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The word discourse comes from Latin discursus which means conversation or speech Definition of discourse as a noun: 1.

. Verbal expression in speech or writing. 2. Verbal exchange; conversation. 3. A formal, lengthy discussion of a subject, either written or spoken. TheFreeDictionary

Definition of discourse as a verb: 1. To speak or write formally and at length. 2. To engage in conversation or discussion; converse. Archaic To narrate or discuss. TheFreeDictionary The plural form: discourses = codes, languages, ways of speaking of a topic

Cook (1990:7) also claims that short conversations or even groans might be equally rightfully named discourses





A discourse is "a language or system of representation that has developed socially in order to make and circulate a coherent set of meanings about an important topic area." John Fiske (1987). Television Culture. New York: Methuen

A discourse is "a language or system of representation that has developed socially in order to make and circulate a coherent set of meanings about an important topic area." John Fiske (1987). Television Culture. New York: Methuen.

In the social sciences, a discourse is considered to be an institutionalized way of thinking, a social boundary defining what can be said about a specific topic. Discourses are seen to affect our views on all things; in other words, it is not possible to escape discourse. For example, two distinctly different discourses can be used about various guerrilla movements describing them either as "freedom fighters" or "terrorists". In other words, the chosen discourse delivers the vocabulary, expressions and perhaps also the style needed to communicate. (Wikipedia)
analysing texts involves much more than attending to whatever is 'in' those texts. The point is not to get the text to lay bare its meanings (or its prejudices), but to trace some of the threads that connect that text to others." (MacLure, 2003: 43)


word Written word Paralinguistic features

Intonation Gestures, facial expressions

signs, drawings Text organization, layout, font type

Propositional meaning (makes an assertion about the world. A proposition has a "truth value" Figurative meaning (the metaphorical, idiomatic, or ironic sense of a word or expression, in
contrast to its literal meaning.)

(i.e. it can be true or false) Non-propositional meaning conveys something without asserting it. Attitudes, feelings, opinions fall into this category. Anything that isn't a proposition doesn't have a "truth value" and can't be assessed as true or false.

Argumentative strategiesComparison & Contrast Cause & Effect Evaluation Concession & Rebuttal Definition & Reinterpretation Negation Citing Support Analogy Presuppositions and expectations Individual and group identity Social and political structures Power and prestige relations

Cohesion - grammatical relationship between parts of a sentence essential for its interpretation; Coherence - the order of statements relates one another by sense. Intentionality - the message has to be conveyed deliberately and consciously; Acceptability - indicates that the communicative product needs to be satisfactory in that the audience approves it; Informativeness - some new information has to be included in the discourse; Situationality - circumstances in which the remark is made are important; Intertextuality - reference to the world outside the text or the interpreters' schemata;

Discourse Analysis is how written, oral and visual texts are used in specific contexts Discourse analysis is a primarily linguistic study examining the use of language by its native population whose major concern is investigating language functions along with its forms, produced both orally and in writing.

Discourse analysts examine spoken, signed and written language, and may focus on any aspect of linguistic behaviour, from the study of particular patterns of pronunciation, through word choice, sentence structure and semantic representation, to the pragmatic analysis of how we organize speech encounters (and any combination of these in spoken, written and signed discourse).

Critical Discourse Analysis is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced, and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context (Van Dijkt, T. 1993)

Talk shows
Telephone conversations Casual conversations Classroom interaction Political speeches Lectures Trials

Articles E.mails