• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the linguistic differences between the spoken and written modes and consider the ways in which both are perceived in terms of social prestige.

Extracts from this document...


Laura Mead Discuss the linguistic differences between the spoken and written modes and consider the ways in which both are perceived in terms of social prestige For both the spoken and written mode it is possible to recognize different linguistic characteristics. Speech is a useful social tool, helping to develop communication and express attitudes and opinions. Writing is useful for documenting facts and ideas, making notes and organising information; it is a more permanent mode than speech which can be revised or reread. The first point to be taken into consideration for each mode is the audience. Spoken encounters more often than not are personalised and happen face to face with a particular individual. While written language can either be intended for one individual reader or directed at a wider unknown audience. The lexis for both the written and spoken mode is somewhat different. ...read more.


The most common of these features are voiced hesitation and fillers. Voiced hesitations are pauses used for many different reasons; firstly to provide thinking time. As speech is impulsive the speaker may frequently need to think about what to say. Secondly, written language uses punctuation to signify the end of a sentence, spoken language uses a pause. These are known as utterances. Also, it is very likely that the speaker may need time to breathe! Speech has a loose structure which results in the use of fillers. Once again these are mostly used to give the speaker time to search for a word and to fill awkward gaps in speech. Another non-fluency feature is false starts and these can be due to nervousness, or simply recalling the situation differently. In general, speech is much more repetitive than writing which leads to a lot of self-correction. ...read more.


By monitoring the listeners behaviour communication is prevented from being broken down. As well as words the spoken mode uses paralinguistic features to aid communication and ensure that it is expressive. An example of this is body language, facial expressions or posture; these can either strengthen or contradict the spoken word. Prosodic features are another feature of the spoken mode; these are all the observable aspects of behaviour that accompany speech, apart from the words themselves. A prosodic feature includes the following; pitch, volume, pace, rhythm, tone and stress patterns. Changes in pitch when speaking are more often than not linked to meaning and the speaker's relationship with the topic. A high pitch suggests that the speaker is enthusiastic or excited whereas a low pitch indicates a disappointment of some sort. The volume manipulates the meaning of the speech while pace is related to the speakers' attitude towards the subject they are talking about. When emphasis is placed on key words it highlights their importance; a change in stress can change the meaning. In the written mode, prosodic features are replaced with punctuation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Language Aquisition Notes

    5 star(s)

    a queasy distaste for the vulgarity of "between you and I", "these sort", "the media is" ... precisely the kind of distaste I feel at seeing a damp spoon dipped in the sugar bowl or butter spread with the breadknife' (Guardian 9-9-1968)

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    Another difference between the two is that internet profiles normally feature a photograph. Much research has been conducted into gender differences in the content of newspaper lonly hearts advertisements. One finding that was consistently reported in many studies, is that in the adverts men generally offer financial security and request

  1. An investigation into the similarities and differences between written social interactions through the new ...

    This will inevitably allow internet technology to be perhaps the most prolific platform of conveying, communicating and transmitting the English language. Throughout this discourse, I intend to present spoken English as the dominant source of influence of the English language through the internet.

  2. Language Investigation: Barack Obama Inaugural Address

    We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the

  1. With the use of specific examples, discuss the ways and means in which writers ...

    Dickens highlights particular qualities of the fog ( and the legal system), by breaking syntactic rules to catch and focus the reader's attention right at the beginning of the novel.

  2. Refer closely to the literary and non-literary texts you have studied. Explore how gender ...

    Whilst a man must agree to 'love her, comfort her, honour, and keep her'. The words 'obey' and 'serve' clearly states that a woman must act upon the mans wishes suggesting she is not capable of making decisions, accepting his authority over her. Whereas the man must 'comfort' his wife.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work