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Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

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Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Grammar of Topic Transition in American English Conversation. Topic Transition Design and Management in Typical and Atypical Conversations (Schizophrenia) Add Dissertation
Author: Marine Riou Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris III, English Department
Completed in: 2015
Linguistic Subfield(s): Discourse Analysis; Phonology; Pragmatics; Text/Corpus Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Eric Corre
Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie

Abstract: The research presented in this dissertation analyzes topic transition in American English interaction, focusing on audio recordings of spontaneous conversations between friends and relatives. The main object of inquiry is the interactional action of transitioning to a new discourse topic, as well as the different linguistic strategies that participants have at their disposal. Three main types of cues are investigated: questions, discourse markers, and pitch register. Each type of cue is analyzed for its individual contribution to topic transition design, as well as for the way it can combine with, supplement, or contradict other cues. Analyzing different types of cues – verbal and prosodic – creates a composite picture of the various ways in which the topic trajectory of a conversation shapes its grammar – including its prosody. This study uses a mixed-methods approach which draws on the qualitative-oriented theoretical frameworks of Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics, combining them with quantitative methods used in Corpus Linguistics, such as systematic coding and statistics. This multi-domain account is completed by elaborating a comparison between typical and atypical interactions. Persons suffering from schizophrenia can experience difficulties in managing the topics of a conversation, and they can produce non-canonical transitions. Comparing their data with that of typical participants thus sheds light on some of the expectations, preferences and standard formats which can otherwise remain hidden when topic transition goes smoothly.