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Thread: Analysis

  1. #1
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    Default Analysis

    PLEASE HELP PROOFREAD THIS ESSAY AND SUGGEST IMPROVEMENT:

    According to the analysis of the two extracts, there are a number of differences between the grammar of spoken and that of written English. This includes the length of the sentences, the structure, the punctuation marks, ellipsis and so on.

    As we can see from the two extracts, the sentences of spoken English are much shorter than written English. The number of people involved is another difference; in written English usually there is only one writer, but in spoken English (as the two extracts) two or more people are involved in the discussion. Also in extract two, we can see the vertical lines. This means that two people are talking at the same time. And this rarely happens in written English. When we look at the punctuation marks in the first extract, we can see that they do not follow the grammar rule (e.g. You go out?...). In written English, we put a full stop at the end of a sentence and a question mark at the end of a question. But we can see that punctuation has been used to create a special effect. There is no intonation in the extracts but the punctuation marks help us understand some the things the speaker is trying to say. And lastly there are more processes used in the spoken version than the written.

    ~Observation about discourse markers, ellipsis and informal or non-standard usage
    Discourse markers are used more in spoken and less in written English (e.g. by the way). An ellipsis occurs when some elements of a phrase or other unit of language are not specified because they can be inferred from the context (e.g. three full stops in the first script). It occurs in both speech and writing, but is more common in speech. For example, in script 1, “You go out?...” could be expanded to “Do you go out?” But this is unnecessary because Chad and Deborah both know what Peter is asking.

    ~Identify grammatical or lexical features that are common in conversation but rare in well-formed written text.
    Variations in context that can affect grammatical choice may relate to different modes of communication, whether it is speech or writing, telephone or email and so on. In scripts, there are no sentences or paragraphs.

    Both scripts are dialogues, communication between two or more speakers and this influences the grammar choices made. In natural speech, people often speak at the same time as each other, or complete each other’s remarks. There are therefore many utterances that seem incomplete when read in the script.
    Although transcripts of conversation seem ‘ungrammatical’, the participants in them have no problem understanding and responding. The use of the context surrounding the participants means that they do not need to make everything explicit.

    Also in spoken text, elaborations or specification of meaning are avoided and general nouns and pronouns are used (e.g. something new, the other thing). There is a dysfluency, the use of hesitators (sounds such as erm, um), pauses and repetitions which reflect the difficulty of mental planning at speed. Repetition allow forward planning time and indicate that the speaker has not finished, sometimes also used to indicate emphasis.

    ~Using the analysis, make a list of the points you can use to argue that traditional grammar (define this) is insufficient as a means to describe the grammar of spoken English (Discourse/symantic/syntactic level; connectives; conjunctions in scripts)

    In linguistics, "traditional grammar" is a cover name for the collection of concepts and ideas about the structure of language that Western societies have received from ancient Greek and Roman sources. The term is used to distinguish these ideas from those of contemporary linguistics, which are intended to apply to a much broader range of languages, and to correct a number of errors in "traditional grammar".

    Whether using speech or writing, English sentences will be made up of clauses structured in terms of participants, processes and circumstances.

    Participants in the spoken version are more often realized by pronouns than in the written. In the written text they are often ‘abstractions’ like increase, lifespan, memory while in the spoken text there is more reference to ‘concrete’ entities including people (e.g. he, a tree). They tend to be very long and often include several nouns or other lexical words; in the spoken they are realized by shorter noun phrases. More than one participant is realized, in the written text, by a prepositional phrase because of the use of passives (e.g. can be modified, has been achieved).

    The first principle of ‘keep talking’ expresses the ideal of avoiding silence and leads to hesitations and fillers and to repetitions and reformulations of the clause as four strategies to achieve this. The second principle is that of ‘limited planning’ and refers to the essential constraint on speech – it involves the production of meaning without the opportunity of preplanning or rehearsing what we want to say.

    A clause is structured so that it can function as a representation of experience, as a speech act and as a connected part of a larger discourse. While the essential forms and functions of grammar are common to both spoken and written modes of English, they are distributed differently between the two modes due to the particular limitations and advantages peculiar to each mode.

