Orality on the searchable web: A comparison of involved web registers and face-to-face conversation

Douglas Biber, Jesse Egbert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


As Culpeper and Kytö (2010) discuss, one challenge of historical linguistics is the extent to which written texts represent the linguistic characteristics of speech. Synchronic linguists face similar challenges, leading to the practice of using a web corpus to represent the spectrum of oral-literate registers. However, there has been little research that tests the validity of this practice. The present chapter begins by summarizing the patterns of register variation on the searchable web documented in Biber and Egbert (2018). While that study documents the importance of oral-literate linguistic dimensions, it does not investigate whether involved web registers represent the linguistic characteristics of spoken registers. We explore that research question here, comparing the multi-dimensional profiles of online registers and spoken conversation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVoices Past and Present � Studies of Involved, Speech-related and Spoken Texts. In honor of Merja Kyt�
EditorsEwa Jonsson, Tove Larsson
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789027260642
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Corpus Linguistics
ISSN (Print)1388-0373


  • Conversation
  • Involvement
  • Multi-Dimensional analysis
  • Orality
  • Web registers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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