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A Comparison of “Dude” with “Man” in Spoken Discourse (abstract)

Jennifer Ferrara


How does the discourse patterning of two French-speaking twins in interaction with their mother evolve over a period of four years, as they grow up in the context of English-speaking Toronto? This paper describes the current phase of an ongoing research project on speech analysis, led by Professors J. Benson and W. Greaves (York University, Glendon College) and carried out by the Systemic Functional Linguistics Research Group, of which I am a member. The purpose is to study the interaction among languages or language varieties. In this phase of the project, we catalogue the video tapes of the twins speaking, which constitute our primary data, and transform them into a linguistic corpus by transcribing them in alignment with sound files, using the speech analysis tool PRAAT, a freeware program for analyzing acoustics. The next phase will consist of analyzing the twins’ speech using the systemic functional linguistic network developed by Eggins and Slade (1997) and the computer program Corpus Tool, developed by Michael O’Donnell. At this interim phase of the research project, conclusions are not yet available.

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