Variation Across Speech and Writing
Similarities and differences between speech and writing have been the subject of innumerable studies, but until now there has been no attempt to provide a unified linguistic analysis of the whole range of spoken and written registers in English. In this widely acclaimed empirical study, Douglas Biber uses computational techniques to analyze the linguistic characteristics of twenty-three spoken and written genres, enabling identification of the basic, underlying dimensions of variation in English. In Variation Across Speech and Writing, six dimensions of variation are identified through a factor analysis, on the basis of linguistic co-occurence patterns. The resulting model of variation provides for the description of the distinctive linguistic characteristic of any spoken or written text and demonstrates the ways in which the polarization of speech and writing has been misleading, and thus enables reconciliation of the contradictory conclusions reached in previous research.
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9 pause abstract academic prose adverbial agentless passives analytic negation attributive adjectives Biber broadcasts Brown corpus Chafe characterization co-occur co-occurrence patterns corpus demonstrative pronouns discourse particles factor analysis factor scores fiction forms functions gerunds identified Indefinite pronouns interactive interpretation lexical mark Mean scores narrative necessity modals nominal non-narrative nouns official documents past participial clauses past tense perfect aspect verbs personal letters phrasal coordination pied piping position predicative adjectives present analysis present participial clauses present study present tense press reportage private verbs pro-verb professional letters public verbs relations among genres relative clauses respect to Dimension scores of Dimension second person pronouns sentence relatives situational speech and writing split auxiliaries split Infinitives spoken and written spontaneous speeches Standard deviation sub-genres subj subordination synthetic negation tagged textual dimensions third person pronouns Tuvaluan type/token ratio types typical verb complements versus WH relatives WHIZ deletions word length written genres