Smooth Talkers: The Linguistic Performance of Auctioneers and Sportscasters

1st Edition

Koenraad Kuiper, Koenrad Kuiper

Routledge
Published October 1, 1995
Reference - 128 Pages
ISBN 9780805817201 - CAT# ER3735
Series: Everyday Communication Series

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Summary

This book examines the contexts in which sportscasters and auctioneers speak and the characteristic techniques they employ in order to speak fluently. These speakers were selected because they have the capacity to show what happens to speech when speakers are under memory and processing pressure from having to perform other tasks while they are speaking. This volume offers a set of theories to explain how this speech comes into being and identifies the conditions which should be conducive to smooth talking. It then tests the theories by recording, transcribing, and analyzing the speech which is produced in a variety of circumstances.

The major thematic contribution of the monograph is to suggest that the speech of fluent native speakers relies heavily on what might be termed the speaker's phrasal lexicon -- memorized phrases and clauses which are indexed for specific roles in speech. Even in normal speech, speakers are heavily reliant on formulae to speak in a native-like manner rather than as foreigners might do who know the language perfectly but do not know the formulae appropriate to particular contexts.

Cross-disciplinary in nature, this volume:
* provides a systematic, linguistic treatment of formulaic speech,
* offers a close analysis of the speech of sportscasters and auctioneers, and
* explains why speakers resort to formulaic speech.

Of interest to scholars in communication, linguistics, popular culture, and folklore.

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