Discourse Analysis

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 307
  • Published : January 28, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Discourse analysis 
Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyzing written, vocal, or sign language use or any significant semiotic event. The objects of discourse analysis — discourse, writing, conversation, communicative event, etc. — are variously defined in terms of coherent sequences of sentences, propositions, speech acts or turns-at-talk. Contrary to much of traditional linguistics, discourse analysts not only study language use 'beyond the sentence boundary', but also prefer to analyze 'naturally occurring' language use, and not invented examples. Text linguistics is related. The essential difference between discourse analysis and text linguistics is that it aims at revealing socio-psychological characteristics of a person/persons rather than text structure.[1] Discourse analysis has been taken up in a variety of social science disciplines, including linguistics, sociology, anthropology, social work, cognitive psychology, social psychology, international relations, human geography, communication studies, and translation studies, each of which is subject to its own assumptions, dimensions of analysis, and methodologies. -------------------------------------------------

Topics of interest
Topics of discourse analysis include:
* The various levels or dimensions of discourse, such as sounds (intonation, etc.), gestures, syntax, the lexicon, style, rhetoric, meanings, speech acts, moves, strategies, turnsand other aspects of interaction * Genres of discourse (various types of discourse in politics, the media, education, science, business, etc.) * The relations between discourse and the emergence of syntactic structure * The relations between text (discourse) and context

* The relations between discourse and power
* The relations between discourse and interaction
* The relations between discourse and cognition and memory

Discourse Analysis
Deborah Tannen
Discourse analysis is sometimes defined as the analysis of language 'beyond the sentence'. This contrasts with types of analysis more typical of modern linguistics, which are chiefly concerned with the study of grammar: the study of smaller bits of language, such as sounds (phonetics and phonology), parts of words (morphology), meaning (semantics), and the order of words in sentences (syntax). Discourse analysts study larger chunks of language as they flow together. Some discourse analysts consider the larger discourse context in order to understand how it affects the meaning of the sentence. For example, Charles Fillmore points out that two sentences taken together as a single discourse can have meanings different from each one taken separately. To illustrate, he asks you to imagine two independent signs at a swimming pool: "Please use the toilet, not the pool," says one. The other announces, "Pool for members only." If you regard each sign independently, they seem quite reasonable. But taking them together as a single discourse makes you go back and revise your interpretation of the first sentence after you've read the second. Discourse and Frames

'Reframing' is a way to talk about going back and re-interpreting the meaning of the first sentence. Frame analysis is a type of discourse analysis that asks, What activity are speakers engaged in when they say this? What do they think they are doing by talking in this way at this time? Consider how hard it is to make sense of what you are hearing or reading if you don't know who's talking or what the general topic is. When you read a newspaper, you need to know whether you are reading a news story, an editorial, or an advertisement in order to properly interpret the text you are reading. Years ago, when Orson Welles' radio play "The War of the Worlds" was broadcast, some listeners who tuned in late panicked, thinking they were hearing the actual end of the world. They mistook the frame for news instead of drama. Turn-taking...
tracking img