Douglas Biber's new book extends and refines the research and methodology reported in his ground breaking Variation Across Speech and Writing (CUP 1988). In Dimensions of Register Variation he gives a linguistic analysis of register in four widely differing languages: English, Nukulaelae Tuvaluan, Korean, and Somali. Using the multi-dimensional analytical framework employed in his earlier work, Biber carries out a principled comparison of both synchronic and diachronic patterns of variation across the four languages. Striking similarities as well as differences emerge, allowing Biber to predict for the first time cross-linguistic universals of register variation. This major new work will provide the foundation for the further investigation of cross-linguistic universals governing the pattern of discourse variation across registers, and will be of wide interest to any scholar interested in style, register and literacy.
Acknowledgments; 1. Introduction; 2. The comprehensive analysis of register variation; 3. Sociocultural description of the four language situations; 4. The linguistic bases of cross-linguistic register comparisons: a detailed quantitative comparison of English and Somali registers. 5. Methodology; 6. Multi-dimensional analyses of the four languages; 7. Cross-linguistic patterns of register variation: synchronic similarities and differences; 8. Cross-linguistic patterns of register variation: diachronic similarities and differences; 9. Registers and text types in English and Somali; 10. Towards cross-linguistic universals of register variation; Appendices; Notes; References; Index.