Chapter published in:Voices Past and Present - Studies of Involved, Speech-related and Spoken Texts: In honor of Merja Kytö
Edited by Ewa Jonsson and Tove Larsson
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 97] 2020
► pp. 302–316
Intensification in dialogue vs. narrative in a corpus of present-day English fiction
This chapter examines adverbial intensification of adjectives in present-day English fiction, with the aim of establishing whether dialogic and narrative passages differ in this regard. Although the corpus is relatively small, the study indicates that the frequency of intensification differs across these two subregisters of fiction. Findings of a more qualitative nature include slight differences in preferred choice of intensifiers in dialogue (very > so > too) vs. narrative (so > too > very). Moreover, dialogue has a preference for evaluative adjectives, while narrative shows more variation. A comparison with authentic speech uncovered few clear patterns except the predominance of some high-frequency adverb-adjective combinations. Nevertheless, the differences between fictional dialogue and narrative demonstrate that linguistic phenomena may vary both within and across registers.
Keywords: intensifiers, adverb-adjective combinations, amplifiers, fictional dialogue vs. narrative, attributive vs. predicative
Published online: 05 October 2020
2018 AntConc (Version 3.5.7) [Computer Software]. Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. http://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/ (8 February 2019).
Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S. & Finegan, E.
Claridge, C. & Kytö, M.
1996 A Post-editor’s Guide to CLAWS7 Tagging. Written by the UCREL team, University of Lancaster. http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/docs/claws7.html (8 February 2019).
Ebeling, S. O. & Ebeling, J.
Forthcoming. Dialogue vs. narrative in fiction: A cross-linguistic comparison. To appear in Languages in Contrast 20(2).
2019 The Acquisition of Intensifying Constructions in Dutch and English by French-speaking CLIL and non-CLIL Students: Cross-linguistic Influence and Exposure Effects. PhD dissertation. Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve.
Ito, R. & Tagliamonte, S.
Johansson, S., Ebeling, J. & Oksefjell, S.
1999/2002 English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus: Manual. University of Oslo. https://www.hf.uio.no/ilos/english/services/knowledge-resources/omc/enpc/ENPCmanual.pdf (13 February 2019).
Lorenz, G. R.
online. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/ (17 June 2019).
Martin, J. & White, P. R. R.
Napoli, M. & Revetto, M.
Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G. & Svartvik, J.
R Core Team
2018 R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. http://www.R-project.org/ (8 February 2019).
2019 Pretty complete or completely pretty? Investigating Degree Modifiers in English and Norwegian Original and Translated Text. MA thesis, Université catholique de Louvain / University of Oslo. http://hdl.handle.net/2078.1/thesis:18894 (15 May 2020).