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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Introduction textual dimensions and relations
Situations and functions
Previous linguistic research on speech and writing
Methodological overview of the study
Dimensions and relations in English
Textual relations in speech and writing
Extending the description variation within genres
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abstract academic prose addition adjectives adverbials analysis approach aspect associated Biber broadcasts Chapter characteristics characterization co-occur communicative comparison complements concerning considerable considered constructions contractions conversation coordination corpus counts demonstrative Dimension discourse discussion distinction distinguish documents elaboration English example extent factor fiction Figure forms frequency functions genres gerunds highly identified important indicates infinitives interactive interpretation involved language linguistic features loadings mark Mean modals narrative nominalizations nouns overall participial clauses particular passives past tense patterns perfect person pronouns personal letters position possible predictive prepositions present present tense production questions range reference relations reportage represent respect resulting scores shared shows similar situational social specific speech and writing split spoken spoken and written Standard structure sub-genres subordination Table texts textual types typical underlying variation verbs versus weights WH relatives WHIZ deletions written