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Discourse Analysis

The Sociolinguistic Analysis of Natural Language

Linguistics has traditionally concentrated on studying single sentences or isolated speech acts. In this book Michael Stubbs explores one of the most promising new directions in contemporary linguistics—the study of many sentences and how they fit together to form discourse. Using many examples drawn from recorded conversations, fieldwork observations, experimental data, and written texts, he discusses such questions as how far discourse structure is comparable to sentence structure; whether it is possible to talk of "well formed" discourse as one does of "grammatical" sentences; and whether the relation between question and answer in conversation is syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic.

279 pages | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1983

Language and Linguistics: Anthropological/Sociological Aspects of Language, Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics

Table of Contents

Notational Conventions
Part One - Introduction
1. Discourse Analysis: A Programmatic Introduction
1. Language, action, knowledge and situation
2. The impossibility of discourse analysis?
3. Discourse analysis and linguistics
4. Discourse analysis and sociolinguistics
5. Terminology
6. Idealization
7. The state of the art
8. The organization of the book
Part Two - Approaches to Discourse Analysis
2. On Speaking Terms: Inspecting Conversational Data
1. Discourse organization
2. Inspecting transcribed data
3. Some observations on the data
4. Narratiev organization
5. Interactional roles
6. Discourse analysis and interaction
7. Narrative structure
8. Natural conversation
9. Native speaker fluency
10. Conclusions
11. Data appendix
3. On the Same Wavelength: Analysing Ethnographic Data
1. Some initial observations
2. Data collection
3. Problems of perception
4. Communicative problems in the classrooms
5. Sociolinguistics and language variation
6. Language functions
7. Metacommunicative acts
8. Monitoring classroom talk
9. Two descriptive rules of language use
10. Limitations on the analysis
11. The hidden curriculum or medium as message
12. Object language and metalanguage
4. On a Different Level: Particles, Adverbs and Connectors
1. Well . . .
2. Adverbs
3. Please
4. Tests for speech acts
5. Pragmatic connectors
6. Conclusions
Part Three - Exchange Structure
5. A Linguistic Approach to Discourse: Structures and Well-Formedness
1. A linguistic approach to discourse
2. Predictability and well-formedness
3. Phonotactics
4. Grammaticality
5. Intuitions about discourse sequences
6. Predictability
7. Predictability and idealization
8. Structure controls meaning
9. Canonical discourse and idealization
10. Analogies
11. Conclusions
6. Imitations and Responses
1. Questions
2. Yes-no questions
3. X-questions
4. An initial definition of exchange
5. Yes and no
6. Observational studies of yes and no
7. A-, B- and AB-events
8. Truth and certainty
9. Knowledge and beliefs
10. Actives and passives
11. Conclusions
7. Analysing Exchange Structure
1. Theory, methodology and data
2. Well-formedness in discourse
3. Notational conventions
4. Research on exchange structure
5. Sinclair’s work on discourse
6. Basic discourse categories
7. Analysis of complete interchange
8. Tests for +/- initial
9. Some candidate analysis
10. Eliciting informants’ intuitions on discourse
11. Concluding comments
Part Four - Surface Cohesion and Underlying Coherence
8. Beneath the Surface of Discourse: Indirection in Speech Acts
1. Austin: utterances as actions
2. Discourse acts and speech acts
3. Austin’s theory of speech acts
4. Identifying speech acts
5. Speech acts and social roles
6. Problems for hearers and readers
7. Finding the answer
8. Motivating underlying acts
9. Conclusions
9. On the Surface of Discourse: Prefaces and Alignments
1. The indirection argument
2. Limitations on idealized data
3. Formulating turns at talk
4. Prefaces
5. Alignments
6. Acknowledge, accept and endorse
7. Conclusion
10. Stir until the Plot Thickens: The Propositional Analysis of Text
1. A method for investigating narrative structure
2. Literary competence
3. Propositions in stories
4. The concepts of plot and summary
5. The semantic analysis of plots
6. Propositions, entailments and presuppositions
7. Existential presuppositions: or how to tell jokes
8. Co-reference: on cat or two
9. Entailments and implications: or how to tell lies
10. Maxims of quantity
11. Implications
12. Summary
13. The sociolinguistic analysis of literary language
14. Propositional analysis
15. Presuppositions
Part Five - Methodology
11. Collecting Conversational Data: Notes on Sociolinguistic Methodology
1. The lack of accepted procedures in discourse analysis
2. Labov and sociolinguistic methodology
3. Practical problems
4. How much data?
5. Theoretical biases in recording
6. Theoretical biases in transcription
7. Field notes
8. Theoretical sampling
9. Triangulation
10. The problem of perception
11. An illustration
12. Conclusions
Further Reading
Name Index
Subject Index

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