An important type of unplanned spoken language : a brief history of football commentary in England and Germany

Title: An important type of unplanned spoken language : a brief history of football commentary in England and Germany
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2008, vol. 34, iss. 1, pp. [63]-78
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Type: Article
License: Not specified license

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The aim of this article is to find out whether linguists are justified in saying that a large part of English and German football commentary consists of description rather than the mere creation of drama. This applies particularly to radio football commentary. In order to answer this question, some other aspects of football commentary language need to be addressed as well. First of all, a theoretical framework for the analysis of radio football commentary, and more generally of spontaneous spoken language, is presented. Then the conditions are outlined under which commentary is normally produced and the linguistic output shaped. Football commentary, in both England and Germany, must also be evaluated against the background of its historical development. Finally, views of some of yesterday's and today's top-flight commentators from the two countries are presented, which will show that the desire to describe, and the desire to avoid creating unnecessary drama when there is none, is something that all top commentators share.
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