• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

What are the structures of discourse and what are the functions of these structures in the communicative context? This volume explains how and why discourse is organized at various levels. The multidisciplinary contributions illustrate that discourse analysis goes far beyond the linguistic answer of designing grammars and goes hand in hand with the study of their uses and functions in the social context. Comprehensive and accessible, the volume covers a huge variety of discourse genres, including written and spoken, and storytelling and argumentation. The chapters also illustrate the necessity to examine the mental processes of the language users: How do people go about producing, understanding and remembering text or talk? The book stresses that both discourse and its mental processing have a social basis and can only be fully understood in relation to social interaction.

Social Cognition and Discourse
Social cognition and discourse
What is Meant by ‘Social Cognition’?

Social psychologists have long had an interest in language, and any watcher of the current social psychological scene will notice that what dominates is work on what is called social cognition. But, as two highly knowledgeable commentators point out, there is surprisingly little exploration of the relationship between language and social cognition (Semin and Fiedler, 1991). In this chapter we aim to do that exploration. Against the background of the study of discourse that this handbook provides, we want to give the beginning reader a sense of what the study of social cognition can contribute to the understanding of language in use. But we mean to do a bit more than just set ...

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