LINGUIST List 6.375

Thu 16 Mar 1995

Sum: J.R. Firth's 'Context of Situation'

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  1. Alan Firth, J.R. Firth's 'Context of Situation'

Message 1: J.R. Firth's 'Context of Situation'

Date: Mon, 13 Mar 95 17:24:19 +0J.R. Firth's 'Context of Situation'
From: Alan Firth <>
Subject: J.R. Firth's 'Context of Situation'

Thanks to the following people who kindly responded to my inquiry into work
which attempts to apply J.R. Firth's notion of 'context of situation' to
studies of discourse:

Tom Craven
Gudula Stegmann
Graham McGregor
Joe Foley
Koenraad Kuiper
Richard Ogden

In summary, it appears that although Firth's notion is familiar to many
sociolinguists, discourse and conversation analysts - as evidenced in
references typically appearing in overviews on the notion of 'context' -
surprisingly little work has been, or is being, actually undertaken on the
topic. A reference where this phenomenon is exemplified is the introductory
chapter in Duranti, A. & Goodwin, C. (1992) (eds.) Rethinking Context. CUP.
 Koenraad Kuiper reports that he has a forthcoming paper which
offers a reappraisal of the origins of the term 'context of situation';
Graham McGregor has conducted an (unpublished) study of person-reference
which incorporates Firth's notion into his analytical approach.
 I shall be happy to inform readers of the List of my future
uncoverings of applied Firthian linguistics.
Alan Firth
Aalborg University, Denmark
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