A discourse is behavioral unit. It is a set
of utterances which constitute a recognizable
speech event e.g. a conversation, a joke, a
sermon, an interview etc.
In its historical and etymological
perspective the term is used in different
All this fine talk.
Direct / indirect speech.
In order to narrow down the range of possible
meanings, the modern linguists have given different
views or definitions.
Discourse is written as well as spoken: every
utterance assuming the a speaker and a hearer as
(Benvenisle, 1971: 208-9)
An individualizable group of statements and
sometimes as a regulated practice that counts for a
number of statements.
(Foucault, 1972: 80)
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISCOURSE AND TEXT
Text analysis focuses on the structure of written
language, as found in such text as essays, notices,
road signs and chapters.
Some scholars talk about ‘spoken or written
discourse’ other about ‘spoken or written text’
Discourse analysis is an attempt to discover linguistic
regularities in discourse using grammatical, phonological
and semantic criteria e.g. cohesion, anaphora, inter
sentence connectivity etc. It is an effort to interpreter
what the writer or speaker intended to convey with in a
sensitive social context.
Father: Is that your coat on the floor again?
Son: yes (goes on reading)
My natal was in a small town, very close to
Riyadh capital of Saudi Arabia. The distance
between my town and Riadh 7 miles exactly.
The name of this Almasani that means in
English factories. It takes its name from the
people carrer. In childhood I remember the
people live. It was very simple most the
people was farmer.
DEVICES FOR DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
WE USE DIFFERENT TOOLS FOR DISCOURSE ANALYSIS.
SOME OF THEM ARE AS UNDER:
Cohesion refers to the ties and connections which exist within texts
that link different parts of sentences or larger unit of
Interpretation of text from some previously expressed idea entity.
He did that there.
Every word has some anaphoric reference with which interpretation
could not be made.
(b) Cataphoric Relation
It means referring forward. It refers the identity
what is being expressed and what is to be
Here is the 9, O Clock news.
By using these relation and links we can better
interpret and analyzed discourse.
The language users try to come to an interpretation in
the scenario of knowledge of the world they posses.
Coherence is not something which exists in the language
but something which exists in people. By using coherence
the reader arums semantic unity the paragraph.
Her: That’s the telephone
Him: I’ am in the both.
We can interpret the above dialogue with the help of
conventional action and by our background knowledge that
someone in the bathroom can not attend the telephone.
Parallelism means side by side. In some piece of
literature some comparisons or contrasts go side be side
with each other. They also help to interpreter the whole
In Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’, good marriages
and bad marriages are compared and contrasted on parallel
(4) SPEECH EVENTS
Speech events are mainly concerned what people say in
different environment e.g. Debate, interview,
discussions, quiz etc. are different Speech Events.
Speakers may have different speech roles as friend,
strangers, young or old of equal or unequal status.
This background knowledge about the personality and
environment give a better comprehension for better
interpretation of discourse.
(5) BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE
Background knowledge can be very much helpful in
interpreting any text.
Schema and script are two terms that comprise the
background knowledge. Schema and script tells us what
actually the real situation is and what the actions are.
Schema is conventional knowledge which exists in memory.
Script is essentially a dynamic schema in which
conventional action takes place.
Trying not to be out of the
office Suzy went into the
nearest place, sat down and
ordered a apple.
Schema tells us:
Suzy may be an office girl
The nearest place is some supermarket.
Script tells us:
About the action she performed as:
Firstly, she unlocked the door.
Secondly, she walked to the nearest supermarket.
Thirdly, she opened the door of the supermarket. etc.
(6) CONVERSATIONAL INTERACTION
Conversation is an activity where for the most part tw0
or more people take turn at speaking: in these turns at
speaking one has to pick up the completion point to take
his turn to speak. This is conversational interaction.
During the discourse we not only taking part in
conversation but we are also analyzing. The discourse
simultaneously. So in the conversation turn taking helps
us to successfully complete the discourse.
(7) THE CO-OPERATION PRINCIPLE
Grice (1975) set Four Maxims which say that in
conversational exchanges the participants are in fact co-
operating with each other.
(i). Maxim of Quantity
Make your contribution as informative as is required but
not more or less than is required.
(ii). Maxim of Quality
Don’t say that which you believe to be false or for which
you lack evidence.
(iii). Maxim of Relation
(iv). Maxim of Manner
Be clear, brief and orderly.
Carol : Are your coming to the party tonight?
Lara: I’ve got exam tomorrow.
1. Maxim of Quantity:- information is that Lara has exams
2. Maxim of Quality: She is describing a fact of her exams.
3. Maxim of Relation: It is the reason why she could not come to
4. Maxim of Manner: A clear cut refusal.
The following can be the intended meaning:
Tomorrow : Exam
To night : Study, Preparation
Tonight : No party
Intended meaning : Refusal