Explain the meaning of Lexical density, Informalization Essay

Lexical density is a term used in text analysis to measure the difference between texts, for instance, between a written and a spoken text. In order to calculate lexical density, the lexical words, also known as lexical items and function words, also known as grammatical items, must be distinguished. Lexical words carry content and comprise the nouns (cat, peter), adjectives (sad, hot), most verbs and some classes of adverbs (e. g. often, usually) whereas, the function words, ‘which knit the text together’ (Baynham & Maybin, 2007, p.

24), comprise pronouns (he, she), prepositions(in, from), conjunctions(but, and), auxiliary verbs (e. g. can, could), determiners (e. g.

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a, the, my), numerals (ten, six) and interjections (ouch! ).Lexical density is shown to be an effective measure of how much information is contained within a text (Williamson, 2009). A text that consists of 100 words has an average ratio of 50:50 (indicated as 0. 5).

If the Lexical ratio is high (e. g. 0. 8), then chances are high that the text is a complicated written text, such as a specialized academic text.

However, If the lexical ratio is low (e. g. 0. ), then the text is most likely a spoken text that is easy to understand depending on the circumstances as well as the speaker’s ability to speak intelligibly and in a comprehensible dialect. Word count: 202 Informalization is a term used to define the breaking down of divisions between formal public use and informal private use of English. Some linguists believe that the boundaries between language forms conventionally used for close relationships and ‘those reserved for more formal situations are becoming blurred’ (Goodman, 2007, p. 205).

English, nowadays, is becoming more informalized in many public and professional contexts.According to Goodman (2007, p. 206) ‘Institutions, such as the state, commerce and the media, are increasingly using less formal, more conversational styles’. This can be construed as an indication of an open, unreserved friendly environment since ”informality can serve to build and maintain social bonds” whereas ”formality [..

. ] can be used as a resource to create and maintain professional relationships, or to keep people at a distance” (Goodman, 2007, p. 208). Goodman (2007) claims that the Informalization of English can be seen positively or negatively depending on one’s personal point of view and experience.It can be viewed positively because the usage of ‘everyday’ English in professional contexts gives people the opportunity to understand and take part in interactions effortlessly – for instance, when communicating with a lawyer, a real estate agent or when watching a political campaign. On the other hand, however, one might say that using ‘everyday’ English empowers government officials or politicians, to insinuate ‘the existence of a friendly relationship between themselves and ‘the public’ where no such relationship actually exists.It could therefore be seen as manipulative’.

(Goodman, 2007, p. 206). Word Count: 230 Question Part 2 Baynham and Maybin (2007, p. 123) assert that ‘.

.. electronic means of communication seem to have shifted the relationship between speech and writing. ‘ Discuss this statement, using brief examples of your own to illustrate your points. Language is a principle tool of communication for human beings. It is used for sharing ideas and viewpoints as well as for accomplishing goals and getting a job done.Lately, a trend has been observed of the crossing of borders between informal and formal English, especially that of using informal English in formal situations and the escalation of ‘marketing English’ in daily life.

Moreover, the expansion of electronic communication is modifying the differences between speech and writing in a fascinating way. In this essay the linguistic differences between written and spoken English will be highlighted and a few ways in which ‘electronic means of communication has shifted the relationship between speech and writing’ (Baynham & Maybin, 2007, p. 23) will be examined.It will then be shown how informalization and marketization language is a commonplace in today’s society.

It is plain to see that writing is more ineradicable or lasting than speech. Written English is structured by standard rules and always entails delay and effort. Speech, on the other hand, frequently comprises interruptions, self-corrections and repetitions, and the meaning is partly expressed through ‘intonation and gestures’ (Baynham ; Maybin, 2007, p. 123).Writing compels one to write alphabets, spell words correctly, and adhere to stricter rules of correctness than speech.

However, apart from these features, it is also one’s use of vocabulary and grammar in writing which makes it distinct from the way one uses them in speech. The precise linguistic differences identified by Baynham & Maybin (2007) which makes a text so obviously ‘speech’ and ‘writing’ are vocabulary, nominalization, lexical density, grammatical intricacy, and modality, which indicates ‘the speaker’s perception of the relationship between the subjects of an utterance (Yates, 1993).However, the differences between written and spoken language are not clear-cut.

