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Investigating speech, thought and writing presentation in a corpus of spoken British English An AHRB funded project under the supervision of Mick Short,

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Presentation on theme: "Investigating speech, thought and writing presentation in a corpus of spoken British English An AHRB funded project under the supervision of Mick Short,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Investigating speech, thought and writing presentation in a corpus of spoken British English An AHRB funded project under the supervision of Mick Short, Elena Semino and Tony McEnery Research Assistants John Heywood and Dan McIntyre

2 Project outline To compare speech, thought and writing presentation in spoken and written English. To build a new corpus of 260,000 words of spoken British English to compare with the ST&WP Written English Corpus ( ). To investigate the presentation of speech, thought and writing in the ST&WP Spoken Corpus by tagging with the Leech and Short (1981) category set. To further test and adapt the Leech and Short (1981) model of S&TP. The project is funded until February 2003.

3 Construction of the corpus 120 texts - approximately 260,000 words. Texts rich in ST&WP taken from the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Centre for North West Regional Studies (CNWRS) oral history archives at Lancaster University. CNWRS interview tapes digitised to be time- aligned with text.

4 Number and distribution of NWRS files in the corpus NWRS Archive Family and Social Life Archive Childhood and Schooling Archive Male Female Male Female records 7 records 8 records 8 records 15 records 15 records i.e. 60 files with an equal balance of male and female speakers in each age-range

5 Number and distribution of BNC files in the corpus BNC spoken data Spoken Demographic Spoken Context- Governed Male Female files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files 5 files i.e. 60 files with an equal balance of male and female speakers in each age-range

6 The development of the tag- set NNVNRSA-PNRS/ISFISNRS/DSFDS NNINRTA-PNRT/ITFITNRT/DTFDT NNWNRWA-PNRWS/IWFIWNRW/DWFDW NRANRSANRS/ISFISNRS/DSFDS NRTANRT/ITFITNRS/DTFDT Leech & Short (1981) The ST&WP Written Project (1995…) 3 main genres: Fiction, Biography & Autobiography, and Newspaper Journalism: each divided into Serious/Popular sections. embedded, hypothetical, inferred, quote

7 The development of the tag- set – new tags RM ARVRSA-PRS/ISFISRS/DSFDS ARIRTA-PRT/ITFITRT/DTFDT ARNRWA-PRW/IWFIWRW/DWFDW The ST&WP Spoken Project (2001) BNC spoken demographic data and NWRS oral history interviews embedded, negative / absence, hypothetical, inferred, quote, reiterated, interrogative, imperative, uncompleted, 2 / 3 / 4

8 A 15-field tag-set: 5 main categories FIELDCHARACTER VALUE 1x, A, F,Anything! Free 2x, #, R, I, DRepresentation, Indirect, Direct 3x, S, T, W, V, I, N, MSpeech, Thought, Writing, Voice, Internal state, WritiNg, Mention 4x, AAct 5x, PtoPic

9 A 15-field tag-set: 10 category attributes FIELDCHARACTERVALUE 6x, #, 1, 2, 3, 4# = odd interesting borderline cases, no.s = repeated (-ing or –ed) adjacent categories 7xexeembedded 8xxg/anegative action etc e.g. 'we weren't allowed to go', absence eg 'I didn't say anything' 9xxxhhypothetical 10xxxxiinferred 11xxxxxqquote 12xxxxxxriterative 13xxxxxxxv/pinterrogative, imperative 14xxxxxxxxuuncompleted 15xexxxxxxx2level of embedding (2, 3, 4)

10 Issues arising Technical issues: Legibility. Comparability between NWRS and BNC data. Tagging issues: Comparability between written and spoken corpora. What counts as ST&WP? Functional and formal criteria. Embedding. Repetition (e.g. he said he said well he said). Report of mention. Reading, hearing, listening and singing dogs!


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