Functional Investigation of Registers Across Genres from Native and Non-Native Contexts


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of English


The interface between register and dialectal variation has received little scholarly attention. Using parallel corpus data (ICE Ghana and ICE Great Britain) I intend to investigate aspects of the language of eight registers/genres with the hope of uncovering what functional impetus influences grammatical choices across native and non-native varieties of English. The central argument of register theory is that "speakers using the same register are doing similar communicative tasks; therefore in most basic respects the characteristic language features used in a given situation are similar across speakers from different dialects" (Biber & Conrad 2009: 12). Using the two frameworks of register theory by Biber & Conrad (2009) and Halliday & Matthiessen (2004); the dynamic model of Schneider (2003; 2007) and the ideational metafunction of systemic functional linguistics, I explore the functional motivation behind the distribution of sentence and clause patterns; the structure of the noun phrase and transitivity patterns across the registers.