The overarching theme of Discourse and Technology is cutting-edge in the field of linguistics: multimodal discourse. This volume opens up a discussion among discourse analysts and others in linguistics and related fields about the two-fold impact of new communication technologies: The impact on how discourse data is collected, transcribed, and analyzed--and the impact that these technologies are having on social interaction and discourse.
As inexpensive tape recorders allowed the field to move beyond text, written or printed language, to capture talk--discourse as spoken language--the information explosion (including cell phones, video recorders, Internet chat rooms, online journals, and the like) has moved those in the field to recognize that all discourse is, in various ways, "multimodal," constructed through speech and gesture, as well as through typography, layout, and the materials employed in the making of texts.
The contributors have responded to the expanding scope of discourse analysis by asking five key questions: Why should we study discourse and technology and multimodal discourse analysis? What is the role of the World Wide Web in discourse analysis? How does one analyze multimodal discourse in studies of social actions and interactions? How does one analyze multimodal discourse in educational social interactions? and, How does one use multimodal discourse analyses in the workplace? The vitality of these explorations opens windows onto even newer horizons of discourse and discourse analysis.