Corpus-based discourse analysis

Authored by: Lynne Flowerdew

The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415551076
eBook ISBN: 9780203809068
Adobe ISBN: 9781136672927


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Discourse analysis covers a vast range of areas and is also one of the least clearly defined fields in applied linguistics (Stubbs, 1983; Aijmer and Stenström, 2004). Blommaert (2005: 2) notes that, traditionally, discourse has been treated in linguistic terms as ‘language-in-use’, informing areas such as pragmatics and speech act theory. However, for Blommaert discourse has a wider interpretation as ‘language-in-action’, i.e. ‘meaningful symbolic behaviour’. Jucker et al. (2009b: 5) define this wider use of the term discourse as ‘the totality of linguistic practices that pertain to a particular domain or that create a particular object’. A useful distinction is made by Gee (2001), who defines the ‘language-in-use’ aspect as ‘discourse’ (with a little ‘d’) and the more ‘language-in-action’ orientation as ‘Discourse’ (with a capital D), involving not only linguistic practices but other semiotic elements. Discourses are created through recognition work of ‘ways with words, actions, beliefs, emotions, values, interactions, people, objects, tools and technologies’ that constitute a way of being a member of a particular discourse community (ibid., p. 20).

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