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Discourse AnalysisAn Introduction$
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Alexandra Georgakopoulou and Dionysis Goutsos

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620456

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620456.001.0001

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The Study of Discourse

The Study of Discourse

(p.1) 1 The Study of Discourse
Discourse Analysis

Alexandra Georgakopoulou

Dionysis Goutsos

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter offers an introduction to the text-linguistic perspective on discourse that is followed in the book. The basic notions of text, context and discourse are clarified and the main assumptions of the field are identified. Text as a unit of analysis is discussed in detail, before looking into text language, structure and meaning. In particular, the language of the text is situated in the four discourse planes of substance, form, content and expression. The concept of cohesion is discussed in relation to the identification of structure. Text meaning is viewed as arising from several sources such as the general language functions and the specific speech acts realized in text, the assumption of coherence and the interaction between text and context, defined and analyzed in terms of Hymes’ components of speech events and Halliday’s notion of register. Finally, the question of data is raised as crucial for any kind of discourse analysis.

Keywords:   text, context, discourse, discourse planes, cohesion, language functions, speech act, coherence, register

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