Coming to terms with conversational grammar
‘Dislocation’ and ‘dysfluency’
“situationally defined varieties” (Biber et al. 1999:5) have advanced the study of conversational grammar considerably. This paper questions the use of writing-based conceptual frameworks and terminologies in the description of conversational grammar. It is argued that conversation as the major situationally defined variety of the spoken language requires for its adequate description concepts and terminologies that are based on the situational factors that determine the conversational situation. The paper attempts to demonstrate that, conversely, a descriptive apparatus derived from the written code, which by necessity fails to reflect the situational factors governing conversation and implicitly compares features of conversation to the norms of the written language, inevitably conveys negative evaluation of the conversational features observed. This claim will be illustrated by functional and terminological analyses of two conversational key features commonly labelled ‘dislocation’ and ‘dysfluency’. The analyses will be carried out using data from the BNC. Potential alternative concepts and terminologies will be discussed.
Keywords: speech management, dysfluency, LGSWE, CANCODE, BNC, spoken grammar, situational factors, conversational grammar, semantic prosody, dislocation
Published online: 08 December 2006
Cited by 14 other publications
No author info given
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