* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 16.1712

Mon May 30 2005

Review: Discourse: Moder & Martinovic-Zic (2004)

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <naomilinguistlist.org>


What follows is a review or discussion note contributed to our Book Discussion Forum. We expect discussions to be informal and interactive; and the author of the book discussed is cordially invited to join in. If you are interested in leading a book discussion, look for books announced on LINGUIST as "available for review." Then contact Sheila Dooley at collberglinguistlist.org.
Directory
        1.    Manuela Wagner, Discourse Across Languages and Cultures


Message 1: Discourse Across Languages and Cultures
Date: 30-May-2005
From: Manuela Wagner <manuela.m.wagneruconn.edu>
Subject: Discourse Across Languages and Cultures


EDITORS: Moder, Carol Lynn; Martinovic-Zic, Aida
TITLE: Discourse Across Languages and Cultures
SERIES: Studies in Language Companion
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins Publishing Company
YEAR: 2004
Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-2904.html

For the revised review, please see: http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-1786html

Manuela Wagner, Foreign Language Education, University of Connecticut

INTRODUCTION

"Discourse Across Languages and Cultures", edited by Carol Lynn Moder and
Aida Martinovic-Zic, provides topics as diverse as text linguistics,
discourse marker use, interlanguage pragmatics, comparisons of
descriptions of how people move, discourse and expression of culture in
cooking shows in America and Japan, intertextuality in academic,
journalistic and advertising discourse, and analyses of text as image
schemas. As Moder suggests in the introductory chapter, these topics are
investigated with various different types of analyses and research
paradigms opening up the dialogue between these disciplines.

SYNOPSIS

Chapter 1: Introduction, by Carol Lynn Moder
In the introductory chapter, Moder explains the framework of the book by
laying out the concepts that are central to the discussion of each topic.
Moder claims that historically, we viewed culture from different
disciplines without taking the step of conducting interdisciplinary
research. Moder takes a look at the development of contrastive rhetoric
analysis, rhetorical typology, and translation studies. She sees the
current book as the beginning of the dialogue between these disciplines in
order to move from answering specific questions from a particular
perspective to answering broader theoretical questions.

Chapter 2: Holistic textlinguistics, by Robert E. Longacre
In chapter 2, Longacre introduces textlinguistics "as the completion and
fulfillment of linguistics" since it "knits up many loose ends left from
morphosyntax" (p. 13). Longacre analyses the novel "The Final Diagnosis"
by Arthur Hailey (1959) with regard to interrelationships of textual
factors. The components of analysis are "text type and its template,
constituents of text, constraints as constituents, and exit to a
morphosyntax informed by the three latter components" (p. 34). Longacre
starts out with the narrative template from the "inciting incident" to
the "mounting tension to climax" and finally to the "denouement" (p.14).
He argues that the higher level structure such as the template is tied in
with the level of sentence, clause and phrase. The author shows that the
narrative text and paragraph consist of "recursive units". At the
microanalysis level, Longacre shows functions of adverbs as transition
markers in narrative texts, explores dialogic paragraphs, explaining why
they move the storyline further ahead, shows how dialogue is integrated
with other types of presentation in the narrative, and reveals how
paragraphs encode reflection. Through his analysis, Longacre demonstrates
that different strands of the storyline are part of the main plot while
others mainly provide additional information indicating the
interrelatedness of morphosyntax and higher level structure in the novel.
His conclusion is that textlinguistics should be introduced to students of
linguistics at an earlier point because of its explanatory power of issues
in morphosyntax.

