political discourse

Topics: Discourse analysis, Sociology, Linguistics Pages: 19 (6448 words) Published: March 25, 2014
1.Discourse Studies in Modern Linguistics
1.1Discourse
.Discourse has been defined by different linguists ,and each one gives specific definition to it ,and we will go through all of them . In other words discourse is a buzzword and used in many different ways. The term discourse refers “both to what a text producer meant by a text and what a text means to the receiver” (Widdowson 2007: 7). As Widdowson claims, “people produce texts to get a message across, to express ideas and beliefs, to explain something, to get other people to do certain things or to think in a certain way” (Widdowson 2007: 6). According to the Verdonk’s definition discourse is “process of activation of a text by relating it to a context of use” (Verdonk 2002: 18). It follows that a successful analysis has to consider not only the text but its context as well. The terms text and context will be explained later. As Potter and Wetherell say that Discourse and discourse analysis is a field in which it is perfectly possible to have two books [on the matter ] with no overlap in content at all (Potter & Wetherell , 987:6). However , discourse may mean everything (Grant et al .,1998; Kennoy et al ., 1997). Discourse is language in sequence beyond the sentence .(Tannen,1984).Other researchers such as (brown & Yule 1993) specify discourse as language in use . A discourse is a set of meanings through which a group of people communicate about a particular topic. Discourse can be defined in a narrow or a broad sense and a narrow definition of discourse might refer only to spoken or written language. However, discourse analysis more often draws on a broader definition to include the shared ways in which people make sense of things within a given culture or context, including both language and language-based practices (i.e. the ways in which things are accomplished). The term discourse was first used in modern linguistics by Zelling Herris in 1952 , but it can be traced back to Ferdinand de Saussuers and prof. Benvinste . A discourse is a set of meanings through which a group of people communicate about a particular topic. Discourse can be defined in a narrow or a broad sense and a narrow definition of discourse might refer only to spoken or written language. However, discourse analysis more often draws on a broader definition to include the shared ways in which people make sense of things within a given culture or context, including both language and language-based practices (i.e. the ways in which things are accomplished).The encyclopedia of language and linguistics (1994) defines discourse as different ways in which we human beings integrate language with non-language stuff such as thinking ,acting ,interacting , valuing ,feeling , believing , and using symbols ,tools , and objects in the right places and at the right times so as to enact and recognize different identities and activities , and make certain sorts of meaningful connections in our experience and privilege certain symbol systems and ways of knowing over others (i.e carry out all the building tasks above ).The power of discourse works through multitude of social forms and has a myriad of effects. Moreover , discourse is a mass noun only ,and its rather strict linguistic sense refers to connected speech or writing ,occurring at levels bigger than a sentence.Discourse, as such, is a broad term with many a definition, which “integrates a whole palette of meanings” (Titscher et.al. 1998: 42), ranging from linguistics, through sociology, philosophy and other disciplines. For the purposes of this paper we apply the definition of discourse, based on van Dijk’s (1977: 3), and his general concept of discourse as text in context, seen as “data that is liable for empiric analysis” (Titscher et.al. 1998: 44), with focusbeing put on discourse as action and process. From this it follows that “discourse” is a wider term than “text”: “I shall use the term discourse to refer to the whole...
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