D had updated his ideas on certain foundational issues, possibly by adding new postscripts at the ends of chapters where necessary. Of course, this does not mean that the ideas expressed in this book are out of date; indeed, many of them are still of much value and significance for the study of understanding and interpretation.

Finally, I wonder if ‘Understanding and interpretation’ or ‘Understanding and interpreting’ would be a more suitable, if not a better, title for this book. It seems that first we understand, and then we interpret; in other words, understanding comes before interpreting. Still, things are not that easy, because to understand is to interpret and vice versa. In a sense, to live is to understand and interpret. We do these things all the time. Not only do we try to understand and interpret others, but we also try to understand and interpret ourselves; it is not necessarily easier to understand ourselves than to understand others. In addition, understanding and interpreting are dynamic activities, which is why I prefer ‘interpreting’ to ‘interpretation’.

Intercultural conversation

Intercultural conversation. By Winnie Cheng. (Pragmatics and beyond new series 118.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2003. Pp. xii, 279. ISBN 1588114651. $126 (Hb).

Reviewed by Bingyun Li, Fujian Normal University

In Intercultural conversation Winnie Cheng attempts to answer the following question: ‘How do Hong Kong Chinese and native speakers of English, being culturally divergent participants, manage the organizational and interpersonal aspects of English conversation?’ (17). To do this, C scrutinizes twenty-five ‘authentic’ intercultural conversations amounting to thirteen hours of situated discourse, with particular emphasis on five conversational features: preference organization, compliments and compliment responses, simultaneous talk, discourse topic management, and discourse of information structure.

This book consists of nine chapters. In Ch. 1, C talks about the differences between Chinese and Western cultures and mentions some a priori assumptions about the cultural divergences between Hong Kong Chinese (HKC) and native English speakers (NES) for her present study, arguing against overdeterministic taxonomies in intercultural studies. At one point, C makes a distinction between intercultural and cross-cultural communication (1); I am not sure, however, whether this distinction is really useful or necessary. Ch. 2 reviews previous work on the five conversational features mentioned above and outlines C’s own descriptive framework. In Ch. 3, C touches upon the research methodology and data-collection procedures, attaching much importance to using ‘spontaneous naturally occurring’ conversational data. Chs. 4–8 each have a roughly similar structure: hypotheses are put forward and tested by quantitative and qualitative analyses. The preference organization in the form of disagreements is discussed in Ch. 4, and compliments and compliment responses are investigated in Ch. 5. Ch. 6 analyzes 974 instances of simultaneous  talk, focusing on its nature and functions. Ch. 7 reports on discourse topic management, examining in particular topical strategies, topic content orientations, and management of culturally sensitive topics. Ch. 8 analyzes discourse information structure, and is followed by a conclusion in Ch. 9. The book ends with author and subject indices.

To sum up, the author should be credited with providing very detailed descriptions and analyses of the ‘authentic’ English conversation between HKC and NES, shedding some new light upon how intercultural conversations go and how intercultural conversations can be researched. This book would be most welcomed by those interested in conversation analysis and discourse analysis in particular and intercultural studies in general.

I have some reservations, one of which concerns the notion of ‘naturally occurring’. This book is claimed to be a study of ‘naturally occurring’ English conversations between HKC and NES. Throughout the book, however, C does not seem to give a clear definition of naturally occurring conversation; rather, the meaning is taken for granted. Actually, what can be really counted as naturally occurring in social interaction may be more complex than usually conceived. Since the conversations ‘were recorded with the prior knowledge of the participants’ (232), how is it possible to make the conversations ‘as naturally occurring and authentic as possible’ (232)? In such cases, people may more often than not resort to manipulating their discourse. Some people may argue in response that research has shown that after the social interaction has been under way for about ten minutes or a bit longer, they may have totally forgotten that they are being recorded or filmed. I do not think this is completely true. As a matter of fact, what is claimed to be naturally occurring discourse often turns out to be the result of manipulation. As I see it, there are many cases in our everyday life encounters where people, in an effort to realize their communicative intentions, plan and manipulate their discourse long before the actual interaction takes place. It is in this sense that the author’s claim that ‘meaning is jointly constructed by conversational participants’ (2) is only partially correct and that the extent to which conversation is naturally occurring or authentic appears to have something to do with communicative goals or intentions. Of course, this is not to say that the interaction process always goes as planned; after all, communication often takes place at a risk and is to a great extent unpredictable.