LINGUIST List 16.166

Thu Jan 20 2005

Books: Discourse Analysis/Ling Theories: Widdowson

Editor for this issue: Megan Zdrojkowski <>

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        1.    Jamie O'Brien, Text, Context, Pretext: Widdowson

Message 1: Text, Context, Pretext: Widdowson

Date: 18-Jan-2005
From: Jamie O'Brien <>
Subject: Text, Context, Pretext: Widdowson

Title: Text, Context, Pretext
Subtitle: Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis
Series Title: Language in Society

Published: 2005
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

Book URL:

Author: Henry Widdowson

Paperback: ISBN: 0631234527 Pages: 200 Price: U.S. $ 27.95


This fascinating examination of the relations between grammar, text and
discourse is designed to provoke genuinely critical discussion on key
issues in discourse analysis which are not always clearly identified and
examined. The enquiry into discourse analysis that Zellig Harris initiated
50 years ago raised a number of problematic issues that have remained
unresolved ever since. What these are all centrally concerned with is the
relationship between the analysis of the formal properties of text and the
significance that is assigned to them in discourse interpretation.
Widdowson explores this relationship and introduces the notion of pretext
as an additional factor in the general interpretative process. He also
focuses attention specifically on the work of critical discourse analysis
(CDA) in the light of the issues discussed. The result is a stimulating
volume that makes explicit the distinctions between the key concepts of
text and discourse, and between context, co-text and pretext. It shows how
these are related and can provide a theoretical frame of reference for the
critical evaluation of current issues in discourse analysis.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Written In: English (ENG )

See this book announcement on our website:

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