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Encyclopedia > Discourse analysis

Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyzing written, spoken or signed language use.


The objects of discourse analysis—discourse, writing, talk, conversation, communicative event, etc.—are variously defined in terms of coherent sequences of sentences, propositions, speech acts or turns-at-talk. Contrary to much of traditional linguistics, discourse analysts not only study language use 'beyond the sentence boundary', but also prefer to analyze 'naturally occurring' language use, and not invented examples. Discourse is a term used in semantics as in discourse analysis, but it also refers to a social conception of discourse, often linked with the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) and Jürgen Habermas The Theory of Communicative Action (1985). ... “Write” redirects here. ... Lenin and Stalin in conversation Conversation is the verbalization of concepts involving abstractions and concrete objects which make up the reality in which we reside. ... For other uses, see Phenomena (disambiguation). ... In linguistics, a sentence is a unit of language, characterized in most languages by the presence of a finite verb. ... In modern philosophy, logic and linguistics, a proposition is what is asserted as the result of uttering a declarative sentence. ... A speech act is an action performed by means of language, such as describing something (), asking a question (Is it snowing?), making a request or order (Could you pass the salt?, Drop your weapon or Ill shoot you!), or making a promise () For much of the history of linguistics... Conversation analysis (commonly abbreviated as CA) is the study of talk in interaction. ...


Discourse analysis has been taken up in a variety of social science disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, sociology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, international relations and communication studies, each of which is subject to its own assumptions, dimensions of analysis, and methodologies. The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... For the journal, see Linguistics (journal). ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge [1]) is the systematic and scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social action, and culture[2]. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous... Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... The scope of social psychological research. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      International relations (IR), a branch of political science, is the study of foreign affairs and global issues among states within the international system, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and multinational corporations (MNCs). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

History

The term discourse analysis first entered general use as the title of a paper published by Zellig Harris in 1952, although that paper did not yet offer a systematic analysis of linguistic structures 'beyond the sentence level'. Zellig Sabbetai Harris (October 23, 1909 - May 22, 1992) was an American linguist, mathematical syntactician, and methodologist of science. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As a new cross-discipline, DA began to develop in the late 1960s and 1970s in most of the humanities and social sciences, more or less at the same time, and in relation with, other new (inter- or sub-) disciplines, such as semiotics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and pragmatics. Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ... Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context on the way language is used. ... Pragmatics is the study of the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than that which is explicitly stated. ...


Whereas earlier studies of discourse, for instance in text linguistics, often focused on the abstract structures of (written) texts, many contemporary approaches, especially those influenced by the social sciences, favor a more dynamic study of (spoken, oral) talk-in-interaction. Text lingustics is a branch of linguistics that deals with texts as communication systems. ... “Write” redirects here. ...


Topics of interest

Topics of interest to discourse analysts include:

This article is about compression waves. ... Intonation, in linguistics, is the variation of pitch when speaking. ... See mouse gesture for gestures in computing Military signalmen use hand and body gestures to direct flight operations aboard aircraft carriers. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... Look up lexicon in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Stylistics is the study of style used in literary, and verbal language and the effect the writer/speaker wishes to communicate to the reader/hearer. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... In linguistics, meaning is the content carried by the words or signs exchanged by people when communicating through language. ... A speech act is an action performed by means of language, such as describing something (), asking a question (Is it snowing?), making a request or order (Could you pass the salt?, Drop your weapon or Ill shoot you!), or making a promise () For much of the history of linguistics... The word Moves can refer to: Moves (magazine) MOVES Institute This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... A strategy is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. ... The word turn can mean: Look up turn in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Interaction (disambiguation). ... A genre is any of the traditional divisions of art forms from a single field of activity into various kinds according to criteria particular to that form. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... For other uses, see Interaction (disambiguation). ... Look up Cognition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Memory (disambiguation). ...

Perspectives

The following are some of the specific theoretical perspectives and analytical approaches used in linguistic discourse analysis:

Although these approaches emphasizes different aspects of language use, they all view language as social interaction, and are concerned with the social contexts in which discourse is embedded. Functional grammar is the name given to any of a range of functionally-based approaches to the scientific study of language. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... Stylistics is the study of style used in literary, and verbal language and the effect the writer/speaker wishes to communicate to the reader/hearer. ... Interactional sociolinguistics is concerned with how speakers signal and interpret meaning in social interaction. ... Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context on the way language is used. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... Pragmatics is the study of the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than that which is explicitly stated. ... The notion speech act is a technical term in linguistics and the philosophy of language. ... Conversation analysis (commonly abbreviated as CA) is the study of talk in interaction. ... Variation analysis is a quantitative approach to discourse analysis introduced by William Labov. ... Applied linguistics is the branch of linguistics concerned with using linguistic theory to address real-world problems. ... Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... Discursive psychology is a school of psychology developed in the 1990s by Jonathan Potter and Derek Edwards at Loughborough University. ... Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of texts, which views language as a form of social practice (Fairclough 1989: 20) and attempts to unpack the ideological underpinnings of discourse that have become so naturalized over time that we begin to treat them as common, acceptable...


