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Originally, the word discourse comes from the Latin

word, discursus, which means, language beyond the
It also denotes speech and conversations

What is Discourse Analysis?

discourse is from the latin word discursus , meaning
language beyond sentence , while the word analysis
means the method of
something. In short, the analysis of discourse
is concerned with the study of language ,
both in texts and

Linguists definition:
Discourse is written, as well as spoken; every utterance assuming
speaker and the hearer as a discourse ( Benvenisle 1971: 208-9)
An individualizable group of statements and sometimes as a
practice that counts for a number of statements ( Foucault 1972: 80)

What we do in Discourse Analysis

analyze and investigate all the features of the

communicative act
Observe conversational behavior
Strategies in beginning and ending the conversation
How topics appear and disappear
How speech acts are performed

Discourse analysis is an attempt to discover linguistic

regularities in discourse using grammatical, phonological
and semantic criteria, e.g. coherence, inter sentence
connectivity, etc. In short, it is to interpret what the writer
or the speaker is trying to convey

For example:
Mother: Is that your shoes scattered on the floor?
Daughter: Yes. ( continues watching t.v.)

Basic ideas in
Discourse analysis

Refers to the ties and connections which exits within texts
that link different parts of sentences or larger units of
Example: My father bought me a Lincoln convertible. He did it by
saving every penny he could. That car would be worth a fortune
nowadays. However, he sold it to help pay for my college
education. Sometimes, I think Id rather have the convertible.

Cohesive Devices
Anaphoric relation
Interpretation of text from some previously expressed identity
Ex.: He did that there

Cataphoric relation
It is referring forward. It refers the identity of what is being
expressed and what is to be expressed
Ex.: Here is the 9 o clock news

Relationships which links the meanings of utterances in a
discourse or of the sentence in the text.
The language users come to an interpretation in the scenario of
knowledge of the world they possess.
Is not something which exists in language but something which
exists on people
Ex.: Her: Thats the telephone
Him: Im in the bathroom
Her: Ok.

Cohesive (with many cohesive ties)

Coherent (easy to interpret)

Means side by side. In some literature texts comparison
and contrast go side by side with each other. They help to
interpret the whole text.
Ex.: Two wives

Speech events
Concerned what people say in different environments
Ex.: Debate, interview, discussions, etc.

Speakers may also have different speech roles

Background knowledge
Background knowledge can be very much helpful in
interpreting a text
Information that is not in the text, but is used from
memory by the reader to understand the text

- Conventional knowledge that

exists in memory

Ex.: supermarket

- Dynamic schema in which action takes place
- Ex.: She grabbed a cart upon entering the supermarket

Trying not to be out of the office, Suzy went into the nearest
place, sat down and ordered a sandwich
Schema tells that: Suzy might be an office girl
The nearest place is a restaurant
Script tells that: About the action she performed:
-Firstly, she unlocked the door
-Secondly, she walked to the restaurant
-Lastly, she opened the door of the restaurant

Conversational Interaction
Activity where two or more people take turn when
Purpose is to prevent interference in a discourse
Words frequently used: er, em but, and , uh

Maxim of quantity
- make your contribution as informative as is required but not more or less
is required

Maxim of quality
- dont say that which you believe to be false or for which you lack evidence

Maxim of relation
- be relevant

Maxim of manner
- be clear, brief , and orderly

Carol: Are you coming to the party tonight?
Lara: Ive got exam tomorrow
Maxim of quality : information is that Lara has exams
Maxim of quantity: she is describing the fact of her exams

Maxim of relation : It is the reason (exam) why she cant go to the

party tonight
Maxim of manner: it is a clear refusal


What is Oral Discourse?

A set of utterances which constitute a recognizable speech event
example: a conversation, a sermon, a joke , an interview, etc.
Communication of thought by words; talk
Formal and orderly extended expression of thought
on a subject; any unit of connected speech or writing
longer than a sentence ( Merriam Webster)

Differences of Written and Oral

-Focuses on the structure of written
-Essays, notices, road signs, etc.
-function of communication through some meaning only
-non - interactive


Oral Discourse

- Transaction between the speaker

-Social purpose
-Structure of naturally spoken language
-Interviews, commentaries, speeches

and hearer/ interpersonal activity