Chapter 3: Discourse effects of polysynthesis, by Wallace Chafe
In chapter 3, Chafe reports findings of comparative analyses of two
languages, English and Seneca, the latter being a highly endangered
Iroquoian language spoken in three separate reservations in Western New
York State. Chafe shows how these two languages differ in the concepts as
well as in how these concepts, which he calls "ideas", are expressed. He
differentiates between three different types of ideas: 1) "ideas of events
and states", 2) "ideas of people and things" which are called "referents",
and 3) "larger chunks of information" which he calls "topics" (p. 39). A
few examples of what we learn about the differences between the two
studied languages include that Seneca does not have a copula or
prepositions. By translating sentences from English into Seneca, Chafe
illustrates that ideas are represented as intonation units in spoken
language and that prefixes mark events with the perfective aspect as
factual, expected to become a fact or as a possibility to become a fact.
This example shows that Seneca speakers automatically relate any event to
how it refers to reality, whereas in English we rather mark events within
a timeframe. Another feature of Seneca is the presence of polysynthetic or
holistic verbs, "holistic in the sense of including the participants
within the same word" (p. 44) whereas English usually provides additional
information about participants. Through his analysis, Chafe illustrates
that the different characteristics of English and Seneca influence
discourse patterns in both languages.

Chapter 4: Prosodic Schemas: Evidence from Urdu and Pakistani English, by
Rebecca L. Damron
In chapter 4, Damron investigates prosodic schemas, i.e. the form and
function of prosody, in Urdu and Pakistani English. The questions
addressed in the study are: "How is prosody used cognitively by the
conversational participants?", "Do the participants rely on formulaic or
schematic structures which are culturally determined or do they rely on
universal prosodic signals in the outline processing of language in
interaction?" (p. 58). The two languages were chosen because of their
differences in morphosyntax (although they are spoken in the same
culture), thus enabling conclusions about the influence of culture on
prosody. The recordings in Urdu and Pakistani English were divided in
intonation units. Analysis showed that Urdu used a lower mean number of
words per intonation unit. A comparison to results in Chafe's (1994) study
also showed that Pakistani English used more words than American English
which Damron interprets as indication that there are factors other than
morphosyntax influencing length of intonation units. Moreover, analyses
showed that Urdu contained a high percentage of multi-clausal units and
that both, Pakistani English and Urdu, were characterized by level pitch
at the end of intonation units and contained no regular nuclear accent
whereas more pauses were used. Another finding contradicted Chafe's (1994)
One New Idea Constraint stating that each multi-clause intonation unit
contained only one new idea. More than one new idea was found in multi-
clausal intonation units in the current data. Finally, Damron investigates
topicalization issues and finds that both languages contrastive
topicalization is set up in a similar way. By comparing the current study
to previous studies, the author presents a model of prosodic schemas in
relation to cultural aspects and to short-term and long-term working
memory.

Chapter 5: Rhetorical relations in dialogue: A contrastive study, by Maite
Taboada
Taboada investigates 60 conversations between two speakers who were trying
to complete a task consisting of either accepting or rejecting a date, 30
in Spanish and 30 in English, following Rhetorical Structure Theory
analysis, thereby applying rhetorical relations to spoken language. One
presupposition is that the text, in this case the dialogue, is
functionally and hierarchically organized. In the turn-by-turn analyses,
the author showed that genre and politeness influence the rhetoric
structure creating repeated patterns in turns with the same purpose. This
was very similar in the Spanish and English conversations. In
the 'conversation-as-a-Whole-Analyses' Taboada focuses on the main purpose
of the conversations, from the macro-level moving toward the lower levels.
The latter does not necessarily restrict analyses to the turn-by-turn
analyses. Results showed very similar relations in the English and Spanish
conversations, except for one difference that showed that in the Spanish
data previous utterances were more often repeated. Finally, the author
explores the script of the conversations referring to Schegloff and Sack's
(1973) work. The stages found in the current data are initialization, task-
performance, and closing. Analyses revealed that in Spanish conversations
initializations and closings were longer than in the English
conversations. The author shows that subject matter, aspects of different
stages in dialogues as well as politeness rules have an effect on
rhetorical relations. Taboada concludes that the rather small cross-
linguistic differences might be due to the fact that the two language
groups performed the task in the US.

