In this chapter, I will review some commonly made observations of and/or assumptions about putative differences between, on the one hand, speech and spoken language, and, on the other, writing and written language. (Incidentally, while in Linell (1982) I consistently used the term ‘speech’, I would now prefer ‘talk-in-interaction’ in many contexts. ‘Speech’ has a certain ring of monologism. Nevertheless, I have kept ‘speech’ in a good many cases, since it is the established antonym to ‘writing’.)
This chapter is intended merely as a necessary background for the following parts of this book; what the exact relationships between speech and writing are is not in the focus of this book. However, I will use the opportunity to mention some respects in which spoken and written language are not that different.