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Talk that CountsAge, Gender, and Social Class Differences in Discourse$
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Ronald K. S. Macaulay

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173819.001.0001

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Syntactic Variation

Syntactic Variation

(p.87) 8 Syntactic Variation
Talk that Counts

Ronald K. S. Macaulay

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the frequency of coordinate clauses, because-clauses, passive voice, and dislocated syntax (e.g., clefting and left dislocation). There are some age and gender differences but few social class differences. The two social class differences that are statistically significant are passive voice, which the middle-class speakers use more frequently than the working-class speakers, and dislocated syntax, which the working-class speakers use much more frequently than the middle-class speakers. In contrast to the views of Basil Bernstein, there is no reason to believe that there are many social class differences in the use of syntax.

Keywords:   co-ordinate clauses, because-clauses, passive voice, dislocated syntax, Basil Bernstein

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