Discourse vs. Text
Is it discourse analysis
Or Text analysis?
• There has been some confusion in the
literature regarding the distinction
between ‘discourse analysis’ and ‘text
• It is a result of the confusion in the terms
‘discourse’ and ‘text’.
• 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
is made up of
- A text is made up of
sentences having the
-Text Analysis: deals
is the use of such
- A discourse is made
up of utterances
having the property
- Discourse analysis:
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!
• Text is defined in
terms of its being a
• Meaning is not found
• Discourse is viewed
as a process.
• Meaning is derived
through the reader’s
interaction with the
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.
• Text analysis:
• Discourse analysis: