Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data The spoken text The Bezos Story Is Big

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data
Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

Gail Collins: Bret, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to give you the gift of deciding what current event we should start off with. Virginia? Jeff Bezos? Trump investigations? Supreme Court? Rapidly exploding population of Democratic presidential candidates?

Bret Stephens: Oh, Gail — that’s the most wonkishly romantic gesture I’ve ever heard. Maybe we should talk about Bezos, because it involves a lot of double entendres and it reads like the next installment in the E.L. James series. Let’s call it “50 Shades Richer.” Billionaires! Sex! Political intrigue! Allegations of blackmail! And a storybook villain named David Pecker, which is a name worthy of a Charles Dickens character.

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

Gail: The Bezos story does have everything, including Donald Trump, whose great pals at The National Enquirer got hold of, um, embarrassing pictures Bezos exchanged with his girlfriend. Then according to Bezos — who’s the owner of The Washington Post — Pecker’s team threatened to make them public unless he said the National Enquirer’s stories about his sex life weren’t politically motivated.

Several thoughts here. One is that even if you’re a super-billionaire, texting a “below the belt selfie” is a bad plan. But that aside, it seems as if Bezos has been handling the whole thing well. And third: Everything sleazy always seems to wind up with a Trump connection.

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

Bret: Yes, Bezos has dealt with it brilliantly. It helps — how shall I put this delicately? — that his pride got the better of his embarrassment, and that there was nothing embarrassing about his pride.

Gail: O.K., that’s a quote to remember.

Bret: It also helps that Bezos has the financial means and journalistic tools to get to the bottom of the hacking. I don’t know if the government did the hacking — the truth is probably prosaic, but Pecker’s friendship with Trump raises an eyebrow — but if it did it would be a scandal for the ages.

Gail: In an age when it’s hard to ignore any big political scandal, we’re going to be reminded of this one every time we see a package from Amazon, which is approximately every three waking minutes of the day.

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

Why did you choose the text?

I chose this text because I love to look forward to the news and what’s going on around the world.


The written text

Human cells can change job to fight diabetes.

Traditional cell biology textbooks say that most cells can only differentiate to the same cell type, with the same function.

It seems that some of these textbooks need to be rewritten, thanks to the new results by researchers at the University of Bergen and their international partners at Université de Genève (UNIGE), Harvard Medical School, Universiteit Leiden and the Oregon Stem Cell Center (OHSU).

The team’s latest study shows that the cells in the human body are much more able to differentiate into different cell types than earlier assumed. They are the first researchers ever to have managed to influence the signals in human cells, so that these cells can change their original function.

“By influencing the glucagon-producing cells in the pancreas, we made them be able to produce insulin instead. This may lead to new treatments for diabetes,” says Professor Helge Ræder, leader of the Diabetes Stem Cell Group, Department of Clinical Science, UiB.

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

The researchers witnessed that mice recovered from diabetes after they had human manipulated cells transplanted into their pancreas, and became sick again as soon as these cells were removed.

Resistant cells

In addition to having the glucagon-producing cells produce insulin, the study also showed that these cells were also more resistant against the immune system, which usually attacks insulin-producing cells in diabetes patients.

“This means that we probably can use the patient’s own cells in this diabetes treatment, without being afraid that the manipulated cells will eventually be destroyed by the immune system,” Ræder explains.

“Today, it is possible to transplant insulin producing cells from dead donors to diabetes patients. The big challenge is that we are only able to treat a very small fraction of the patients with this method.”

A step toward new gene therapy

Ræder believes that the new method is not limited to only changing the function of the cells in the pancreas. He thinks that this cell flexibility will be found in many other types of cells in the human body, and may contribute to new treatments for many different diseases.

“The ability of cells to change their function may be important in the treatment of other diseases caused by cell death, including neurological diseases, heart attacks and cancer,” says Helge Ræder.

Facts: Diabetes and pancreas

There are three different types of cells in the pancreas: alpha-cells, beta-cells and delta-cells. The cells make cluster and produce different kinds of hormones for blood sugar regulation.

Alpha-cells produce glucagon, which increases the blood sugar levels. Beta-cells produce insulin, which decreases glucagon levels. Delta-cells produce somatostatin, which controls the regulation of the Alpha and Beta Cells.