Often a distinction is made between 'local' structures of discourse (such as relations between sentences, propositions or turns), and 'global' structures, such as the overall topics and the schematic organization of the discourse or conversation as a whole. For instance many discourse types begin with some kind of 'summary', for instance in titles, headlines, leads, abstracts, and so on.


Some prominent analysts

Robert de Beaugrande, Jan Blommaert, Adriana Bolivar, Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard, Wallace Chafe, Paul Chilton, Guy Cook, Malcolm Coulthard, Paul Drew, Alessandro Duranti, Brenton D. Faber, Norman Fairclough, Talmy Givón, Charles Goodwin, Art Graesser, Michael Halliday, John Heritage, Janet Holmes, Paul Hopper, Gail Jefferson, Barbara Johnstone, Walter Kintsch, Adam Jaworski, William Labov, George Lakoff, Stephen H. Levinsohn, Robert E. Longacre, Jim Martin, Elinor Ochs, Jonathan Potter, Harvey Sacks, Emanuel Schegloff, Deborah Schiffrin, Michael Schober, Stef Slembrouck, John Swales, Deborah Tannen, Sandra Thompson, Teun A. van Dijk, Theo van Leeuwen, Jef Verschueren, Henry Widdowson, Carla Willig, Ruth Wodak, Michel Foucault,Margaret Wetherell, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe among many others. Norman Fairclough (1941 -) is emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Lancaster University. ... Talmy Givón is one of the founders of functionalism in linguistics. ... Michael Alexander Kirkwood Halliday (born 1925) is a linguist who developed an internationally influential grammar model, the systemic functional grammar (which also goes by the name of systemic functional linguistics [SFL]). In addition to English, the model has been applied to other languages, both Indo-European and non-Indo-European. ... Paul Hopper is an American linguist of British birth. ... Gail Jefferson is the creator of many of the elements of Conversation Analysis transcription, and with Harvey Sacks and Emanuel Schegloff, one of the principal early creators of the Conversation Analysis. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-02-04, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... There have been several people named Jim Martin: James G. Martin, a Republican governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina Jim Martin, a Muppeteer who worked on Sesame Street Big Jim Martin, the lead guitarist of Faith No More. ... Jonathan Potter is Professor of Discourse Analysis at the Loughborough University. ... Harvey Sacks (1935-November 1975) was an American sociologist influenced by the ethnomethodology tradition. ... Emanuel Schegloff is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles. ... Michael Schober, Ph. ... John Swales is a linguist known for his work on genre analysis in applied linguistics and ESL. He is a Professor of Linguistics and former Director of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan. ... Deborah Tannen Deborah Frances Tannen (born June 7, 1945) is an American professor of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. ... Teun A Van Dijk, is a prominent pioneer of the field of text linguistics. ... Henry Widdowson (also H.G. Widdowson and sometimes Henry G. Widdowson) is an authority in the field of applied linguistics and language teaching. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher, historian and sociologist. ... Margaret Wetherell is a prominent academic in the area of discourse analysis. ... Ernesto Laclau is a political theorist often described as post-marxist. ... Chantal Mouffe (born 1943) is a Belgian political theorist. ...


References

  • Blommaert, J. (2005). Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Brown, G., and George Yule (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Carter, R. (1997). Investigating English Discourse. London: Routledge.
  • Gee, J. P. (2005). An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method. London: Routledge.
  • Jaworski, A. and Coupland, N. (eds). (1999). The Discourse Reader. London: Routledge.
  • Johnstone, B. (2002). Discourse analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Longacre, R.E. (1996). The grammar of discourse. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Renkema, J. (2004). Introduction to discourse studies. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Schiffrin, D., Deborah Tannen, & Hamilton, H. E. (eds.). (2001). Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Stubbs, M. (1983). Discourse Analysis: The sociolinguistic analysis of natural language. Oxford: Blackwell
  • Teun A. van Dijk, (ed). (1997). Discourse Studies. 2 vols. London: Sage.

Deborah Tannen Deborah Frances Tannen (born June 7, 1945) is an American professor of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. ... Teun A Van Dijk, is a prominent pioneer of the field of text linguistics. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
discourse: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (1124 words)
Discourse is a term used in semantics as in discourse analysis, but it also refers to a social conception of discourse, often linked with the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) and Jürgen Habermas' The Theory of Communicative Action (1985).
The study of discourses, or of language used by members of a speech community, is known as discourse analysis.
The same discourse may change political sides quite often, being reappropriated and endlessly modified, as did Foucault show in his analysis of the historical and political discourse; there is a "polymorphic tactics" of discourses.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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