When examining a variety of texts, it is made manifest that many examples of writing comprise a blend of ‘oral’ and ‘literate’ features, which is influenced by the ‘formality of the writing, the relationship between the writer and reader, and how ephemeral or permanent the text is intended to be'(Baynham & Maybin, 2007, p. 127). Furthermore, the advancement of electronic communication in present-day is remodeling the differences between writing and speech.In today’s technological era, the application of electronic communication is inexorable. Electronic media, such as television, computers, Iphones, PDAs, Ipads, Fax and email, play an essential role in our daily lives. Electronic media’s influence on the society is massive. According to Knowledgeway (2000), both the internet and electronic communications, also called computer mediated communications (CMC), are not new tools for communication but rather new ways to communicate.Emails are a productive and cost-effective way of communication with no time restrictions and country borders.

Emails and online chatting are defined as ‘half way between speech and writing’ (Baynham & Maybin, 2007) because they possess the features of both. Language used for chatting often contains non-standard grammar (‘so wat u upto tonite? ‘), pronunciation (demonstrated by non-standard spelling ‘wazzup gal? ), ellipsis and one-word utterances. Moreover, non-verbal speech in text messaging and chatting is expressed using emoticons, such as :),:(, which demonstrate mood.Another thing found typically in chat rooms or text messages are spellings which include numerals (2nite, 2morow). The English language is constantly evolving and adapting in various directions as demand necessitates it to, generally in various ways: the rising level of multimodality in texts these days, visual elements, such as pictures, cartoons and typographical devices, contribute to the raised levels of informalization and marketization. Countless examples of informalization can be seen throughout the world in diverse situations.

However, one of the places where change has been most perceptible is in the workplace. This usage of informal English at work is owing to an array of factors, such as the shift in working structures and the expanded employment in the service industry which indicates that the language at work has accommodated to suit the customer. Moreover, the relationship between the employees and the employers has also undergone a change. All around the world, people are not so much concerned with authority as they used to be.For instance, the manner in which people address each other has changed, in times past when talking to an individual for the first time, such as a professor or an employer, one would have addressed him/her by his/her title and surname, however, today it is more usual to address people with their first names in the majority of the situations. Not only does informalization but also electronic communication plays a fundamental role in business environment.Business meetings are made possible through web-based conferencing.

These days, businesses are using countless and diverse modes of communication technologies. Electronic Media has made communication between employees working in different departments, through intranet, possible and therefore, developing businesses more into a community with employees facing similar tasks regardless of their location. The manner in which public officials and the media are using language has undergone a change too.

Nowadays, both the government and the broadcasters are using more informal English, meaning that the boundaries between professional or ‘public’ language and private language are becoming blurred (Goodman, 2007, p. 205). Particularly, one can see the politicians using informal English in an endeavor to gain people’s trust.

This informalization of the English Language is identifiable by features, such as auxiliary verbs, informal vocabulary, passive verbs and intonation. Informalization can not only be seen in spoken language, but can also be found in visual texts.Typographical devices, along with other devices such as alliteration, speech bubbles, photographs or cartoons can be seen frequently, especially in the tabloid press. This is due to the fact that the reader is often sub-consciously influenced by it and might positively respond to it, and consequently continue to either purchase the newspaper or read it daily online on the internet. The writers are often using icons too as a way to please their readers, for instance, today it is common to find the letter X being used to symbolize the prefix ex.Moreover, it can be seen that marketing strategies, such as slogans and sales talk, are frequently being used in public information documents as well as government documents. For instance, these days the government information leaflets are using language and visual elements that are usually found in advertising texts which means that English texts are becoming increasingly marketized through multimodality. This informalization and marketization language is very common in today’s business world and the ability to skillfully make use of it is considered to be an asset.

It can be seen that computer mediated communication plays an enormous role in the whole world today. Businesses are using communication technology with a major objective of stream lining the work. Computers are unquestionably intriguing and captivating, and the Internet is enticing with its research and communicative abilities. English language is being used to break the boundaries of traditional English literary conventions both through distinct techniques and by use of non-standard varieties of English grammar.One can see how the attributes of specific genres of texts change over time, together with changes in social organization and technology. Informalization and marketization in English is due to several factors, ‘some political, some social, some local, some international’ (Goodman, 2007, p.

231). It must be said that the unpredictability of language change can only manifest inevitable tendencies for changes that happen rather than them adhering to firm rules.


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