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Words Onscreen

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Communication Accommodation Theory

Edited by Howard Giles

Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.


Academic Paper


Title: The Psycholinguistics of Developing Text Construction
Author: Ruth A. Berman
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.tau.ac.il/~rberman/
Institution: Tel Aviv University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: This paper outlines functionally motivated quantifiable criteria for characterizing different facets of discourse – global-level principles, categories of referential content, clause-linking complex syntax, local linguistic expression and overall discourse stance – in relation to the variables of development, genre and modality. Concern is with later, school-age language development, in the conviction that the long developmental route of language acquisition can profitably be examined in the context of extended discourse. Findings are reviewed from a cross-linguistic project that elicited narrative and expository texts in both speech and writing at four age groups: (9–10 years, 12–13, 16–17 and adults). Clear developmental patterns emerge from middle childhood to adulthood, with significant shifts in adolescence; global-level text organization is mastered earlier in narratives than in expository essays, but the latter promote more advanced use of local-level lexicon and syntax; and spoken texts are more spread out than their denser written counterparts in clause-linkage, referential content and lexical usage. These and other findings are discussed in terms of the growth and reorganization of knowledge about types of discourse and text-embedded language use.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 35, Issue 4.

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