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how do you carry out a comprehensive analysis of key language features associated with tenor?
Register, or tenor
One of the most analysed areas where the use of language is determined by the situation is the formality scale. Writers (especially in language teaching) have often used the term "register" as shorthand for formal/informal style, although this is an aging definition. Linguistics textbooks may use the term "tenor" instead (Halliday 1978), but increasingly prefer the term "style" — "we characterise styles as varieties of language viewed from the point of view of formality" (Trudgill, 1992) — while defining "registers" more narrowly as specialist language use related to a particular activity, such as academic jargon. There is very little agreement as to how the spectrum of formality should be divided.
Very formal, Frozen, Rigid← FORMAL Neutral INFORMAL →Very informal, Casual, Familiar
This diagram is from Quirk et al (1985), who use the term attitude rather than style or register
In one prominent model, Joos (1961) describes five styles in spoken English:
Register (linguistics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
- Frozen: Printed unchanging language such as bible quotations; often contains archaisms.
- Formal: One-way participation, no interruption. Technical vocabulary; "Fussy semantics" or exact definitions are important. Includes introductions between strangers.
- Consultative: Two-way participation. Background information is provided — prior knowledge is not assumed. "Backchannel behaviour" such as "uh huh", "I see", etc. is common. Interruptions allowed.
- Casual: In-group friends and acquaintances. No background information provided. Ellipsis and slang common. Interruptions common.
- Intimate: Non-public. Intonation more important than wording or grammar. Private vocabulary.