Author: Shin Ja J. Hwang
Paperback: ISBN: 9781556712661 Pages: 263 Price: U.S. $ 39.95
The central idea of this volume is the simple insistence that the structure of a part of a discourse (or text) needs to be explained in light of the structure of the whole. This thesis needs to be repeated anew to every generation of students of linguistics as a warning against analytic nearsightedness—the fixation on particular parts of a text without regard to the whole. Holistic discourse analysis is not a plea to abandon the analysis of lower levels of grammar, but to enrich the study of them by putting them in broader perspective.
The book includes chapters addressing subjects like discourse analysis and its purpose, text typology, and constituent-based charting with an analysis of a story in terms of peak and profile. It discusses functions of different verb types and their tense/aspect/modality, of noun phrases, and of clause combining in discourse. It also includes a chapter with a layman's introduction to discourse analysis which addresses and illustrates its crucial concerns, and another discusses ways to represent combinations of sentences in a paragraph. The last three chapters deal with non-narrative discourses: procedural, hortatory, and expository. The book concludes with a helpful glossary of terms and an index to the languages referenced in the volume.
This book offers itself both as a classroom text and a field manual for discourse analysis. It can also serve as an introduction to the more theoretically oriented volume, Longacre's The Grammar of Discourse (1996).