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A field test of equivocation theory: Apologies by Canadian churches to indigenous people
Unformatted Document Text:  23 offender as agent and describing the actions was the standard applied. It is even possible, in some circumstances, to apply a quasi-experimental or even statistical analysis if desired. Other parts of the same text that do not create a conflict can serve as a control for those that do. This new approach does not mean that grammatical analysis of agent and action is a new, universal measure. Equivocation is departure from clarity and directness in the context in which it occurs. Therefore, to measure it, one must first identify the standard for clarity and directness in the particular context. For example, most grammar texts note that passive voice without agent is appropriate at moments when the object is salient or the agent unknown (e.g., “President Lincoln was assassinated”), so passive voice will not be equivocal in some contexts. A theory and method should not, on one hand, be taken so literally as to be followed slavishly but on the other hand should be applied consistently with its basic principles (Bavelas, 1998).

Authors: Bavelas, Janet.
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offender as agent and describing the actions was the standard applied. It is even
possible, in some circumstances, to apply a quasi-experimental or even statistical
analysis if desired. Other parts of the same text that do not create a conflict can serve
as a control for those that do.
This new approach does not mean that grammatical analysis of agent and action
is a new, universal measure. Equivocation is departure from clarity and directness in
the context in which it occurs. Therefore, to measure it, one must first identify the
standard for clarity and directness in the particular context. For example, most
grammar texts note that passive voice without agent is appropriate at moments when
the object is salient or the agent unknown (e.g., “President Lincoln was assassinated”),
so passive voice will not be equivocal in some contexts. A theory and method should
not, on one hand, be taken so literally as to be followed slavishly but on the other hand
should be applied consistently with its basic principles (Bavelas, 1998).


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