Deborah Frances Tannen (born June 7, 1945) is an American academic and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences following a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ.
Tannen graduated from Hunter College High School and completed her undergraduate studies at Harpur College (now part of Binghamton University) with a B.A. in English Literature. Tannen went on to earn a Masters in English Literature at Wayne State University. Later, she continued her academic studies at UC Berkeley, earning an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics.
Tannen has lectured worldwide in her field, and written and/or edited numerous academic publications on linguistics, discourse analysis, and interpersonal communication. She has written and edited many books including Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk Among Friends; Talking Voices: Repetition, Dialogue and Imagery in Conversational Discourse; Gender and Discourse; and The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Her major theoretical contribution, presented in Talking Voices, is a poetics of conversation. She shows that everyday conversation is made up of linguistic features that are traditionally regarded as literary, such as repetition, dialogue, and imagery...
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