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.
Chapter 5: Discourse Styles
Characterization and Delimitation of the Field
What is Style?
Strictly speaking, style can only be spoken of in the plural (Carter and Nash, 1990: Chapter 1), that is to say in respect of the range of possible variations, when formulating discourse. Styles differ from each other; we are therefore able to speak of a variety of styles. Moreover, this concept of style is not a judgement, such as that underlying remarks like that has no style, but rather a concept which is appropriate for identifying and describing different styles, their meaning and their relevance in discourse. This is the concept of style which will be discussed here.
Our concept of styles covers all kinds of meaningful variation in written and spoken discourse. Style includes literary ...