A Glossary of Spoken Language Features



The ways words are pronounced by the speaker. An accent can vary according to region or social class.

Adjacency Pairs

Parallel expressions used across the boundaries of individual speaking turns i.e. one responds to another. For example, "How are you?/Fine, thanks."


Words, phrases or non-verbal utterances used by a listener to give feedback and encourage the speaker. For example, "That's exactly how it happened./Really?"


A reduced form often marked by an apostrophe in writing. For example, "can't".


Words in speech that refer to something outside of the texts - a sort of verbal pointing. They often will not make sense outside of the context. For example, "that over there"


The distinctive grammar and vocabulary which is associated with a regional or social use of a language.

Discourse Marker

Words and phrases used to signal the relationship and connections between utterances and to signpost the speech. For example, "firstly".


The omisson or eliding of one…


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