Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics: Their Scope and Relation

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Abstract


In this article I delve into the seas of the disciplines of Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics, trying to perform the difficult task of delimiting their scope and discussing their common and non-common ground, in order to present a general idea of the state of the art of both disciplines in the 21st century. Being conscious of the fact that one can learn a great deal about any field by observing what its practitioners do, and precisely because these disciplines are hard to delimit, I also discuss what it is that pragmaticians and discourse analysts actually do. The concepts of text and discourse are explored by looking into different approaches and studies in the areas of Text Linguistics and Discourse Analysis, as well as into how they have evolved from their beginnings to the present time. The main schools of Pragmatics, the Anglo-American and the European Continental (Huang 2016) are also explored, in order to compare their viewpoints and their relationship with the field of discourse analysis. As I see it, Pragmatics is not the same as, but is an indispensable source for, discourse analysis: it would be impossible to analyze any discourse without having a solid basic knowledge of pragmatic phenomena and the ways in which they work and interact (Alba-Juez, 2009: 46). I also examine some concepts and issues that are crucial for the topic of this paper, such as the concepts of context , cognition or culture, and the need to develop pragmatic awareness.

About the authors

Laura Alba-Juez

UNED

Email: lalba@flog.uned.es
Passeo Senda del Rey, 7 Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain

References

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