ERIC Number: ED322776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Lexical Density in Interview and Conversation.
Zora, Subhi; Johns-Lewis, Catherine
A study examined lexical density in interviews and conversation with the same subjects. Sixteen undergraduate and graduate students, members of religious, political, and/or cultural societies at Aston University (England), were interviewed in pairs by the university chaplain, who knew them. Immediately following each interview, the chaplain left the two students to converse freely. The pairs were already friends. Analysis of the students' language use found that while the lexical density was different in the two situations for graduate students, with the density higher for the interview, undergraduate students performed comparably on this variable in both settings. Accommodation theory appears to be applicable to the lexical level of linguistic control. Further investigation of the differences in skill and/or sensitivity at the lexical level is recommended. Eight possible sources of variation are identified, including: bases for calculating lexical density; expected interruption and length of speaking turn; function of component units of text; self-consciousness/self-monitoring; personal attributes; group attributes; planning time; and topic. It is suggested that these variables be controlled in future research. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: York Papers in Linguistics 14; see FL 018 786.