Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


English Rhetoric and Composition


Beth Brunk-Chavez


In this project, I interrogated the rhetorical relationship between 911 Call Takers and 911 callers in Garland, Texas in order to evalulate the quality of 911 emergency information transfer and its impact on 911 event final outcomes. I compiled a three-part data set that included transcriptions of 27 911 call audio recordings, 27 Computer Aided Dispatch Event Chronology Reports, and 27 Police/Incident Reports. My data set was specific to the following 911 event classifications: Disturbance/Weapon in Progress, Disturbance/Weapon Involved, Shooting, and Stabbing. My data sample came from 911 calls under these classifications made during the month of August 2020. Through my research and data analysis, I identified 911 caller and Call Taker rhetorical strategies, 911 caller/Call Taker rhetorical situation components, and the agency of Norman Fairclough's dialogic and non-dialogic language in the retrieval, interpretation, and dissemination of 911 emergency event information. I examined how the use of language and implicit cultural understandings between the 911 caller and Call Taker informed the quality of 911 emergency information that was transferred to responding police officers. I looked for possible miscommunication events and how these events might inform police officer on scene response and Police/Incident reports. I looked for consistencies and inconsistencies in information reterieval, interpretation, and dissemination and the ways in which these inconsistencies were informed by the rhetorical relationship between the 911 caller and Call Taker. Finally, I compared and contrasted all three sections of my data sample in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the 911 caller and Call Taker rhetorical exchange.

I addressed the rhetorical connections that informed the following primary criteria through grounded theory â?? initial, focused, and theoretical coding, provisional coding, componential analysis, and comparative analysis: 1. The Elements and characteristics of the rhetorical relationship between caller and Call Taker. 2. The use of dialogic and non-dialogic language and the currency of both in eliciting common-sense assumptions. 3. Correlation or lack of correlation between the 911 call conversation, the Computer Aided Dispatch Event Chronology event classification, and the Police/Incident report event classification and description. 4. The currency of common-sense assumptions or folk psychology in the 911 emergency call interaction and related documents. 5. The presence or absence of ambiguity and both the caller and Call Takerâ??s treatment of ambiguity. 6. The quality of information processing in 911 emergency call conversations and the rhetorical connection to final event outcomes. 7. The presence or absence of confirmation bias. Filtering evidence through pre-conceived ideas and prejudices.) 8. Miscommunication Events that might lead to (Police Wrongful Use of Excessive Force/Police Wrongful Use of Deadly Force)




Received from ProQuest

File Size

285 p.

File Format


Rights Holder

Nadia Hamilton Morales

Included in

Rhetoric Commons