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Processing Varieties in English: An…
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Processing Varieties in English: An Examination of Oral and Written Speech…

by Marcia I. MacAulay

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0774803347, Hardcover)

This study of oral and written speech in English examines media as processing varieties and looks at their interaction with genre. To date, the study of orality and literacy in English has been unsystematic; findings in turn have been inconsistent and contradictory.

In this treatment, clear methodological parameters have been set up to ensure accurate and significant findings. All texts used are parallel texts arising out of the same or similar context of situation. With this methodology, ideational meaning is clearly distinguished from textual meaning. Moreover, media and genre, two aspects of textual meaning, are distinguished so that representative features of each are isolated. Lastly, all texts are naturally occurring across representative genres. With such distinctions and criteria in place, the important interaction of media with genre is examined, while the character of oral and written speech as processing varieties is revealed.

Above all, this study demonstrates the non-neutrality of oral and written speech as language varieties. Especially important is the resultative/causative split between them in the representation of events. Written speech is not oral speech ’written down’ as Bloomfield and de Saussure originally claimed, but a very different system of syntactic and discourse organization which influences how we represent and see the world. Both varieties strongly influence the semantic content and generic function of any text they convey indicating very significant interplay of semantic variables in the processing of language.

Processing Varieties in English contributes to a wide range of linguistic areas and topics, including discourse analysis, socio-psycholinguistics, and cognitive science.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:33 -0400)

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