Jul 18

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Difference between Writing Discourse and Spoken Discourse

Difference between Writing Discourse/Text and Spoken Discourse/Text

1. Consistent: Written text is identical so that it can be understood by anybody who speaks the language; it can be read or spoken in any language or accent but spoken text is not identical so none can understand it properly.

2. Correct: Written text is often grammatically correct, whereas the spoken word is often used more flexibly and will often include more slang and abbreviations.

3. Complexity: Written discourse is more structurally complex and more elaborate than spoken discourse.

4. Expression: Written text is totally expressionless, but spoken text is full of expression.  

5. Sentence Pattern: Sentences in spoken discourse are short and simple, whereas they are longer and more complex in written discourse.

Lexical Density: Lexical Density refers to the relation of content words (i.e. nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) to grammatical or function words (e.g. pronouns, prepositions, articles) within a clause.  

6. Lexically Dense: Written text is more lexically dense than spoken text. Content words are likely to be spread out over a number of clauses, whereas they seem to be tightly packed into individual clauses

7. Nominalization: Written discourse has a high level of nominalization. It has more nouns than verbs. Written discourse also uses longer groups of noun than spoken discourse.

8. Category: Categorically, writing is more explicit than speech.

9. Attachment: Spoken is more attached to context than writing because speech depends on a shared situation and background for interpretation.

10. Deficiency: Spoken text lacks organization and is ungrammatical because it is spontaneous, whereas written discourse is organized and grammatical.

11. Uncompleted sentences: Spoken text contains more uncompleted and reformulated sentences than writing text.

12. Changing: Topics of spoken text can be changed easily and speakers may interrupt and overlap than writing text.

12. Planning: Spoken discourse is planned, but it is planned differently from written discourse.

13. Holding: Spoken text holds more repetition, hesitations, and redundancy than writing text; because it is produced in real time (i.e. on the spot). Spoken discourse has also many pauses and fillers, such as ‘hhh’, ‘er.


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