Chapter 6: Interlanguage Pragmatics: Apology speech acts by Euen Hyuk
(Sarah) Jung
In chapter 6, Jung compared apology speech act performances of ten native
speakers of English and ten advanced Korean learners of English as a
second language. The second language learners all had studied English for
a minimum of 11 years and had been studying at an American university
between one and a half to three years. The apology strategies considered
were expression of apology, explanation, acknowledgement of
responsibility. Data was elicited through role-plays using the two
situations of not showing up to a friend's party and not showing up for an
appointment with a professor in order to include factors such as social
distance. Analyses of the four aspects showed that the two groups used
Expression of Apology similarly in quantity. However, they used different
linguistic expressions, such as: "Can you forgive me?". Native English
speakers and Korean speakers of English as a second language used the
Explanation strategy to the same degree. Similarly, differences occurred
in how Korean learners expressed these Explanations, i.e. using more words
and how they promised non-recurrence. Korean speakers were shown to
acknowledge their responsibility less than English native speakers in the
situation in which they apologize in both situations. Another difference
was that while Korean learners of English used the Offer of Repair
strategy in their L1, they did not use it nearly as much in English.
Interestingly, Korean learners of English did not use the Offer of Repair
strategy as much in the situation in which they apologized to their
professor in their first language. Consequently, the difference in their
use of this strategy in English might be due to transfer from L1.

Chapter 7: Discourse marker use in native and non-native English speakers,
by Hikyoung Lee
In chapter 7, Lee investigates discourse markers in colloquial speech of
Korean immigrants who were either first-generation speakers, having
immigrated to the US after the age of 18, 1,5 generation speakers who
immigrated to the US before the age of 18, or second-generation speakers
who were born in the US to ethnic Korean parents. Discourse markers that
were used as hesitation markers or fillers, that had a grammatical
function, or that occurred with very low frequency, were not included in
the analysis. In contrast to prior studies, Lee did not find gender
differences in the use of discourse markers. However, analyses revealed
differences between generations. While all three groups showed an
awareness of discourse markers, the 1.5 generation speakers used most
discourse markers. Lee interprets this as possible overgeneralization of
discourse marker use when English language learners are not yet aware of
the pragmatics of this particular feature. Analyses of interactions of
variables showed some different patterns such as gender or generation
differences in the use of particular discourse markers.

Chapter 8: Discourse markers across languages: Evidence from English and
French, by Suzanne Fleischman and Marina Yaguello
Fleischman and Yaguello examine the discourse marker "like" in English
and "genre" in French with regard to their function. A description of the
history of "like" and "genre" reveals that "like" 1) has been dealt with
in literature more and for longer than "genre", 2) is more frequently used
than "genre", and 3) appears syntactically more flexible. Fleischman and
Yaguello continue with an exploration of pragmatic functions of the two
discourse markers in question. The functions include "focus", i.e. marking
the information coming to the right of it as focal, "hedge", i.e.
signaling that the information should not be taken as
literally, "elaboration, justification, explanation", "interpretative
quotative" making segments "look like reported speech" (p.135), "quoted
thought", "quoted attitude", "ironic quotation". Next, the authors examine
the development of the two markers in their respective languages showing
that the "quotative" function of the two discourse markers is "a natural
extension" of the "focus" marker function. Fleischman and Yaguello claim
that the current case study of the two discourse markers that have
relatively similar functions but have developed these functions
independently might leave room for hypotheses about the pragmaticalization
for discourse markers across languages.

Chapter 9: Intertextuality across communities of practice: Academics,
journalism and advertising, by Ron Scollon
In chapter 9, Ron Scollon describes three types of discourse, academics,
journalism and advertising with regards to three characteristics:
discourse representation, production formats, and stance within the
community practice. Discourse representation is used to refer to
quotations, citations, or "representing discourse within discourses" (p.
151). For production format, Scollon uses Goffman's (1974; 1981) framework
distinguishing between "author (the one who produces wordings of a text),
the animator (who produces the actual text as a physical entity), and the
principal (who takes responsibility for what is said in the text). Scollon
shows that while all three types of discourse represent discourse to some
extent there are differences in quantity and in the manner how the
citations and quotations are used. Academic discourse, for known reasons,
is concerned most with citing the correct sources. Scollon shows that in
journalism citations are used more frequently but with fewer linguistic
representations whereas in advertising discourse representation is a more
complex issue. A look at the production format reveals that whereas there
usually is a unity of author, animator and principal in academic
discourse, this is usually not the case in journalism and even less so in
advertising practice. In journalism, journalists position themselves
outside of the discourse whereas in advertising the author provides eight
different scenarios of production format. The last aspect, i.e. stance
within the community practice, which plays an important role in academic
research, in that the authors carefully position themselves as legitimate
members of the academic community, whereas in journalism authors distance
themselves from the text, and in advertising the author is not important.

