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It's kinda different, y'know - grammar of spoken English

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Leo Selivan

on 28 January 2018

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Transcript of It's kinda different, y'know - grammar of spoken English

It's kinda different, y'know, grammar of spoken English, that is
Leo Selivan
Features of
Spoken Grammar
Formulaic expressions
omission of one or more words in a clause
e.g. “Any luck?” instead of “Did you have any luck?”
Went to Eilat last week.
Really? Have a nice time?
Not bad. Saw the dolphins.
Did you go to Dolphin Reef?
You said "did you"!
Spent the whole weekend cleaning the house.
Took the kids to the Cinema City last night.
Very hot these days.
Ready to go?
Suggested starters
Why focus in class
Natural sounding language


Highlight difference between registers
You know?
I mean...
Mind you...
Levelling out
That t-shirt there, how much is it?
It's a funny place, this town
Let's see
Discourse markers
- So what are you up to tonight?
- Not much, really. What about you?
- Fancy going to the cinema?
- Why not? What's on?
- Stallone's new one.
- What time?
- Eight
7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Dialogue
Forbidden words
"Vague language is more likely to be the sign of a skilled and sensitive speaker than a lazy one"
Carter & McCarthy (2006, p. 202)
[tails] "widespread and are neither regionally nor socially restricted'
'examples of standard spoken English'
Carter (1999, p 154)
"stored and retrieved whole from memory at the time of use, rather than being subject to generation or analysis by the language grammar"
Wray (2005, p. 9)
Three views
Spoken English has no grammar at all
Spoken English = written English
Spoken English has its own grammar

Davis & Kryszewska (2003)
Good morning.
Good luck!
What time?
See you later.
Never mind.
Not really.
Just a minute, please.

Chunks in conversation
What about..?
...and things like that.
That’s fine.
I don't know.
You're welcome.
Can I help you?
What are you up to these days?
Full transcript