    ~How does the grammar of spoken English differ from that of written English with reference to the description of the constituent parts of a sentence?
    There are more processes and therefore more clauses and more conjunctions used in the spoken version than the written. Participants in the spoken version are more often realized by pronouns than in the written.

    In written English, to make meanings clear, strings of phrases and clauses are fit together with boundaries marked by full stops and initial capital letters. Written text is written as clear as possible because the participants do not have the chance to ask for clarification. Meanings are divided into sentences. Sentences and parts of sentences are linked together not predominately by and, but by other linking words such as but, yet and so which not only link bits of text but give us an idea of the logical unfolding of a text.

    One of the main grammatical differences between speech and writing is that we convey information in relatively few words, especially between informal conversation and formal writing.

    In spoken English, there are no full stops or capital letters. There are streams of sounds, which would be broken up with pauses and often there are hesitations and gestures.

    Also in spoken text, we see grammatical features such as question tags (e.g. isn’t it? won’t you?) which invite a response from the other member of the dialogue. Also missing out words such as personal pronouns is common (e.g. Probably went to) where the pronoun he/she/it is omitted. This is allowed in conversation because such words can be inferred from the surrounding text. It also helps to create a feeling of closeness between the participants, since they have a shared understanding.

    One the other hand, in written English, a passive structure can be used for information flow and to place stress on the appropriate participant. It is less needed in spoken language because these can be achieved through the use of intonation, a resource not available to the writer. On the other hand, a long tightly structured unit at the start of the clause is not easily achieved in the dynamic context of speech, which allows no time for preparation, so an elaborate noun phrase for an initial participant is not typical in this mode. A writer, however, has the opportunity to create such structures in a more considered way, away from the pressures of ‘online’ production. Moreover, units in written text can be rapidly scanned by eye and so ‘lexically dense’ structures are more accessible in this mode.

    Interrogatives and imperatives are more frequent overall in the spoken language corpus than in the written one. It is in the give and take of dialogic interaction that we most naturally use language to elicit information or action from the addressee, while writing serves more readily to give information using declaratives, since the reader is not actually present to respond.

    Question tags function as a way of handing a turn of talk over to the hearer by eliciting a response from them. It is a structure almost absent from the written corpus.

    By structuring the individual clauses in the way the original does, the writer makes the information in the whole text easy to digest. And while speakers as well as writers utilize variation in the order of elements, it is in writing that an initial circumstance is more common because this monologic mode requires a more planned organization of one clause in relation to another.
    ~Discuss briefly how different contexts affect grammatical choice as an extension of your analysis. (new medium of communication: eg. online chat, written/ spoken discourse)
    Grammar of spoken English is different from that of written. Formality and whether something is spoken or written can affect the choice of grammatical structures and also the choice of vocabulary.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    PLEASE HELP PROOFREAD THIS ESSAY AND SUGGEST IMPROVEMENT:

    According to the analysis of the two extracts, there are a number of differences between the grammar of spoken and that of written English. This includes the length of the sentences, the structure, the punctuation marks, ellipsis and so on.

    As we can see from the two extracts, the sentences of spoken English are much shorter than those of written English. The number of people involved is another difference; in written English usually there is only one writer, but in spoken English (as in the two extracts) two or more people are involved in the discussion. Also in extract two, we can see the vertical lines. This means that two people are talking at the same time. And this rarely happens in written English. When we look at the punctuation marks in the first extract, we can see that they do not follow the grammar rule (e.g. You go out?...). In written English, we put a full stop at the end of a sentence and a question mark at the end of a question. But we can see that punctuation has been used to create a special effect. There is no intonation in the extracts but the punctuation marks help us understand some the things the speaker is trying to say. And lastly there are more processes used in the spoken version than the written version.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    PLEASE HELP PROOFREAD THIS ESSAY AND SUGGEST IMPROVEMENTs:
    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    Both scripts are dialogues (communication between two or more speakers) and this influences the grammar choices made. In natural speech, people often speak at the same time as each other, or complete each other’s remarks. There are therefore many utterances that seem incomplete when read in the script.
    Although transcripts of conversation seem ‘ungrammatical’, the participants in them have no problem understanding each other.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fame View Post
    The use of the context surrounding the participants means that they do not need to make everything explicit.

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