Chapter 10: Genre as a locus of social structure and cultural ideology: A
comparison of Japanese and American cooking classes, by Patricia Mayes
In chapter 10, Mayes conducts a cross-cultural comparison of Japanese and
American cooking classes investigating the level of formality of
languages, the content of talk, and the participants' reported reasons to
take the cooking class. Mayes claims that these two situations represent
comparable genres in that they have a similar exigency, i.e., "they are
solutions to similar communicative problems". In doing so, Mayes showed
that in Japanese cooking classes, participants used a more formal style
which was mainly expressed in the different types of honorifics used by
the cooking class instructors, thus creating a formal relationship between
the participants and themselves. Since English does not have such a level
of grammaticalization of social rules, Mayes claims that it is a more
complicated matter to investigate the style used. Mayes uses patterns
associated with informal face-to-face situations, such as hedges,
emphatics, and amplifiers. She found that these were used more frequently
in American cooking classes, therefore implying that these classes were
held in a more informal style. Mayes shows that this informal style was
reinforced by the fact that more content that was not related to the task,
such as personal anecdotes and gossip, was introduced in the American
cooking classes thus contributing to a more casual atmosphere. Mayes
reports that in the Japanese classes the instructors focused exclusively
on task-oriented language. This was also reflected in the students'
reasons to participate in the class-- which were primarily task-oriented--
whereas American students reported reasons such as meeting people and
being entertained in addition to wanting to learn how to cook. In
conclusion, Mayes shows that by comparing genres across cultures, "we can
gather insights about culture as it is instantiated in social structure
and reflected in language" (p.191.)

Chapter 11: How people move: Discourse effects of linguistic typology, by
Dan I. Slobin
Dan Slobin describes verbs and associated elements that describe how
people move by 1) translating and comparing a chapter of The Hobbit
(Tolkien, 1937) into languages that have been shown to be different in
terms of their description of motion, 2) eliciting narrations of a story
in response to a series of pictures, in this case "the frog story", and 3)
looking at newspaper stories reporting the same event in different
languages. Slobin differentiates between verb-framed and satellite-framed
languages. Slobin describes the main element of motion as PATH which is
expressed by the verb in French and by particles such as "in" and "out",
also called satellites, in English. Therefore, English represents
a "satellite-framed language" whereas French is a "verb-framed language".
In his translation analyses, Slobin focuses on verbs that describe the
MANNER of movement, like "run, crawl, stroll" and the like. Results
indicate that verb-framed languages have verbs that describe movement in a
more differentiated way than English verbs do, which means that many verbs
used in verb-framed languages are not available in English. Slobin shows
that languages either assimilate or accommodate themselves to the source
language. Analyses of oral descriptions of the frog story reveal that
speakers of verb-framed languages mainly used path verbs without a verb
particle, whereas speakers of satellite-framed languages used manner verbs
in combination with a verb particle, such as "out". A similar pattern of
manner verbs and path verbs was found in the newspaper accounts in the
different languages.

As a next step, Slobin applies the coding scheme used for the study
of "The Hobbit" to analyze seven novels each in the satellite-framed
languages Russian and English, and in the verb-framed languages Spanish
and Turkish, as compared to the oral frog stories produced by the adult
speakers of these languages. Results clearly indicate that verb-framed
languages use a significantly higher number of manner verbs than verb-
framed languages. Finally, Slobin shows that these differences can also be
found in conversations and in parent-child discourse.

