Using Coh-Metrix to assess differences between English language varieties

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/126392
Title:
Using Coh-Metrix to assess differences between English language varieties
Author:
Hall, Charles; McCarthy, Philip M.; Lewis, Gwyneth A.; Lee, Debra S.; McNamara, Danielle S.
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Memphis; Department of English, University of Memphis; CEELI Institute, the Czech Republic
Publisher:
University of Arizona Linguistics Circle
Journal:
Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics, Linguistic Theory at the University of Arizona
Issue Date:
2007
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/126392
Abstract:
This study examined differences between the written, national language varieties of the United States and Great Britain, specifically in texts regarding the topic of Law. The few previous studies that have dealt with differences between the dialects of the United States and Great Britain have focused on shallow-level features, such as lexis, subject-verb agreement, and even orthography. In contrast, this study uses the computational tool, Coh-Metrix, to distinguish British from American discourse features within one highly similar genre, Anglo-American legal cases. We conducted a discriminant function analysis along five indices of cohesion on a specially constructed corpus to show those differences in over 400 American and English/Welsh legal cases. Our results suggest substantial differences between the language varieties, casting doubt on previous generalizations about British and American writing that predict that the national varieties would vary more by genre than by language variety. Our results also offer guidance to materials developers of legal English for international purposes (such as in the E.U.) and drafters of international legal documents for producing effective and appropriate materials.
Type:
text; Article
Language:
en_US
ISSN:
0894-4539

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorHall, Charlesen_US
dc.contributor.authorMcCarthy, Philip M.en_US
dc.contributor.authorLewis, Gwyneth A.en_US
dc.contributor.authorLee, Debra S.en_US
dc.contributor.authorMcNamara, Danielle S.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2011-03-30T20:22:57Z-
dc.date.available2011-03-30T20:22:57Z-
dc.date.issued2007-
dc.identifier.issn0894-4539-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/126392-
dc.description.abstractThis study examined differences between the written, national language varieties of the United States and Great Britain, specifically in texts regarding the topic of Law. The few previous studies that have dealt with differences between the dialects of the United States and Great Britain have focused on shallow-level features, such as lexis, subject-verb agreement, and even orthography. In contrast, this study uses the computational tool, Coh-Metrix, to distinguish British from American discourse features within one highly similar genre, Anglo-American legal cases. We conducted a discriminant function analysis along five indices of cohesion on a specially constructed corpus to show those differences in over 400 American and English/Welsh legal cases. Our results suggest substantial differences between the language varieties, casting doubt on previous generalizations about British and American writing that predict that the national varieties would vary more by genre than by language variety. Our results also offer guidance to materials developers of legal English for international purposes (such as in the E.U.) and drafters of international legal documents for producing effective and appropriate materials.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Arizona Linguistics Circleen_US
dc.titleUsing Coh-Metrix to assess differences between English language varietiesen_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Psychology, University of Memphisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of English, University of Memphisen_US
dc.contributor.departmentCEELI Institute, the Czech Republicen_US
dc.identifier.journalCoyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics, Linguistic Theory at the University of Arizonaen_US
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