Telephone interactions

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This chapter presents the functional features of linguistic dimensions from three telephone-based interactions: (1) customer service transactions (Call Center corpus), (2) telephone conversations between friends and family members (Call Home corpus), and (3) spontaneous telephone exchanges between participants discussing topics identified by fixed prompts (Switchboard corpus). These three telephone-based corpora are then compared with data from face-to-face English conversation (American English Conversation corpus). Linguistic comparisons across these registers followed a corpus-based, multidimensional analytical approach developed by Biber (1988) using established dimensions of customer service talk from Friginal (2008). Results suggest that variation in these spoken interactions is largely influenced by the nature of conversational tasks and the use of the telephone as a medium in communicating ideas, opinions, or instructions. Keywords: Multidimensional analysis; spoken corpora; telephone interactions


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