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A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

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Book Information


Title: Television Dialogue
Subtitle: The sitcom Friends vs. natural conversation
Written By: Paulo Quaglio
Series Title: Studies in Corpus Linguistics 36


This book explores a virtually untapped, yet fascinating research area:
television dialogue. It reports on a study comparing the language of the
American situation comedy Friends to natural conversation. Transcripts of
the television show and the American English conversation portion of the
Longman Grammar Corpus provide the data for this corpus-based
investigation, which combines Douglas Biber's multidimensional methodology
with a frequency-based analysis of close to 100 linguistic features. As a
natural offshoot of the research design, this study offers a comprehensive
description of the most common linguistic features characterizing natural
conversation. Illustrated with numerous dialogue extracts from Friends and
conversation, topics such as vague, emotional, and informal language are
discussed. This book will be an important resource not only for researchers
and students specializing in discourse analysis, register variation, and corpus
linguistics, but also anyone interested in conversational language and
television dialogue.

Table of contents

List of tables ix
List of figures xi-xii
Foreword xiii
Chapter 1. Opening credits: Conversation and TV dialogue 1-15
Chapter 2. Setting the stage: The main characters 17-27
Chapter 3. Behind the scenes: Methodology and data 29-55
Chapter 4. Take 1: Dimensions and similarities 57-69
Chapter 5. Some you know I mean it's really urgh: Vague language 71-86
Chapter 6. I am just really really happy…: Emotional language 87-105
Chapter 7. I'm just hanging out. Y'know, having fun: Informal language 107-
Chapter 8. Once upon a time: Narrative language 123-137
Chapter 9. That's a wrap: Implications and applications 139-150
References 151-155
Appendix 157-161
Name index 163
Subject index 165

"The age-old question of whether art reflects or creates reality is never absent
from this book, and Quaglio's investigation offers a window on the everyday:
what we hear every day around us and what we hear on TV, both of which
often startle us by their novelty and creativity, and which seem to feed off
each other. This book brings corpus linguistics firmly into the world of
pragmatics, humour, emotion and the ordinary stuff of social talk."
Michael McCarthy , The University of Nottingham

"Quaglio tackles a question that has been of interest to linguists for many
years: How are television dialogues similar to, or different from natural
conversation? The methodology for this study is clearly described and will be
a valuable resource to language researchers. The detailed descriptions of
language use coupled with the extensive use of examples makes for
informative and entertaining reading for a wide range of scholars interested in
language and its use in different contexts."
Randi Reppen , Northern Arizona University

"Quaglio's study is thorough, well thought-out, and methodically sound. [...] a
fascinating linguistic study that will appeal to scholars with a wide range of
interests: corpus linguistics, conversation analysis, genre studies, language
perception, and beyond."
Jessie Sams, Stephen F. Austin State University, on Linguist List 21.239,

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Text/Corpus Linguistics
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Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789027223166
Pages: 165
Prices: Europe EURO 33.00
U.S. $ 49.95