The Effects of the Primarily Oral Function of American Lithuanian on American Lithuanian Writing
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The Effects of the Primarily Oral Function of American Lithuanian on American Lithuanian Writing

  • Author(s): Aritz, Jolanta
  • et al.
Abstract

One of the differences between full and reduced language varieties is the repertoire oftheir use (Dorian, 1981, 1994). In this paper I argue that the written discourse of American Lithuanian (AL), a language variety spoken in the United States, is different from and to some extent impoverished compared to the written discourse of Full Lithuanian (FL), a language variety used by its native speech community in the Republic of Lithuania. I suggest that this is a result of the primarily oral function of American Lithuanian in its speech community. The data used for the study consist of a 40,000-word corpus of written local news and oral interviews in FL and AL. The paper focuses on the structural composition of written and oral texts in American Lithuanian and Full Lithuanian and analyzes (a) information structure in terms of word order variation as part of cohesion and (b) referent accessibility and the grammatical form of the referent NP as part of coherence.

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