One of the major distinctions to be made in the study of language as spoken discourse is that speech is always contextually ‘situated’ and occasioned: it occurs among specific participants, who use speech for various purposes, in certain settings and across various spans of time. Utterances exist and function within their situations of utterance which are in turn embedded in ‘contexts of culture’. Utterances are thus always embedded in situations, within cultures, and are open to various social and not grammatical meanings alone. Moreover, they function within larger units like speech events or communicative events as they have also been termed. The co-ordinates of speech events are complex and comprise the basic prerequisites that determine speech use. The model chosen to explore the influence of such parameters on interaction comes from the sociolinguistic perspective, more precisely from the Ethnography of Communication. The range of factors that need to be accounted for is best summarized by Dell Hymes’ (1972) mnemonic of SPEAKING. The following is a slightly revised version.