Analysis and Interpretation of Linguistic Data

Persons with type 1 diabetes have a damaged beta-cell function, and therefore have constant high blood sugar levels. They need to get insulin by injections.

Why did you choose the text?

I chose this text because of my interest in diabetes and any new research in the medical field.



Please return your completed assignment to arrive no later week 11.

In this assignment you will write an essay of 1000 words based on analysis and interpretation of linguistic data. The assignment assesses your ability to accurately describe and interpret linguistic data. It relates to your study of Blocks 1 and 2, and 3 and represents 20% of the overall continuous assessment score (OCAS).

Before you start this assignment, refer to the general guidance on writing assignments in the module guide. While the TMA contains different steps, you will be given a holistic mark for the assignment.

The TMA consists of two parts; Part 2 consists of a series of steps.

Please submit your TMA as a single word document.

Part 1: Choosing two texts

Part 2: Grammatical analysis

Step 1: Reading the texts

Step 2: Taking initial notes about the texts (not for submission)

Step 3: Analyzing the texts

Step 4: Writing up your interpretation (1000 words)

Part 1: Choosing two texts

Choose two texts by native speakers/writers of English: one text should be spoken (natural or fictional conversation/dialogue about any subject taken from a novel, TV, radio, YouTube, magazine, newspaper or any other source) and the other should be written (non-fiction prose) text in English taken from an English newspaper or magazine, book, or any other source. The written text can be about any specialized subject (eg. medicine, law, education, arts, politics, sports, etc.).

The texts you choose should be 300-500 words in length and should also be RECENT;

i.e. published over the last 2-4 weeks. You can access most daily newspapers or magazines on the internet.

You should expect to spend a reasonable amount of time selecting your texts, as your choice of text will potentially affect the quality of your answer. Do not be afraid to reject your initial choice if you come across something better, since you will inevitably have gained insights from the process of selection. However, you need to remember to leave yourself enough time to spend on the analysis of your chosen texts.

Part 2: Grammatical analysis

Step 1: Reading the texts

Read carefully the two texts that you chose. Your assignment is to write a linguistic comparison of the two texts of 1000 words which explores and contrasts the themes in the two texts. Note that you do not need to write anything for this step.

Step 2: Making initial notes about the texts

Make some notes on what you notice about the texts and how they differ in terms of the type of themes and theme patterning in relation to the degree of interactivity, spontaneity and the role played by language. This will provide you with a set of questions or hypotheses which you can explore. You will not be assessed on this step and you should not include your notes in your submission.

Step 3: Analyzing themes in the two texts

Identify the ideational, interpersonal and textual themes in each finite clause in each text (ignoring embedded clauses). You should display your analysis in tables and color highlighting.

Note: In minor clauses (I.e. where there is no verb) there is no theme. If a clause breaks off before it is complete, identify the theme as far as possible. Remember that ellipsed subjects should not be treated as part of the theme.

Step 4: Writing up your interpretation

After you have analyzed the types of theme in each text, write an essay in a word document of up to 1000 words (not including the tables) in which you explain, discuss and interpret the overall pattern in relation to the degree of interactivity, spontaneity and the role played by language. In addition, you should compare the results of your analysis in Step 3 to the pattern of theme. What do these patterns suggest about the mode and context of the two texts.

Note: You can refer to units 1 and 4 and their relevant activities in Book 3 to help you write this TMA.

Important notes:

  1. Your chosen texts MUST be approved and signed by your tutor to make sure they are the proper texts for the TMA, otherwise your TMA will not be accepted and will not be marked; your mark will be zero.
  1. You should write an introduction to the TMA. You should also write a conclusion to the whole TMA at the end in which you sum up what you have done in the TMA and state your own evaluation and opinion of the TMA.
  1. Make sure you use a good number of references for your TMA from any source from which you should use relevant in-text well referenced citations/quotations to support your discussions, explanations and arguments to make your TMA well researched, well argued, and more convincing. This will help you get a better mark. (see the Assessment Guide on referencing)
  2. In an appendix attach a photocopy or a printout of the two texts you have used for analysis.

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