Perspectives on Discourse Analysis: Theory and Practice provides the
student/reader with the basic theoretical knowledge and the empirical tools
of some of the most relevant approaches to the analysis of discourse. It
has been mainly conceived of as a general (university) course on Discourse
Analysis, but it can also be useful for any person or group whose main
concern is to acquire the basic necessary knowledge and skills for
analyzing any type of discourse. The subject matter of the book could not
only be of use for linguists or prospective linguists: given its
interdisciplinary character, its findings can be (and in fact are) used and
applied by practitioners and scholars from different fields, such as
sociology, psychology, medical science, computer science, and so on. Thus
the book can be used by any person who, having certain linguistic
knowledge, is interested in exploring the fascinating world of discourse.
All the chapters contain both a theoretical and an empirical section, the
latter containing examples of analysis, as well as exercises (Practice) and
self-evaluation questions, whose answers can be found at the end of the
book (in the Practice key and Key to self-evaluation questions sections).
The book is divided into 12 chapters. The first two introduce basic
information about discourse analysis and text linguistics, as well as the
necessary techniques for gathering data, including a very brief
introduction to corpus linguistics. Chapters 3-11 present and discuss some
of the most prominent and well-known approaches to discourse analysis,
namely Pragmatics, Interactional Sociolinguistics, Conversation Analysis,
The Ethnography of Communication, Variation Analysis and Narrative
Analysis, Functional Sentence Perspective, Post-Structuralist Theory and
Social Theory, Critical Discourse Analysis and Positive Discourse Analysis,
and Mediated Discourse Analysis. Finally, Chapter 12 deals with crucial and
further issues, such as the type of discourse chosen for the analysis, the
strategies and functions of discourse, or the problem of choosing an
appropriate unit of analysis which will suit the aims of research.
Perspectives on Discourse Analysis: Theory and Practice may prove of value
to all those who are professionally involved in the area of discourse and
pragmatic studies, or simply to those who wish to acquire the necessary
basic knowledge and techniques for analyzing any type of discourse, from
medical, journalistic or political discourse to computer-mediated,
humoristic, or hegemonic discourse (where the use and abuse of power is an
important issue), just to name a few of the innumerable possibilities.
A desirable and intended effect of this book is also the development of an
open and tolerant mind, which will eventually lead to a better
understanding of the different and varied manifestations of language,
culture and communication in human society.