Peter Fries

P. O. Box 310, Mount Pleasant MI 48804
Biographical Statement: 
I am a linguist interested in the analysis of texts, and relating that analysis to the social interaction that the text encoded in its original context. I am also interested in the nature of the reading process, and its implications for text analysis. Over the years I have become more and more impressed by the importance of the redundancy that pervades everyday written and spoken language. For example  it is redundancy that enables us to read a text (say, a record of a conversation) in isolation and reconstruct important features of the social interaction that text encoded. I first became aware of the important role of redundancy in perception when I first encountered work in experimental phonology. More recently, with the results of corpus linguistics it has become obvious that redundancy pervades all aspects of language. Further, the study of reader behavior (miscues and eye movements) has demonstrated that readers are sensitive to and use some of the redundancy in the texts they read.