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Speaking American: A History of English in the United States

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Language, Literacy, and Technology

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"In this book, Richard Kern explores how technology matters to language and the ways in which we use it. Kern reveals how material, social and individual resources interact in the design of textual meaning, and how that interaction plays out across contexts of communication, different situations of technological mediation, and different moments in time."


Academic Paper


Title: Are Clefts Contagious in Conversation?
Paper URL: http://www.calude.net/andreea/ELL_2009paper.pdf
Author: Andreea Simona Calude
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.calude.net/andreea/andreea.html
Institution: University of Reading
Author: Steven Miller
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: It is well known that conversationalists often imitate their own body language as a sign of closeness and empathy. This study shows that in spontaneous, unplanned conversation, speakers go as far as emulating each other's grammar. The use of a family of focusing constructions (namely, the cleft), such as 'it was my mother who rang the other day', or 'what I meant to say was that he should go Thursday', was investigated in a corpus of conversation excerpts in New Zealand English. Findings show that clefting is contagious. In other words, if one speaker uses a cleft, others will be likely to do so too.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: English Language and Linguistics. 13: 127-132.
URL: http://www.calude.net/andreea/ELL_2009paper.pdf


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