Linguistic variation within registers: Granularity in textual units and situational parameters

Jesse Egbert, Marianna Gracheva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Register studies have focused on accounting for linguistic variation between culturally recognized register categories. This comparative approach to register has consistently demonstrated that culturally recognized register categories can predict language variation at all linguistic levels. Nevertheless, it has also been shown by previous research that even the most well-established register categories have substantial internal linguistic variation. We propose that at least some of this unexplained variance could be the result of how a text is defined, as well as whether and how researchers account for situational variables within registers. We present four case studies that explore the extent to which linguistic variation within registers is influenced by the definition of the textual unit and the situational parameters. We show that the functional correspondence between situation and language use exists even within register categories and discuss the theoretical and methodological implications of these findings for register research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-143
Number of pages29
JournalCorpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • function
  • linguistic variation
  • register
  • situational parameters
  • texts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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