Spontaneous Spoken Language: Syntax and Discourse (Oxford Linguistics)

by Jim Miller, Regina Weinert


The authors examine the types of clauses used by people when they are speaking off the cuff. They also analyze the devices speakers use when organizing larger chunks of language, such as conversations. Using data from English, German, and Russian, they develop a systematic analysis of spoken English and highlight cross-language properties. They argue that there are major and systematic differences between spoken and written language, and conclude by exploring the implications of their findings for typology, first-language acquisition, and education.

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