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Discourse Analysis 133



5 Discourse Analysis
HUGH TRAPPES-LOMAX




5.1 Who Does Discourse Analysis, and Why?
Discourse analysts do what people in their everyday experience of language
do instinctively and largely unconsciously: notice patternings of language in
use and the circumstances (participants, situations, purposes, outcomes) with
which these are typically associated.…

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134 Hugh Trappes-Lomax

That this is no overstatement may quickly be demonstrated by indicating
something of the range of discourse-related books published in recent years:
discourse and politics (Schäffner & Kelly-Holmes, 1996; Howarth et al.,
2000); ideologies (Schäffner, 1997), and national identity (Wodak et al., 1999);
environmental discourse (Hajer, 1997;…

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Discourse Analysis 135

A: You THREW it so you GET it
B: MOIra + I'll call my MUM

Linguist 1 sees a text ­ the verbal record of a speech event, something
visible, palpable and portable, consisting of various bits of linguistic meaning
(words, clauses, prosodic features, etc.). This linguist…

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136 Hugh Trappes-Lomax

discourse
1 the linguistic, cognitive and social processes whereby meanings are
expressed and intentions interpreted in human interaction (linguist 3);
2 the historically and culturally embedded sets of conventions which
constitute and regulate such processes (linguist 4);
3 a particular event in which such processes are instantiated…

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Discourse Analysis 137

or less as they intend. Included here is work in pragmatics (Levinson, 1983;
Mey, 1993; Thomas, 1995; Yule, 1996; Grundy, 2000) on:

· speech act theory (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969);
· context; deixis and reference; shared knowledge (presuppositions) and
frameworks of interpretation (schemata);
· cooperativeness in interaction:…

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138 Hugh Trappes-Lomax

The knowledge that members of communities have of ways of speaking
includes knowing when, where and how to speak, what to speak about,
with whom, and so forth. The idea that we need, in addition to a theory of
grammatical competence, a theory of communicative competence (Hymes,…

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Discourse Analysis 139

(from the teacher). This "IRF" pattern can be detected in other domains, includ-
ing not only other unequal-power institutional domains such as doctor­patient
consultations but also casual conversation (Stubbs, 1983; Tsui, 1994; Eggins
& Slade, 1997, pp. 45­7). In the latter case, the third move (renamed follow-up)…

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140 Hugh Trappes-Lomax

· concerns itself with issues of identity, dominance and resistance, and with
seeking out evidence in text ­ especially (to date) media and advertising
texts, and political documents and speeches ­ of class, gender, ethnic and
other kinds of bias;
· distinguishes crucially between two senses of…

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Discourse Analysis 141

from this; predominantly, in that very little quantitative research is actually
done. (Lazaraton, 2002 looked at publications in applied linguistics journals
over the last five years and found very few purely quantitative studies.) The
main exceptions to this statement are the variationist studies of discourse,
especially narrative,…

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142 Hugh Trappes-Lomax

A third way is mechanization. This involves the use of concordancing and
other programs to analyze large corpora of textual data. "When correctly
instructed, computers make it more difficult to overlook inconvenient instances,
and are to that extent a move towards descriptive neutrality. We select what to…

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