You are on page 1of 2

Linguistics as a Tool for Discourse Analysis

-The science of linguistics concerns itself with discovering, describing and

(where relevant) explaining (1) the units of linguistic form or content, (2) the
structures or patterns in which these units are defined and situated, (3) the
roles or functions that these units serve in these structures, and (4) the
dependencies or interpretive links that obtain between different units in the
same text Since some of the units I speak of provide the substance, or make
up the constituents, of higher-level units, we find that we can speak of units,
roles, structures, and intratextual connections at many levels in the
description of a language and in the description of texts. Among the
intertextual relations are those which hold between
♣ a given unit and other units that are structurally mutually substitutable
and those which hold between

♣ a given unit and other units that can be thought of as coming from the
same repertory or linguistic domain as the observed unit.
♣ Relations of types 1 and 2 may be spoken of as relations of 'alternativity'
♣ and 'association', respectively, the vagueness and boundarylessness of the
latter not unintended.

Intratextual relations are those that hold between

♣ a given unit in a text and a larger unit of which it can be seen as a part,
♣ a given unit in a text and its companions or co-constituents, ·that is, the
other units found in its containing structure,
or between

♣ a given unit in a text and other units in the same text with which it holds
the relation of obligatory or potential co-interpretation.

With respect to extratextuality we can distinguish

♣ the world within which the text is produced, or what I have elsewhere
called the text-external world

♣ the world whose properties the text represents, the text-internal world.

-Divisions of linguistics:
Phonology: knowledge of allowed phonetic sequences is used when one closes or
creates expectation chains in speech perception.
Grammar and Lexicogrammatical categories: Know1edge of category contrasts among
inflected forms of words participates in the recognition of operating grammatical
categories and thus in the recognition of grammatical structures.
Semantics and the Lexicon: Knowledge of contrast sets and the various other kinds of
semantic relations studied in lexical semantics makes it possible to bring into the
interpretation of a text the entire framework within which the related lexical items have
their motivated existence.
Pragmatics and Text Linguistics: Knowledge of the principles of conversational
cooperation lead to questions, expectations, and conclusions about illocutionary force.
Background Information
What we know about the text-external world of our synopsis is that it is to be read by
people who are about to see an opera, and that most of the people who read it are doing
so in order to make sure that they will know what is happening on the stage and what
the people on the stage are singing about.
First Mention
Since the table identifying the cast in any particular performance generally gives only,
the names of the characters, it is usually up to the text of the synopsis to identify the
characters' roles or professions.
Informing via Presupposition
Throughout the text we find instances of information that is introduced by way of
presuppositions-through the back door, so to speak. He uses the term "presupposition"
informally, referring merely to uses of language that suggest that some of the
information it communicates is seen as taken for granted rather than being conveyed as
fresh information.
Reading between the Lines
In a great many places throughout the text, understanding by implicature, or "reading
between the lines," is necessary.
Point of View
The fact that the text reports what happens on the stage, before the audience’s eyes,
determines the selection of point of view for the writer and reader.