Variation Across Speech and Writing

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 19, 1991 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 299 pages
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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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Contents

Introduction textual dimensions and relations
3
Situations and functions
28
Previous linguistic research on speech and writing
47
Methodology
59
Methodological overview of the study
61
Statistical analysis
79
Dimensions and relations in English
101
Textual relations in speech and writing
121
Afterword applying the model
198
Texts used in the study
208
Linguistic features algorithms and functions
211
Mean frequency counts of all features in each genre
246
Pearson correlation coefficients for all linguistic features
270
References
280
Index
293
Copyright

Extending the description variation within genres
170

Common terms and phrases

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