Ziahosseiny 2002(pp 26-59)
Discourse Analysis n
* Discourse analysis: the study of how sentences in spoken and
written language form larger meaningful units such as paragraphs.
conversations, interviews, etc.
* DA is concerned with the process of communication rather than
merely the product (language form in isolation)
* It is concerned with how texts are structured beyond sentence
the role of intonation in communication
* The underlying rules of languages changing from one culture to
another and so on.
* For example, discourse analysis deals with:
* A) how the choice of articles, pronouns, and tenses affects the
structure of the discourse
* B) the relationship between utterances in a discourse
* C) the MOVES made by speakers to introduce a new topic,
change the topic, or assert a higher ROLE RELATIONSHIP to
the other participants Analysis of spoken discourse is sometimes
called CONVERSATIONAL ANALYSIS.
Some linguists use the term TEXT LINGUISTICS for the study of
* Another focus of discourse analysis is the discourse used in the
* Such analyses can be useful in finding out about the effectiveness
of teaching methods and the types of teacher-student interactions.
* 1. written discourse vs. spoken discourse
* 2. cohesion vs. coherence
* 3. Interpretation: the reader activates his knowledge in the light of
the situation and the goals of the text
* Individual clauses and utterances are connected to form spoken
and written discourse by grammatical connections.
* Those grammatical connections can be classified under:
* 1. Reference
* 2. Ellipsis
* 3. Substitution
* 4. Conjunction
* Reference in its wider sense would be the relationship between a
word or phrase and an entity in the external world (see
DENOTATION). For example, the word tree refers to the object
‘tree’ (the referent).
* Reference in its narrower sense is the relationship between a word
or phrase and a specific object, e.g. a particular tree or a particular
* For example, Peter’s horse would refer to a horse which is owned,
ridden by, or in some way associated with Peter.
* Three varieties of references have been recognized (Halliday and
* 1. Anaphoric
* 2. Cataphoric
* 3. Exophoric
* anaphora n anaphor n anaphoric adj a process where a word or
phrase (anaphor) refers back to another word or phrase which was
used earlier in a text or conversation.
* cataphora n cataphoric adj the use of a word or phrase which
refers forward to another word or phrase which will be used later in
the text or conversation is called cataphora.
* For example, in the sentence: When I met her, Mary looked ill.
* When the author expects the reader to share a world with him
independent of the text, the references are called Exophoric
* ellipsis n elliptical adj the leaving out of words or phrases from
sentences where they are unnecessary because they have already
been referred to or mentioned.
* For example, when the subject of the verb in two co-ordinated
clauses is the same, it may be omitted to avoid repetition:
* The man went to the door and (he) opened it. (subject ellipsis)
* Mary ate an apple and Jane (ate) a pear. (verb ellipsis)
* see also ELISION
* elision n elide v the leaving out of a sound or sounds in speech.
* For example, in rapid speech in English, suppose is often
pronounced as [sp°Az], factory as [`fiktri] and mostly as [`m°Asli].
* Another universal feature of language in which a nominal, verbal,
or clausal segment in a text is substituted by an element in the
* E.g. Do you want me to help you? If so, I am here; If not, good luck.
* It signals a relationship between segments of the discourse.
Theme vs. Rheme
* Theme is the topic within which on transmits what is to be said
* Rheme is the new information in the discourse text