Discourse analysis


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Discourse analysis

  1. 1. Discourse Analysis 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) DA * It is concerned with how texts are structured beyond sentence level: * 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 written discourse. * Another focus of discourse analysis is the discourse used in the classroom.
  2. 2. * Such analyses can be useful in finding out about the effectiveness of teaching methods and the types of teacher-student interactions. Written Discourse * 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 Grammar * 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 1. Reference * 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 animal.
  3. 3. * 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 Hassan, 1976): * 1. Anaphoric * 2. Cataphoric * 3. Exophoric Anaphoric * 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. cataphoric * 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. Exophoric * When the author expects the reader to share a world with him independent of the text, the references are called Exophoric 2. Ellipsis * 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)
  4. 4. * Mary ate an apple and Jane (ate) a pear. (verb ellipsis) * see also ELISION 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]. 3. Substitution * Another universal feature of language in which a nominal, verbal, or clausal segment in a text is substituted by an element in the language * E.g. Do you want me to help you? If so, I am here; If not, good luck. 4. Conjunction * 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