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Discourse Analysis

Discourse Analysis: An Introduction

Alexandra Georgakopoulou
Dionysis Goutsos
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Discourse Analysis
    Book Description:

    A clear and lively introduction to current trends in the theory, method and tools of discourse studies, this book is a valuable guide for students and teachers of linguistics as well as for those with an interest in the linguistic methods of analysing discourse (media, rhetoric and stylistics, pragmatics, communication studies scholars etc).* Comprehensive, accessible, state-of-the-art textbook * Close analyses of a wide range of narrative and non-narrative texts, both spoken and written* Emphasis on practical text analysis: includes guided activities for self-study or use in a classroom* Suggestions for further reading in each chapter.This revised second edition registers key changes in a rapidly expanding area and thoroughly updates suggestions for further reading and the bibliography.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-7928-7
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Transcription Symbols
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Preface to the First Edition
    (pp. viii-x)
  5. Preface to the Second Edition
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. 1 The Study of Discourse
    (pp. 1-26)

    How do people communicate with each other? Language is obviously the most elaborate semiotic system among those that human beings have developed for their social need of communication. If we observe language in use, we will find that linguistic communication is not achieved by individual units of language such as sounds, words or sentences. People, primarily and essentially, communicate through combinations of these language units, which themselves constitute distinct units of expression. We call these combinations of language units texts; we can, therefore, say that people, when using language, communicate through texts.

    A first objection could be raised here. If...

  7. 2 The Modes of Discourse
    (pp. 27-55)

    In Chapter 1, we suggested that discourse refers to texts (meaningful combinations of language units) which serve various communicative purposes and perform various acts in situational, social and cultural contexts. In real life, we do not produce or construct and participate in the same kinds of discourse all the time. Our communication takes various forms, to which we orient ourselves in different ways. We talk to our friends in face-to-face interactions, on the phone or on the computer, we tell jokes or relate events which happened to us or others, we write essays for our courses, we give or attend...

  8. 3 Discourse Units and Relations
    (pp. 56-89)

    It must be clear from our discussion in Chapter 1 that any piece of discourse is not just a string of undifferentiated sentences, but a whole with interrelated parts. This internal structure, consisting of a set of units, has been a major preoccupation in research on narrative discourse. The search for structural units of narrative text characterises most classic work in the field, from Aristotleʹs Poetics to Proppʹs work on Russian folktales. A central tendency in this work is the identification of narrative units that represent categories of plot. These are combined with definitions of the minimal narrative as a...

  9. 4 Discourse Organisation
    (pp. 90-128)

    In Chapter 3 we showed how narrative and non-narrative discourse are not composed of undifferentiated strings of sentences, but constitute wholes with different units or parts. Such units take over the role of the segmentation and presentation of the textʹs information. As we have seen, units and relations are indicated by a number of devices. These act as the textʹs signposts that signal the relations between parts and the transition from one part to the other. Reminiscent of road signs on the motorway, they enable the addressees to anticipate what is coming next in the text and to understand how...

  10. 5 Structures and Functions
    (pp. 129-159)

    The previous two chapters focused on relations and organisational patterns in discourse. We looked into how units and relations compose the textʹs internal structure and what devices are used for holding together and segmenting a text at different levels. What has not been discussed at length yet is why structure and organisation are present in text and how they collaborate with discourse functions. As already mentioned, any piece of discourse, apart from being a meaningful construction of part–whole relations, serves a range of functions. Both individual linguistic elements of the text and its overall structures are tuned to these...

  11. 6 Narrative and Non-narrative in Interaction
    (pp. 160-178)

    In Chapter 2 we suggested that discourse types lack clear-cut boundaries. They are, instead, dynamic, shifting and mutually influencing. As early as 1929, Bakhtin, the Russian semiotician and literary theorist, drew attention to the ability of discourse to juxtapose language drawn from and invoking linguistic environments of different kinds. This dynamic juxtaposition creates a dialogue of genres, a polyphony of voices (e.g. styles, registers, dialects, idiolects). The dialogic quality of language, heteroglossia in Bakhtin’s terms, is evident at different levels in everyday discourse, including the constant interaction between narrative and non-narrative modes.

    In a variety of contexts, the narrative mode...

  12. 7 Emerging Perspectives on Discourse
    (pp. 179-189)

    In this book we have isolated the main strands of research in the exploration of structures and functions in the narrative and non-narrative modes. We have identified different methods, concepts and scopes in the analysis of the two modes, as well as varying interaction with other paradigms. We have knowingly had to disregard or underemphasise certain theories and methodological tools: it is almost impossible for any textbook to cover all the different theoretical and analytical perspectives currently in operation in discourse analysis. It is apparent from our overview of the area that discourse analysis is not a strictly unified discipline...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 190-210)
  14. Index
    (pp. 211-215)