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Written and spoken language

Characteristics and differences

Written language
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Performance: it is permanent. Processing time: the readers can follow the text at their own rate Distance: it can communicate across space and time Orthography: writing graphemes are used. Complexity: it is more complex and intricate than spoken language; for example it has longer clauses and more subordinates. 6. Vocabulary: it utilizes a greater variety of lexical items compared to spoken language. 7. Formality: it tends to be formal.

Spoken language
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Performance:it is usually transient, unless recorded. Processing time: the rate of the delivery must be followed. Distance: it is used for immediate interactions. Ortography: it has phomenes coresponding to morphemes. Complexity:it is less complex and intricate than written language, it has shorter clauses and more coordinating conjunctions. 6. Vocabulary: it is less complex, it uses shorter utterances. 7. Formality: less formal, for example the use of slang expressions.

Main characteristics
Written language Spoken language

Planned Formal Standard Permanent Distant Delayed Asynchronous

Spontaneous Informal Non-standard Ephemeral Close Immediate Synchronous