Chapter 12: Why manner matters: Contrasting English and Serbo-Croatian
typology in motion description, by Jelena Jovanovic and Aida Martinovic-Zic
In chapter 12, Jovanovic and Martinovic-Zic investigate the two satellite-
framed languages Serbo-Croatian and English according to their
lexicalization of motion by analyzing the frog story and naturalistic data
of adult speakers of Serbo-Croatian and American English. The difference
between the two languages is that English uses verb-particles and Serbo-
Croatian uses prefixes which are added to the verb root. Therefore, the
authors call English "free-particle satellite-framed language" and Serbo-
Croatian "prefixed satellite-framed language". Motion verbs were organized
as follows: 1) bare motion verbs, 2) motion and path verbs, and 3) motion
and manner verbs. The authors found few differences between the number of
types of bare motion verbs and motion and path verbs in the two languages,
but some differences in the tokens of bare motion verbs, i.e. that English
speakers used a higher number of bare motion verbs. More significant
differences were found in the use of motion and manner verbs, with
speakers of Serbo-Croatian using 8 more types and more tokens than English
speakers. When examining the aspect in motion verbs, analyses revealed
that Serbo-Croatian speakers produced more types of verbs marking aspect
and that verbal morphology marked aspect in various ways. Translations of
motion verbs showed that a number of motion verbs were not translatable
from one language to the other. More frequently this was the case for
English verbs. Qualitative analyses also revealed a higher amount of
semantic clustering or motion verbs in English than in Spanish.

Chapter 13: Episodic boundaries in Japanese and English narratives, by
Mary Seig
Seig studied the episodic structure of narratives at the example of the
picture book Frog, Where are you? by Mercer Mayer (1976). The main goals
of the study were to examine 1) the linguistic devices used to mark
episode boundaries and 2) the perception of production in Japanese and
English in these two formats. The subjects consisted of fifty American and
fifty Japanese university students who were either asked to tell the story
from the book (book format) or by seeing the pictures on a long scroll of
paper (scroll format). Through coding each transcript for intonation units
that would mark episode boundaries, analyses revealed similar patterns
with regard to their relation in the episode of the following aspects: 1)
intonation units, 2) the position of frontal adverbial clauses, 3)
reference to the boy character, 4) reference to the dog character, and 5)
reference to the frog character. Differences between the book and the
scroll formats were only found in the length of intonation units, that is
that both English and Japanese narrators used more intonation units in the
book format. A measure of the number of words showed that, on average,
English speakers used more words than Japanese speakers, in both languages
books stories consisted of more words than scroll stories, and English
scroll stories consisted of more words than Japanese book and scroll
stories. English and Japanese narrators differed in their use of pronoun
mention, ellipsis, and reference in subject position. Seig concludes that
the variation of the format has an influence on the perception of the
narrators. One example is that seeing all the pictures at once in the
scroll format might influence segmentation processes causing narrators of
scroll stories to include fewer details per picture.

Chapter 14: Rhetorical influences: As Latin was, English is?, by William
G. Eggington
In chapter 14, Eggington investigates the influence of English on
international discourse. Through analogy with the development of Latin and
its influence on English and the influence of Classical Chinese on the
written rhetorical styles used by Korean and Japanese academic authors,
Eggington claims that it is reasonable to assume that today's most used
language for academic discourse has a similar influence on rhetorical
patterns of contemporary languages. Furthermore, Eggington uses Swales'
(1990) distinction between speech community and discourse community,
claiming that being a competent member of the latter implies that one
necessarily has to learn rhetorical aspects of discourse structure. This
again is an argument for the influence of English on international
discourse. As further evidence, Eggington cites studies, language
policies, and anecdotes. Some examples are that 1) in some universities
and in many disciplines in countries such as Sweden, most academic essays
are written in English, 2) many countries have introduced strong policies
concerning English as a Second Language. Eggington concludes that this
must cause a change the patterns of languages influenced by English
discourse structure, thus by an exolingual influence. The studies
Eggington cites investigated the influence of English on Korean academic
texts and found that indeed a new pattern had emerged.

