This volume explores spoken and written discourse in English, accounting for the cultural, social and linguistic implications of variation across speech and writing. It outlines the history of orality and literature from various culturaland historical standpoints, explaining why this interplay is the driving force behind far-ranging ideologies, which have contributed to the division betweenoraland written cultures. The latter have deployed their repertoire of literacy resourcesto educate but also dominate illiterate populations. Speech and writing are subsequently analysed from a linguistic standpoint, discussing a range of genres and their related linguistic features, such as contextualization vs. autonomy, presence vs. absence, involvement vs. detachment, repetition vs. concisionand evanescence vs. permanence. Speech and writing, however, are not studied as opposing or conflicting notions, but are seen as flexible, interacting language modes that are enactedin different configurations and along different dimensions in texts. Finally, the book singles out aspects relevant to the contemporary world of web-based communication, reviewing linguistic features and discussing how these are changed and altered in digital environments. Speech and writing are still significant linguistic paradigms that shed light on a range of cultural and linguistic meaning-making events.
Maria Grazia Sindoni, PhD, is Assistant Professor in English Language and Translation at the University of Messina. Her current interests include systemic-functional grammar, multimodal studies, corpus linguistics and discourse analysis. She has published a book on Creole studies (Atlantic Books 2006), an introduction to systemic-functional grammar and multimodal studies (Ibis 2011) and edited two books. She has published a numberarticlesin leading journals and is editor of a journal on language teaching and multimedia.