Psychology of Language

Psychology of Language

Paper details

Option I: SMALL CORPUS ANALYSIS – Record and analyze 3 conversations; ABOUT 3-5
minutes EACH (KEEP THESE CONVERSATIONS for the next assignment!)
The 3 conversations should include:
1) People or person you know well
2) A conversation between a superior and inferior
3) People or person you don’t know well
• Let the people you recorded know after you recorded them and get their
• All recordings and transcripts are ANONYMOUS and I mean it – no
personal/identifying information about anyone especially about other students
• Keep it clean – nothing embarrassing or illegal
1) Record these conversations
2) Transcribe in Excel or other Table (will have to count parts of speech, etc.)
a. Break speech down into clauses (small idea units) or small speech segments
separated by pauses
b. Put these speech segments in a spreadsheet
3) For each segment calculate the number of words phrases that fit the following categories.
a. Content
b. Function
c. Total Word
d. Figurative
e. Fillers
f. Question
g. First person singular pronouns
h. First person plural pronouns
i. Second person pronouns
j. Third person pronouns
k. You may also calculate anything else you can think of
4) What does your analysis reveal? Write a 2-4 page paper (plus references), double spaced
a. Look for patterns among the conversations you recorded – did you speak
differently with people you know? Did people use more figurative language with
strangers? Look at the context of the conversations as well – did the people you
recorded use more nouns when they are lying? Less words overall when they are
b. Go to the library web-site and research any patterns you find. Try to find original
sources and DO NOT use general information pages like Wikipedia or
c. Are the patterns you found consistent patterns consistent with what you found in
the literature? Find sources outside of the notes and the test that elaborate your
d. In your paper, refer explicitly to what you have found in your data – this is how
you will be graded
e. Your paper should have an introduction, body, and conclusion
5) Turn in your data table and your paper with in-text citations and references
Pronoun categories:
a. First person singular: I, Me, My, Mine
b. First person plural: We, Our, Us, Ours
c. Second person: You, Your, Yours
d. Third person: They, Them, Their, Theirs

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