In this widely acclaimed empirical study, Douglas Biber uses computational techniques to analyse the linguistic characteristics of twenty-three spoken and written genres, enabling identification of the basic, underlying dimensions of variation in English.
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 analyse 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 characteristics of any spoken or written text andd emonstrates 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.
Part I. Background Concepts and Issues: 1. Introduction: textual dimensions and relations; 2. Situations and functions; 3. Previous linguistic research on speech and writing; Part II. Methodology: 4. Methodological overview of the study; 5. Statistical analysis; Part III. Dimensions and Relations in English: 6. Textual dimensions in speech and writing; 7. Textual relations in speech and writing; 8. Extending the description: variations within genres; 9. Afterword: applying the model; Appendices.
This widely acclaimed empirical study uses a factor analysis to identify six dimensions of variation on the basis of linguistic co-occurence patterns.