The term discourse refers to a series of utterances or statements connected through their institutional context, the form of language used, and its meaning or significance. It may refer to a single text, such as a formal discussion in writing, or it may refer to a group of related texts by various authors. It may also refer to spoken discussion or debate. The analysis of discourse is associated with different traditions of contemporary thought, but all emphasize the use of language to sustain and express a society's culture.

In one tradition, the term grows out of linguistics, particularly sociolinguistics, and refers to the analysis of language—spoken or written—in units larger than a sentence. Grammar and syntax are focused on the sentence, while phonology, morphology, and ...

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