Chapter 15: Contrastive discourse analysis: Argumentative text in English
and Spanish, by Joanne Neff, Emma Dafouz, Mercedes Díez, Rosa Prieto,
Craig Chaudron
Neff and colleagues report results from a study of developmental and cross-
linguistic aspects in written argumentative texts produced by Spanish and
English L1 journalists, first- and fourth-year Spanish university students
writing in both Spanish and English, and US students of the same age
writing in English by combing contrastive rhetoric and methods employed in
developmental studies. The variables consisted of structural aspects, such
as words per T-unit, words per clause, finite and non-finite clauses per T-
unit, and of information-based aspects, such as types of subordinate
finite and non-finite clauses to include background information and the
types of coordinate connectors per T-unit. Results of analyses of the
argumentative texts produced by professional writers in English and
Spanish as their L1 revealed that Spanish writers had higher means of
words per T-unit, words per clause, relative clause per T-unit, participal
clauses per T-unit, Finite Subordinate Clauses per T-unit and Finite
Clauses per T-unit while English writes used more gerundival clauses per T-
unit. Results of Spanish texts of firs-year and fourth-year students and
professional writers shows that professional writers used more words and
more participials per T-unit than either group of students. Moreover, data
indicated that there was a development in Spanish writers from first-year
students to professional writers in the use of finite to non-finite
subordinate clauses. When comparing the texts produced by English as L1 as
opposed to L2, results showed that the group of English professional
writers produced significantly longer T-units than the other groups but
also revealed development in length of T-unit and in syntactic complexity
in English as a Foreign Language writers as well as in the acquisition of
forms not frequently used in Spanish.


Chapter 16: Academic biliteracy and the mother tongue: A case study of
academic essays in Venezuelan Spanish and English, by Elizabeth Arcay
Hands and Ligia Cossé

In chapter 16, Hands and Cossé examine three academic texts, two of which
were written in Venezuelan Spanish, one by a monolingual Spanish author,
one by a bilingual Spanish and English writer and one written in English
by a monolingual English writer. The main question addressed is whether
academic biliteracy influences L1 academic writing, as has been found in a
previous study by Arcay. The study employs a multidimensional approach, in
that it addresses linguistic, cognitive, cultural and social dimensions
and a multidisciplinary approach in that it takes into consideration
disciplines such as linguistics, sociology, and psychology. Only findings
in the linguistic and cultural dimension are reported in the chapter.
Results reveal differences and similarities between monolingual and
bilingual scholars. Hands and Cossé found that the text produced by the
bilingual author showed more different types of sentences that are a
higher use of coordination in sentence structure than in the monolingual
Spanish scholar and a similar use of some rhetorical typologies used in
rhetorical organization. It is interesting to no significant differences
were found with regard to sentence length and with regard to basic
rhetorical units of an argument. In conclusion, Hands and Cossé show that
an analysis using this approach can illuminate the important question of
L2 to L1 transfer, which has so far not been studied extensively.

Chapter 17: Texts as image schemas: A cross-linguistic study, by Tânia
Gastão Saliés

In chapter 17, Saliés reports results of a study carried out to
investigate the image schemas in 20 institutional expository texts written
in Brazilian Portuguese and 20 in English. Saliés defines image schema in
discourse as a fixed gestalt consisting of a variety of elements. More
specifically, Saliés uses the notion of COMMUNICATIVE TEXT, elaborating on
Lakoff's MOTION schema consisting of the elements SOURCE-PATH-GOAL-
DESTINATION each of which again consist of sub-elements. When language
users use these elements they produce COMMUNICATIVE TEXT. The data were
coded with regard to syntax, lexicon, and word-order effects according to
cognitive and pragmatic constraints, and Cognitive Grammar (Langacker
1991). Analyses revealed significant differences in the organization of
sentences and attention units between Brazilian Portuguese and English.
Brazilian Portuguese writers used more words, attention units, and of
juxtaposed prepositional phrased per sentence than English writers.
Analyses of the lexicon showed that English texts consisted of a higher
lexical variety and density than Brazilian Portuguese texts. Qualitative
analyses showed, for example, that English relied on lexical items more
because of morphology did not carry the same information as in English.
Finally, the authors present image schemas for both languages showing the
differences and how text production is linked to the grammar of the
language and to the efficiency of cognitive processing of certain features.

