Advanced Spoken English Written and Spoken Discourse

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  • Advanced Spoken English Written and Spoken Discourse
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  • Types of Discourse There are many ways to classify discourse: According to whether it is written or spoken According to the register (level of formality) According to the genre (communicative purpose, style, audience) According to whether it is monologic (one speaker/writer produces an entire discourse)/ or dialogic/ multiparty (two/more participants interact/ construct discourse together).
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  • Distinction between Written and Spoken Discourse The distinction between speech and writing is often referred to as channel (D. Hymes) or medium as speaking and writing involve different psychological processes.
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  • Distinction between Written and Spoken Discourse Spoken and written discourse differ for many reasons. Spoken discourse has to be understood immediately; written discourse can be referred to many times
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  • Distinction between Written and Spoken Discourse Features of spoken discourse: Variations in speed, but it is generally faster than writing. Loudness/quietness. Example 1 Announcer: an the winner iz:s (1.4) RACHEL ROBERTS. For YANKS.
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  • Distinction between Written and Spoken Discourse Spoken discourse: Gestures/ Body language (Mr. Bean) Intonation. Pitch range: - the shift to the higher pitch; - the shift to the lower pitch, V - a fall rise. Stress: underlined words in transcription: good. Rhythm. Pausing and phrasing: (.) a tiny gap, difficult to be measured, (7.1) a pause of 7.1 seconds,a longer pause like (..)
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Grammatically? Spoken discourse fewer subordinate clauses fewer that/to complement clauses fewer sequences of prepositional phrases fewer attributive adjectives more active verbs.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Lexical characteristics? Spoken discourse longer, more repetitions the percentage of different words is below 40% (written discourse above 40%) shorter, less complex words and phrases (contractions, fewer nominalizations, more verb-based phrases, more words that refer to the speaker, less abstract words, more quantifiers).
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Lexical characteristics? Spoken discourse has: More verb-based phrases: having treatment (W) being treated (S) hospital care (W) go to the hospital (S) More predicative adjectives: misleading statistics (W) statistics are misleading (S) frightening news (W) news is frightening (S)
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Lexical characteristics? Spoken discourse has: More pronouns (it, they, you, we). There are more lexical repetitions. More first person references. More active verbs. In written discourse we often use passive when we dont want to specify the agent. In spoken discourse we would use a subject like people, somebody, they, you.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Structurally? Spoken discourse is more fragmented. It contains more simple sentences and coordination words (and, but, so, because, etc.) Written texts exhibit a bewildering variety and richness of different structural forms.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Shape poems usually describe an object being written about Example 2: A spider
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Haiku, a Japanese form of poetry, where syllables are the form of writing: Example 3 line 1- 5 syllables: Beauty and color line 2- 7 syllables: Butterflies dance in the sky line 3- 5 syllables: Flying high and free.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Written discourse can be divided into chapters, sections, units, headings, subheadings, quotations, etc. Where the original text exploits typographical variety, a reproduction of the same text may lack the qualities of the original. (eg ad on back of bus)
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Halliday compares a sentence from a written text with a typical spoken equivalent: Written form: The use of this method of control unquestionably leads to safer and faster train running in the most adverse weather conditions. A typical spoken variant: If this method of control is used trains will unquestionably (be able to) run more safely and faster (even) when the weather conditions are most adverse. A more natural spoken version: You can control the trains this way and if you do that you can be quite sure that theyll be able to run more safely and more quickly then they would other wise, no matter how bad the weather gets.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Other equivalents: Every previous visit left me with a sense of the futility of further action on my part (W). Whenever Id visited there before, Id ended up feeling that it would be futile if I tried to do anything more (S).
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  • Challenge Task 1 Can you re-write examples of classical writing discourse transferring it into a typical spoken version? A generally accepted goal of pronunciation pedagogy is to help learners achieve a comfortably intelligible pronunciation rather than a native-like one.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Functionally? Spoken and written discourses serve different functions. The written language has two main functions (Goody): the storage function which permits communication over time and space; shifting language from the oral to the visual domain, which permits words and sentences to be examined out of their original contexts.
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  • Which Discourse is More Complex? Brown and Yule: We use speech largely for the establishment and maintenance of human relationships (or we use it for interaction), whereas we use written language for working out and transference of information (primarily for the purpose of transaction).
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  • Interrelation of Written and Spoken Discourse Writing and speech interrelate (e.g. the doctor writes your symptoms, you write a telephone number). We can have written discourse that is intended to be spoken, and spoken language that is designed to be read. Marginal discourses: e-mails, SMS, texts, chats
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  • Interrelation of Written and Spoken Discourse SPOKENWRITTEN ORATEe.g. conversation e.g. informal letters, drama, poetry LITERATEe.g. lectures, sermons, speeches e.g. expository essays, articles
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  • References: Brown, G., Yule, G. (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge, etc.: Cambridge University Press. (pp. 12 26) Celce Murcia, M., Olshtain, E. (2000). Discourse and Context in Language Teaching: A Guide for Language Teachers. Cambridge; Cambridge University Press. (pp. 5-6).