• 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.

The Story of Discourse Analysis
The story of discourse analysis
Robertde Beaugrande

In the mid 1990s, providing a user-friendly introductory survey of the research trends which have contributed to discourse analysis is a tough problem. My solution is to ‘tell a story’ highlighting the main ideas that have helped or hindered discourse analysis, crediting projects or researchers only for illustration. Many citations and references are found elsewhere.1

'Science’ as Map-Making

In the popular ‘story of science’, scientists observe things in the real world and then describe or explain them accurately, steadily piling up more facts and marching on towards the final truth. A more accurate, though less dramatic, story would tell of scientists drawing a series of maps for a rugged and periodically shifting terrain that is not located ...

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