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The text compositional architecture of university lectures: an exploration of genre and periodicity in spoken academic discourse

Blackwell, James Walter (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the text-compositional options that are available for the construction of university-style lectures. In doing so, it employs techniques developed by Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) to investigate how lectures are structured in terms of “genre” and the related issue of what is termed “hierarchy of periodicity”. It applies these techniques to the analysis of a small selection of university lectures to explore the ways in which, and the degree to which, these texts are structured as genres and the extent to which they are simultaneously structured by waves of foreshadowing and reiteration (or periodicity). As to the possible conclusions that might be reached from this type of analysis, this thesis will propose that the principles of “hierarchy of periodicity” and “genre complexes” are likely to be important options for structuring in university lectures, since all of the texts analyzed were found to be structured by such mechanisms. It will also proposes that lectures, although forms of speech, are structured in ways that are closer to forms of writing and that lectures as a set of texts can be categorized by the extent to which they display or do not display, the text-compositional arrangements of such (written) texts.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):White, Peter
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of English
Subjects:PE English
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1548
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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