Language use in coaching collegiate basketball : a speech act analysis of collegiate basketball coaches during gameplay

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Wegener, Jonathan
Vercellotti, Mary Lou
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Department of English
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This study has examined what sentence structures and speech acts are most commonly used by collegiate basketball coaches. It has also examined if there are any observable gender-linked language differences among coaches. The results provide insights into what the sentence structures and speech acts collegiate basketball coaches use during gameplay; how the sentence structures and speech acts are paired; how the leadership style of the managerial position of a coach exhibits itself in the overall selection of sentence structures and speech acts; and, searches to discover if the sex of the coach or addressee bears a difference in the patterns coaches use to speak to their players. The research is based on the model used by Mihalicek & Wilson (2011) and research by Searle and Vanderveken (1985), Mulac, Giles, Bradac, and Palomares (2013) among others. Modifications were made for the purposes of this study. The results show that there are regular patterns of speaking which coaches use when talking to their players regardless of leadership style and sex (of the player or the coach). There are little variations between the percentages of sentence structures and speech acts used by the coaches as well as how they are paired together. This study is the first of its kind with the intent of encouraging further research using these data sample types (Mic’d-up videos) along with contributing to the current research on gender-linked language effects and gender-linked language differences.