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A contrastive study of engagement resources between English spoken and written texts

Authors
  • Yang, Yang1
  • 1 Beijing Normal University, PR China , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Text & Talk
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
May 26, 2020
Volume
40
Issue
6
Pages
755–776
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/text-2020-2075
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Engagement can be used to describe and explain the various styles or strategies of intersubjective positioning that have been observed operating recurrently within different discourse domains. Based on the engagement system of appraisal framework, this study offers a contrastive analysis of dialogic contraction and dialogic expansion between English spoken and written texts. Thirty TV interviews and 30 news reports, each with a length of 1500–2000 words, were compared in terms of the distribution pattern and the quantitative use of engagement resources. The findings show that the English spoken and written texts are generally different in the distribution pattern of engagement resources. More specifically, in the spoken texts the contractive devices are much more prominent than the expansive devices while in the written texts the expansive devices are used slightly more frequently than the contractive devices. As for the quantitative use, most of the frequencies of dialogic contraction and dialogic expansion in the spoken texts are significantly different from those in the written texts, except endorsement and distance. This study may provide a new perspective for the contrastive study of spoken and written languages. The findings may also provide some pedagogical implications, especially for the teaching and learning of oral and written English.

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