Author: Paltridge, Brian
Title: Discourse Analysis
Subtitle: An Introduction
Series: Continuum Discourse
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd
Mohammad Rasekh Mahand, Linguistics Department, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan,
This book is an introduction to discourse analysis written in nine chapters. The
first chapter is an overview of discourse analysis which begins by presenting
the origins of the term and goes on to introduce the topics which are of
interest to it. It talks about the relationship between language and social
context, culture specific ways of speaking and writing, and ways of organizing
texts in particular social and cultural situations. This chapter also introduces
different views of discourse analysis, from textually oriented views to socially
The second chapter discusses important aspects of the social and cultural
settings of spoken and written discourse. It talks about the notions of
discourse and speech community and how they influence the language variety we
use. Other factors affecting our language use are social class and social
networks. The chapter also includes some parts on the relations of discourse to
gender, sexuality and ideology.
Discourse and pragmatics is the topic of the third chapter. It introduces an
overview of research in the area of pragmatics which is also related to
discourse. Discussions on the relationship between language and context, speech
acts, the cooperative principle, implicatures and politeness are included in
The study of genre from a discourse analysis viewpoint is the subject of chapter
four. Genre is defined as a type of discourse that occurs in a particular
setting. The author talks about the relationships between genres, written and
spoken genres across cultures, genre analysis, the social and cultural contexts
of genres, the discourse structure of genres and the application of genre analysis.
The fifth chapter is on discourse and conversation. Conversation analysis looks
at ordinary everyday spoken discourse and aims to understand how people manage
their interactions. This chapter covers topics like conversation transcriptions,
sequence and structure in conversations, preference organization, feedback,
repair, gender, and criticisms of conversational analysis.
The study of grammar from a discourse-based perspective is the topic of chapter
six. The discourse grammar consists of a collection of features, such as the
texture of a text, cohesion, reference, collocation, conjunction, substitution
and ellipsis, theme and rheme, and related matters.
Chapter seven looks at corpus approaches to discourse analysis. There are a
number of advantages in using corpora to look at the use of language from a
discourse perspective. The chapter introduces different kinds of corpora, their
design and construction, and criticisms of corpus approaches.
Chapter eight is on critical discourse analysis. Critical discourse analysis
explores the connections between the use of language and the social and
political contexts in which it occurs. It explores issues like gender,
ethnicity, cultural differences, ideology, and identity and how these are both
constructed and reflected in texts.
The last chapter is on doing discourse analysis. It discusses issues that need
to be considered when planning and carrying out a discourse analysis project. A
number of sample studies are discussed to give an idea of previous research.
The present textbook covers most of the issues related to discourse analysis and
gives a brief account of each. It is written in a simple manner and the author
has tried to make his writing interesting by giving lively examples. The
discussion questions and further reading sections at the end of each chapter are
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Mohammad Rasekh Mahand is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Bu-Ali Sina
University, Hamedan, Iran. His research interests include syntax, the
syntax-pragmatics interface and typology.