Discourse vs text

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Discourse vs text

  1. 1. Discourse vs. Text Is it discourse analysis Or Text analysis?
  2. 2. • There has been some confusion in the literature regarding the distinction between ‘discourse analysis’ and ‘text analysis’. • It is a result of the confusion in the terms ‘discourse’ and ‘text’. Introduction
  3. 3. The Confusion • Some researchers label their analysis ‘discourse analysis’, while others claim they are doing ‘text analysis’, but the difference is often inconsistent. • Some claim to make clear distinctions between ‘discourse’ and ‘text’, but a closer look reveals that their distinctions do not hold.
  4. 4. Examples: Widdowson (1973) • Text: is made up of sentences. - A text is made up of sentences having the property of grammatical cohesion. -Text Analysis: deals with cohesion. • Discourse: is the use of such sentences. - A discourse is made up of utterances having the property of coherence. - Discourse analysis: investigates coherence.
  5. 5. Problems with the distinctions: • It contradicts the known and well- established distinction between ‘sentence’ and ‘utterance’ in the literature. • Widdowson did not maintain this distinction himself: In 1978 he argued that ‘discourse’ is made up of sentences having the properties of cohesion & coherence!
  6. 6. Another distinction • Text: • Text is defined in terms of its being a physical product. • Meaning is not found in text. • Discourse: • Discourse is viewed as a process. • Meaning is derived through the reader’s interaction with the text  discourse.
  7. 7. Problems with such distinctions: • There is considerable overlap between the findings of studies claiming to look at text as ‘product’ and of those claiming to investigate discourse as ‘process’. • Thus, it is not necessary to maintain a distinction between discourse analysis and text analysis on the basis of investigating a process as opposed investigating a product.
  8. 8. Others • Text: • written • Text analysis: investigates written form • Discourse: • Spoken • Discourse analysis: analyzes spoken form.

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