is discourse analysis?
pragmatics, which is the study of meaning in context (see Levinson 1983;Leech 1983).British discourse analysis was greatly influenced by
Halliday'sfunctional approach to language (e.g. Halliday 1973), which in turn hasconnexions with the Prague School
linguists. Halliday's frameworkemphasises the social functions of language and the thematic and infor-mational structure
speech and writing. Also important in Britain wereSinclair and Coulthard (1975) at the University of Birmingham, whodeveloped a model for the description
teacher-pupil talk, based on ahierarchy of discourse units. Other similar work has dealt with doctor-patient interaction, service encounters, interviews, debates and businessnegotiations, as well as monologues. Novel work in the British traditionhas also been done on intonation in discourse. The Bfitish work hasprincipally followed structural-linguistic criteria, on the basis of the iso-lation of units, and kts of rules defining well-formed sequences of dis-course.American discourse analysis has been dominated by work within theethnomethodological tradition, which emphasises the research method ofclose observation of groups of people communicating in natural settin~s.texamines types of speech event such as storytelling, greeting rituals andverbal duels in different cultural and social settings
Gumperz andHymes 1972). What is often called
within theAmerican tradition can also be included under the general heading
discourse analysis. In conversational analysis, the emphasis is not uponbuilding structural models but on the close observation of the behaviour ofparticipants in talk and on patterns which recur over a wide range ofnatural data. The work of Goffman (1976; 1979), and Sacks, Schegloff andJefferson (1974) is important in the study of conversational norms, turn-taking, and other aspects of spoken interaction. Alongside the conversationanalysts, working within the sociolinguistic tradition, Labov's investi-gations of oral storytelling have also contributed to a long history ofinterest in narrative discourse. The American work has produced a largenumber of descriptions
discourse types, as well as insights into the socialconstraints
politeness and face-preserving phenomena in talk, overlap-ping with British work in pragmatics.Also relevant to the development
discourse analysis as a wholeisthework
text grammarians, working mostly with written language. Textgrammarians see texts as language elements strung together in relationshipswith one another that can be defined. Linguists such
Van Dijk (1972), DeBeaugrande (1980), Halliday and Hasan (1976) have made a significantimpact in this area. The Prague School of linguists, with their interest in thestructuring of information in discourse, has also been influential. Its mostimportant contribution has been
show the links between grammar andiscourse.'