Chapter 18: Genre and modality in developing discourse abilities, by Ruth
A. Berman
In chapter 18, Berman investigates 256 Hebrew-language texts produced by
16 subjects of four different levels of schooling (grades four, seven,
eleven and university graduate level) who each produced four different
types of texts (one narrative and one expository, each produced in spoken
and written form). Analyses of noun phrase structure include different
classes of null subjects, personal and impersonal pronouns, and lexical
noun phrases at four levels of complexity. Genre-based differences include
the use of a lower number of null subjects in expository texts, a higher
use of pronouns in narrative texts from 4th grade onwards. Developmental
differences were found 1) in the discourse functions the subjectless
clauses fulfilled, 2) the use of complex noun phrases, 3) sensitivity to
the use of register. Finally, Berman discusses implications of the study
with regard to methodological issues, showing that using two different
text-types with different age groups provides advantages. Other important
aspects are register in different languages, language background, as for
example monolingual or bilingual contexts and schooling and level of
literacy.

EVALUATION

Moder and Martinovic-Zic's book is a refreshing and crucial contribution
to the study of discourse. First, the different studies reported in this
book provide a variety of topics within the bigger umbrella of discourse
across cultures, bringing together the work of a number of influential
scholars. The findings touch upon important questions that have not been
dealt with so far and open up the readers' eyes to vital issues. Some
examples are the influence of L2 on L1 development or the influence of
genre combined with either developmental factors, or with native and non-
native influence. Another chapter enlightens us with a comparison of the
highly endangered language Seneca with English, illustrating how languages
influence the organization of discourse. Other topics include
textlinguistics applied to a novel, showing its applicability to solving
issues in morphosyntax, the comparison of apology strategies in English as
a First and as a Second Language, a close examination of different text
types, such as academic versus journalistic writing and advertising.
Another author presents a theory of text as image schemas in Brazilian
Portuguese and English. The list goes on. All these questions are crucial,
not only within the fields of studies explored in this book, but also for
fields such as education or language policy. By investigating the
influence of knowledge of a foreign language on the knowledge and
performance in our first language we get closer to answering questions
about cognition as well as about the importance of studying foreign
languages.

A further refreshing aspect is the variety of different contexts in which
these studies are set. Inevitably, the reader is presented with diverse
cultural and educational settings, finding out more about not only what
role the factors of the language play with regard to linguistic
development but also considering the role of interaction with the
cultural, political, sociological and historical background in the various
settings. This in itself is a course in cultural sensitivity. Moreover,
the studies make use of a plethora of methodologies thereby providing
examples for how to study the phenomena described in this book with inter-
and multidisciplinary approaches. The chapters are organized in a way that
the reader benefits from previous chapters when reading about similar
methodology or findings that can be compared and built upon. Therefore, I
believe that apart from being an excellent addition to the specialists'
library in the various fields involved, this book would also be a great
tool for courses dealing with discourse. While each chapter provides an
introduction to the methodology applied in different areas of discourse
studies, the topics are related enough that the students will be able to
find out about the interconnectedness of the topics.

In conclusion, the present book is a rich scholarly and educational source
which is also very enjoyable to read.

REFERENCES

Chafe, W. (1994). Discourse, Consciousness and Time. Chicago: University
of Chicago Press.

Schegloff, E., Sack, H. (1973). Opening up closing. Semiotica 8: 289-327.

Goffman, E. (1974). Frame Analysis. New York, NY: Harper and Row.

Goffman, E. (1981). Forms of Talk. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press.

Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research
settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Langacker, R. (1991). Concept, image, and symbol: The cognitive basis of
grammar. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Manuela Wagner is Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Education and
Director of the Critical Languages Program at the University of
Connecticut. Her research focus is on pragmatic development in first and
world language acquisition.


Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue




Please report any bad links or misclassified data

LINGUIST Homepage | Read LINGUIST | Contact us

NSF Logo

While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.