Approaches to Discourse : Language as Social Interaction Paperback
Part of the Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics series
This is a guide to the various frameworks, concepts, and methods available for the analysis of discourse within linguistics.
It compares six dominant approaches to discourse analysis: speech act theory, pragmatics, ethnomethodology, interactional sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, and variation theory. The author not only considers each approach from several standpoints but she also illustrates them through extensive applications to a variety of concrete social and linguistic problems facing discourse analysts.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages, 0
- Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/11/1993
- Category: Semantics
- ISBN: 9780631166238
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Review by quaintlittlehead
This book offers brief background descriptions of six theories of discourse analysis: speech act theory, interactional sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, pragmatics, conversation analysis, and variationist analysis. In addition to the explanations of the theoretical orientations of these approaches, a sample analysis of data from each perspective makes up the bulk of the book. Schiffrin then ties the approaches together in concluding chapters about general themes explored in each of the theoretical frameworks. I felt that some of this information would have been more useful at the beginning to give direction to what common aims these discourse approaches seek to investigate. I also felt that the sample analyses in many ways overwhelm the explications of the philosophical underpinnings of each theory. I know from experience that using this book as a student new to some of these discourse approaches can be overwhelming, because you can easily get lost in the details of the data rather than engaging with the claims of the theory itself. The analyses are nice examples to have for someone who has never tried to do one before, so this book is a useful resource in that respect and could make a nice supplement to another textbook in a discourse analysis course; I just wouldn't likely choose it as the only textbook for the course. The book also felt a little incomplete in its exclusion of critical discourse analysis as an approach.