chapter  5
17 Pages

Multi-Dimensional Analysis

ByERIC FRIGINAL, DOUG BIBER

This chapter illustrates how concepts such as preference structure and stance-taking can help us to undertake comparative qualitative examinations of variation in language use. It provides analyses of a corpus of responses in online question-and-answer forums across three different topics they are Family & Relationships, Politics & Government, and Society & Culture and four world varieties of English. It provides discussion on a flavour of the types of variation we find in question-response sequences across four varieties of English. The chapter focuses on the extent to which respondents conform to the normative preference structures for questions and whether they use their responses as an opportunity for propositional and/or interactional stance-taking. For one, UK respondents are shown to be highly evaluative and to make use of non-mitigated face-threatening statements, even when the questions do not require any evaluative responses at all.