Textual structure and segmentation in online documents

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Despite the flexibility of the electronic medium, the computer screen itself puts constraints on the shape of the discourse accessed through it. The effects are likely to show up in longer documents, where the communication strategies relied on for the printed page would need to be modified and/or supplemented. This paper describes a comparative study of structural units in print and electronic documents (p-texts taken from AUS-ICE, and e-texts from a new corpus of electronic documents (EDOC), a selection of hypertexts that were “digitally born”, i.e. published first in electronic form). The study focuses on segmentation and local structures in a matched sample of e-texts and p-texts from two-genres of prose (informational and instructional). The findings point to more explicit marking of local structures in e-texts, with much more regular use of sections and multi-level headings. In the electronic medium lists are a more important aspect of text structure and paragraphs less so.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationExtending the scope of corpus-based research
    Subtitle of host publicationnew applications, new challenges
    EditorsSylviane Granger, Stephanie Petch-Tyson
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)904201136X
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Publication series

    NameLanguage and computers : studies in practical linguistics


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