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GLOSSARY OF SPEECH TERMINOLOGY
A distinctive manner of pronunciation that marks a regional or social identity.
A term relating to the structure of spoken language, indicating a sequence of utterances that form
a recognizable structure. Adjacency pairs follow each other, are produced by different speakers,
have a logical connection, and conform to a pattern. Questions and answers, commands and
responses, greetings and responses form adjacency pairs, e.g. A: Hurry up. B: I'll be out in a
minute. A: Are you well? B: Very well, thank you.
Words, phrases and non-verbal utterances (e.g. 'i see', 'oh', 'uhhuh', 'really', 'erm') used by a
listener to give feedback to a speaker that the message is being followed and understood.
The linking together of adjacency pairs to form a conversation.
The 'wrapping up' of a conversation where typical discourse markers of resolving an issue or
making goodbyes takes place.
The co-operative principle is intended as a description of how people normally behave in
conversation. People who obey the co-operative principle in their language use will make sure that
what they say in a conversation furthers the purpose of that conversation. See Grice's maxims.
A lanaguage variey marked by distinctive grammar and vocabulary, used by people with a common
regional or social background.
Any spoken or written language that is longer than a sentence.
Recognisable words or phrases which mark the structure of a conversation or signal that
conversation is moving on from one topic to the next. Phrases such as 'to begin with', 'right', 'so',
okay then', 'moving on', and 'to sum up'are all discourse markers.
A feature of speech or writing, elision is the omission of a sound, letter or unstressed syllable
from a word due to its pronunciation, as in 'fish n' chips', 'ello' or 'shoulda'. Words also 'elide'
when they run into one another and blend, with the result being certain letters or sounds missed
out, as in 'shoulda'.
The omission of part of a sentence or structure, ellipsis is normally used for reasons of econnomy
in speech, and create a sense of informality. For example in the exchange:
A:'Going to the party?'
'Are you...', and 'i' are omitted.
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Elongation of sound
A feature of pronunciation by which a sound is drawn out. Elongation of sound can signal that a
speaker is unsure about, or are emphasizing what they are saying, or are thinking about what to say
next. Marked in transcripts by a series of colons. For example:
A kind of elision whereby the end letter (usually a 'g') is omitted as a feature of pronunciation or
informality, e.g.…read more
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These are common features of conversation which mark its spontaneous nature and structure.
Fillers, false starts,repetition, hesitation and interruption are all non-fluency features.
Any variety of language use that does not conform to the standard, prestige English: the form of
English accepted as the norm by society. See 'standard English' and 'received pronunciation'.
Any sound present in a transcript or sound recording which does not form a word.…read more
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The form of English considered to be accepted as the norm in society and used as the medium of
government, education, law etc. Language that differs from this standard is knwon as
Stealing the floor/ stealing a turn
This occurs when a participant cuts in to a conversation when it is not their turn. It can signal a a
lack of politeness depending upon the relationship between the speakers.…read more