Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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This article takes a doubly contrastive approach to spoken academic language. On the one hand, it explores genre differences between spoken and written academic English and French; on the other, it considers divergences between spoken academic discourse in the two languages. The corpora used for this purpose were purpose-built on the basis of YouTube video subtitles and other sources. The focus of attention is on keywords and key metadiscursive routines. The results suggest that, somewhat counterintuitively, the distance between academic speech and writing is smaller in French than it is in English, so that written routines can be more easily transferred to speech in French. French written and spoken discourse shows a greater degree of abstraction and self-referentiality than is the case in English. The article selectively illustrates that both French and English have a distinct set of spoken routines that are not used in writing; these need to be described and recorded in lexicographic resources to make them available for teachers and learners.


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