Discourse Analysis Dr. Raymond Oenbring COB Lin 225
What is Discourse Analysis? • Discourse Analysis is a general term designating a number of approaches used to analyze any sort of ‘text’. The ‘text’ can be a written or spoken. More generally, discourseanalysis is a way of analyzing how people use language.
Discourse Analysis • Discourse Analysis can focus on the very specific level of language all the way up to the broader level of politics, society, and the workings of power.
Areas of Focus of Discourse Analysis • Various modes of communication (various types of discourse in politics, the media, education, science, business, etc.) • The relations between text (discourse) and context (i.e., language beyond the sentence level) • The relations between language and power
1. Discourse Markers • In conversation, we often begin a sentence with a word that has nothing to do with the main idea of the sentence. The word relates more to the social conventions of speaking out in a group: claiming next turn, drawing attention to what one is about to say, or hesitating to collect one's thoughts before continuing. • Many discourse markers are transition words and expressions (e.g., ‘furthermore’, ‘however’), but discourse marker is a more general category.
Common Discourse Markers in Standard English • Hmmm…. • Well, • So…. • Okay…. • Excuse me, but
Common Discourse Markers in Bahamian Dialect • Bey, • Chile, • Lawd, • Mudda sick, • <sucking teeth sound> • Gyal, • Any more you can think of?
Critical Discourse Analysis • The analysis of language practices with the idea of uncovering bias and/or the operations of power. Basically, critical discourse analysis is doing discourse analysis with an explicit political focus.
Critical Discourse Analysis • When studying the role of discourse in society, CDA especially focuses on (group) relations of power, dominance and inequality and the way these are reproduced or resisted by social group members through text and talk.
Fairclough’s dimension of discourse and discourse analysis Explanation: why is it this way? (social analysis) Interpretation: what does it all mean? (processing analysis) Description: what does it look like? (text analysis)