34 terms

Features of Spoken Language/Conversation

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Adjacency pairs
Two utterances where the first utterance gets an expected response (e.g. greeting/greeting; question/answer).
Back channelling
A way of showing a speaker that you are following what they are saying and understand, often through interjections like I see, yes, OK and uhu.
Dialect
The language variety of a geographical region or social subgroup (e.g. the Geordie or Cockney dialects).
Dialogue
Represents characters' speech to the audience and may include some discourse and interaction features. It rarely, if ever, includes the degree of non-fluency that we see in real talk.
(Discourse) Markers
The first word when a new topic is introduced or attention demanded; most common are 'OK' and 'right'.
Fillers
When we think what to say next midway through our utterance we often use this feature (e.g 'erm', 'like', 'sorta')
First-person narrative
A story or account written from the 'I' position.
Heads
Where the subject is given prominence at the start of an utterance; then followed by a pronoun; quite normal in spoken language. (e.g. Beyonce is such a great singer)
Idiolect
An individual style of speaking, made up of choices in all frameworks. Every individual has their own idiolect.
Insertion sequences
Where an adjacency pair has another sequence inserted before the final response. (e.g. What's the time? / Half past nine / Oh I didn't think it was that late!)
Interaction
The linguistic aspects of how people relate to one another.
Interruption
Beginning a turn while someone else is talking, in a competitive way.
Micropause
A gap of less than half a second indicated in a transcript as (.)
Mixed Mode
Discourse which is written down but with features of spoken language (e.g. online chat or emails).
Non-standard English
Words, phrases and constructions not usually seen in formal texts.
Non-verbal communication
Key part of spoken face to face interaction, body language, prosodic elements, non-verbal aspects of speech
Openings
How a conversation is started. It is a way of acknowledging the other speaker(s)
Overlap
Beginning a turn while someone else is talking, in a cooperative way
Paralinguistics
The things that add to the meaning of a text that aren't actually language, e.g. graphology, non-verbal communication (such as hand signals, facial expressions) and prosodics.
Pause
A gap in the flow of speech, or a period of silence.
Planned speech
Speeches which have been scripted (e.g. political, academic lectures, sermons etc)
Prosodic elements
Paralinguistic vocal elements of spoken language used to provide emphasis or other effects.
Prosodics
Features such as tone of voice, volume, pitch etc. which affect how a message is received. (Also known as Non-verbal aspects of speech (NVAS))
Rhetorical questions
A question that is not intended to be answered, or that the speaker/writer answers themselves
Self-repair / False starts
When a speaker corrects themselves.
Simultaneous speech
Two or more participants speaking at the same time
Speech in literature
Creative with language, uses spoken language in different ways
Stream of consciousness
Imitates spoken mode more closely
Synthetic personalisation
The technique where a writer/speaker uses the second-person pronoun to synthesise or fake a personal relation to the audience
Tag questions
Question words which attached to the end of statements (e.g. it's hot in here, isn't it?).
Topic shift
When one participant moves the topic of the conversation onto something else.
Tails
Where the subject is described before being named; can start with a pronoun; again quite normal in spoken language (e.g. she's a good singer Beyonce).
Three-part Exchange
Where the first speaker responds to the second speaker's utterance; often a sign of phatic speech (e.g. What's the time? / Half past nine / Oh, it's late!
Transcript
An accurate written record of a conversation or monologue, including hesitations and pauses
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