Spoken discourse

					Spoken discourse


What to look for and comment on
for unit 3
Normal non-fluency

 …results from the unprepared nature of
  speech
Non-fluency: Pauses

 Do they create emphasis e.g. distaste?
 Do they leave thinking time?
 Do they indicate emotion?
 Do they mark a change in direction?


  Pause fillers (um, er, yea, mmm) can be
  examined in the same way. These are
  called non-verbal signs.
Other non-fluency features:
 Repetition (unintended)
 Hesitation
 False starts: You really ought to – well
  do it your own way.
 Grammatical blends e.g. starting one
  way & finishing another: Would you mind
  telling me what’s the time? This starts as
  an indirect question but ends as a direct
  question.
 Intake of breath- what is suggested if
  these are frequent?
Monitoring features

 These appear in conversation
 They indicate the speaker’s awareness
  of the addressee
 These include adverbs e.g. well, right
  and adverbials e.g. I mean, You know,
  sort of
  Monitoring features invite
  interaction and are also referred to
  as interaction features.
Other features of speech
 Inexplicitness: speech can be much less
  explicit than writing because extra
  information can be conveyed by:
 Paralinguistic features: changing facial
  expressions, shakes and nods of the
  head; use of gestures; use of the
  immediate physical environment e.g.
  pointing; shared knowledge of the
  participants which makes explicitness
  unnecessary e.g. frequent use of
  pronouns e.g. it, this, that.
Lack of clear sentence
boundaries
 They may be unfinished
 The knowledge of the addressee may
 make completion unnecessary

 This means that speech is organised
 differently to writing.
Informality

 Generally speaking, the situations in
  which speech is used are less formal
  than those in which writing is used.

 The linguistic characteristics of
  informality generally appear in speech;
  those reflecting formality generally
  appear in writing.
Linguists

 Halliday: speech is a process, writing is
  a product.
 Leech, Deuchar & Hoogenraad: speech /
  writing continuum
Leech et al

 There are overlaps where features we
  think of as ‘typical’ of speech occur in
  writing and those of ‘typical’ writing
  appear in speech
 They thought of a continuum from
  ‘typical’ speech to ‘typical’ writing.
Arrange these on a continuum
from ‘typical’ speech at the top to
‘typical’ writing at the bottom
   English textbook
   Script of a play
   Personal letter
   Telephone conversation
   lecture
   newspaper
   Sermon
   Seminar
   Conversation in a pub
   Job interview
   Radio discussion
   Linguistics textbook
   Business letter
   TV news
   TV advert
Answers
   Conversation in a pub
   Seminar
   Telephone conversation
   Personal letter
   Job interview
   Radio discussion
   TV advertisement
   Lecture
   Sermon
   Script of a play
   TV news
   Newspaper
   Business letter
   Linguistics textbook

				
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