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Discourse analysis

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  1. Discourse analysis Course 5 Lect.dr. Adriana Ștefănel Adriana.stefanel@fjsc.ro

  2. What is “discourse”? • Discourse’ refers to any utterance which is meaningful. • These texts can be: • - written texts • - oral texts (‘speech’/’talk’) • - imagines Discourse does not depend on the size of a text: E.g. what’s the time? Phatic function : opens a contact or find an information; Emotive function: conveys the need of the speaker; Conative function: asks something of the addressee; Referential function: makes reference to the world outside the language

  3. Discourse is: ‘language above the sentence level or above the clause.’(Stubbs 1998) • The study of discourse is the study of any aspect of language use. (Fasold 1990) • The analysis of discourse is the analysis of language in use…it cannot be restricted to the description of linguistic forms independent of the purposes or functions that they serve in human affairs. (Brown and Yule 1983) • Discourse is: • How language reflects reality • How language creates reality • How language shapes our identities and interactions • How language is used as to tool to control people

  4. Discourse analysis: Discourse as information, ideology or social product; Interpretation level: what the discourse implies Sociological explanation of the discourse Discourse as a singular event Enunciation level: what the discourse does or what is done with the discourse Understanding the discourse Discourse as object Utterance level: what the discourse says or what wants to be said with the discourse Characterization of the discourse

  5. Influences on discourse analysis:

  6. Approaches to discourse: • The theory that certain utterances bring about a change in the existing state of affaires: I baptize you! Therefore you are a now a Christian The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994) I do! Therefore we are now married I sentence you to five years imprisonment! Therefore you are not free anymore A speech act: an action performed in saying something. We perform speech acts when we offer an apology, greeting, request, complaint, invitation, compliment.

  7. Approaches to discourse: The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994)

  8. Approaches to discourse: There are certain types of verbs that indicate speech acts (Searle): The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994)

  9. Approaches to discourse: Represents the combination of three disciplines: anthropology, sociology, and linguistics. Focuses on how people from different cultures may share grammatical knowledge of a language but contextualize what is said differently to produce different messages. The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994) Men: lower involvement Farther apart Less eye contact Fewer understanding checks Fewer attention signals Longer gaps Less overlap Longer turns Less frequent speaker change More appeal to expert knowledge Women: higher involvement Closer together More eye contact More understanding checks More attention signals Shorter gaps More overlap Shorter turns More frequent speaker change Less appeal to expert knowledge Norrick, N.R. 2012 in Sociolinguistics

  10. Approaches to discourse: • An ethnography of communication includes description of all explicit and implicit norms for communication, detailing aspects of verbal, nonverbal, and social parameters of interaction. The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994) Components (Dell Hymes): Participants Code used by interlocutors Channel Setting or context Form or genre Topics and attitudes • Contextual components: • Setting • Participants • Terms of address • Pronouns • Kinship terms • Honorifics • Topics and goals

  11. Approaches to discourse: • Pragmaticsis concerned with the notion of implicature, i.e. implied meaning as opposed to the mere lexical meaning expressed (Grice, 1968) • Communication as doing things with words. Sentence meaning vs. speaker meaning. The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994)

  12. Approaches to discourse: • Conversational analysis is particularly interested in the sequencing of utterances , not in what people say but in how they say it. The speech act approach Interactional sociolinguistics The ethnology of communication Pragmatic approach Conversational analysis (apud D. Schiffrn 1994)

  13. How do you analyze discourse? • Various ways. Depends on what sort of discourse you are interested in.

  14. Text analysis versus discourse analysis Text analysis Discourse analysis Discourse is viewed as a process Meaning is derived through the reader’s interaction with the text How texts relate to context of situation and context of culture How texts are produced as a social practice What texts tell us about happenings, what people think, believe, etc. How texts represent ideology • Text is define in terms of its being a physical product • Meaning is not found in text • Needs linguistic analysis. Interpretation is based on linguistic evidence