Research on spoken language has been intensified in the last twenty years. However, there is still a need for an adequate theoretical account of spoken interaction. Such an account is, to some extent, halted by the long tradition of grammar as téxné grammatike (the art of writing) rather than as a study of the practice of speaking.
Spoken language is the product of everyday interaction in which social structures as well as social and cultural practices are constituted, upheld and changed. In our comparison of Swedish and German spoken language, we would like to investigate similarities and differences concerning such structures and practices, both with regard to linguistic structures, their functions and cultural context.
The linguistic data consists of a Swedish corpus GSLC (Göteborg Spoken Language Corpora) of about 1.3 million words (cf Allwood et al 2002) and a German corpus of about 800 000 words from the IDS language archive in Mannheim. Both are incrementally growing.
In all our investigations we will be interested in how cultural differences and/or similarities are manifested through language.
Allwood, Jens; Ahlsén, Elizabeth; Grönqvist, Leif and Gunnarsson, Magnus (2002) Annotations and Tools for an Activity Based Spoken Language Corpus.
van Kuppevelt J. (ed.) Current and New Directions in Discourse and Dialogue (2nd SIGdial Workshop proceedings), Kluwer Academic Publishers.