Vol 20, No 4 (2016): Discourse Analysis in the 21st Century: Theory and Practice (I)


Discourse Analysis in the 21st Century: Theory and Practice (I)

Ponton D.M., Larina T.V.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):7-25
pages 7-25 views

A Dialogic Approach to Pragmatics

Kecskes I.


This paper focuses on how the limits of pragmatics - as long as it is restricted to the analysis of one utterance at a time - are overcome by including the hearer not only as interpreter who tries to understand the speaker’s utterance but as an interlocutor who tries to come to an understanding with the speaker. The goal of the paper is not to describe and analyze the dialogue approach rather explain what inner developments in the pragmatics paradigm have made it necessary to move in a dialogic direction, specifically emphasizing the importance of evaluating speaker meaning from the perspective of the speaker rather than from the perspective of the hearer and the double role of the interlocutor (speaker-hearer).
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):26-42
pages 26-42 views

Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics: Their Scope and Relation

Alba-Juez L.


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.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):43-55
pages 43-55 views

Discourse Manifestation of Personality

Karasik V.I.


The paper deals with approaches to discourse studies. The approaches may be regarded as discourse dimensions associated with models presented and substantiated by M.M. Bakhtin, J. Habermas, Yu.M. Lotman and M.A.K. Halliday. They comprise contents, participants, tonality, channel and communicative actions. The approaches described complement each other and make it possible to synthesize the results achieved in Text Linguistics, Pragmatics, Social Linguistics, and Discourse Studies. They are joined by and oriented towards the concept of Language Personality, i.e. persons who manifest themselves in various kinds of communicative situations. However, each discourse dimension corresponds to a certain type of discourse. A Topic Approach to discourse focuses upon its contents (its referential substance) and specifies the correlation between explicit and implicit meaning expression. A Subject Approach to discourse makes it possible to single out and describe two basic types of communication as presented in Personality bound and Status bound discourse, the former diverges into two subtypes - Habitual and Existential communication, whereas the latter is manifested in various kinds of Institutional discourse. A Tonality Approach to discourse highlights different types of stylistic and emotional modes of communication and correspondingly characterizes personality types who are engaged in such situations. A Regime Approach is concentrated on communication channel and technical peculiarities of behavior determined by those restrictions. An Action Approach to discourse gives us a broader understanding of a performative act, i.e. an action incorporated in culture and a situational behavioral interaction.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):56-77
pages 56-77 views

Discourse Analysis and Stylistics: Integrative Methods for Research in Media Communication

Klushina N.I.


In Russian communicative studies we can observe the collision of traditional Russian Stylistics and Western Discourse Analysis which resulted in eclectic and random use of terminology and methods of Discourse Analysis. Even the terms style and discourse are often mixed up and are not differentiated. The purpose of the article is to point out some theoretical problems concerning the “competition” of two communicative disciplines in the study of media discourse - Stylistics and Discourse Analysis - and to outline the ways of their possible cooperation and integration of their methods in Russian Linguistics. In our research we analyze two theoretical conceptions of text analysis in media communication - stylistic and discursive, which have the common subject of research, which is text, and the same communicative vector of study, but they apply different methods of analysis and different terminology. I distinguish between style and discourse and argue that style and discourse do not exclude one another, but to some extent they overlap and complement each other. Such approach gives a new impetus to the development of Russian and Slavonic stylistics in communicative perspective as well as encourages the study of stylistic organization of media discourse.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):78-90
pages 78-90 views

Discourse, Statement and Speech Act

Krasina E.A.


Being a component of socio-cultural interaction discourse constitutes a sophisticated cohesion of language form, meaning and performance, i.e. communicative event or act. Cohesion with event and performance let us treat discourse as a certain lifeform, appealing both to communicative interaction and pragmatic environment using the methodology of studies of E. Benveniste, M. Foucault, I. Kecskes, J.R. Searle et al. In linguistics and other fields of humanitarian knowledge the notion of discourse facilitates the integration of studies in humanities. Principles of integration, incorporation into broad humanitarian context reveal some topics of discourse-speech act-utterance interaction which leads to substantive solutions of a number of linguistic topics, in particular, that of an utterance. Logicians determine utterance through proposition; linguists - through sentence, while speech act theory does it by means of illocutionary act. Integrated in a discourse or its part, utterance makes up their integral constituents although not unique ones. In relation to speech acts, utterance happens to be the unique definitional domain synchronically modelling and denoting speech act by means of propositional content. The goal of the research is to show the conditions of interaction and correlation of discourse, speech act and utterance as linguistic constructions, reveal some similarities and differences of their characteristics and prove the importance of the constructive role of utterance as a minimal unit of speech production. Discourse-speech act-utterance correlation supports the utterance role of a discrete unit within syntactic continuum, facing both language and speech: still, it belongs exclusively neither to language nor speech, but specifies their interaction in course of speech activity exposing simultaneously its nature of an ‘atom of discourse’ and creating the definitional domain of a speech act.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):91-102
pages 91-102 views

Speech Genres and Discourse: Genres Study in Discourse Analysis Paradigm

Dementyev V.V.


The article is devoted to the place of research on speech genres in the paradigm of discourse analysis. Focus is brought to bear on the directions of discourse analysis which have much in common with the theory of speech genre problems, categorical apparatus or set of base units, as well as using speech genre methodology to solve their problems. It is shown that the main problem, combining discourse analysis and theory of speech genres, is structuring and parameterization of speech communication, and thus - search for basic models of structuring, which organize a production of speech and its interpretation. In this regard, discourse units as well as their location with respect to the genres in the general speech space are discussed. The communicative and cognitive aspects of these units are analyzed, the chain links are constructed, which correspond to the components of communicative concepts that have clear compositional, thematic and stylistic content: the standard structure of the communicative concept is a chain of “action/act ~ process / manner ~ role / type ~ genre ~ communicative tonality”, while in most chains the main components are speech genres. Much attention is paid to the discursive classification of speech genres: genres are discussed in different types of discourse.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):103-121
pages 103-121 views

Movements and Meanings: Towards an Integrated Approach to Political Discourse Analysis

Ponton D.M.


This chapter has two principal focuses; firstly backwards in time, across some of the high points in the development of political discourse analysis, in order to assess the current state of the field. It also has a future focus, as it attempts to integrate insights from some emerging fields, such as Multimodality, with more consolidated approaches. It has been argued, in many accounts (e.g. Fairclough and Fairclough 2012), that persuasion is the most pervasive function of all political discourse, and most authors agree that the processes involved encompass both textual and non-textual features. An influential early attempt, for example, to describe some non-verbal aspects of persuasive rhetoric was Atkinson (1984), who identified features like the speaker’s voice quality, intonation, posture, body language, eye movements, and so on, as well as some other non-linguistic ‘tricks’. As influential as this work was, however, these features have tended to be omitted from many subsequent accounts of persuasion in political rhetoric, which have concentrated on features of argumentation operating at a strictly textual level.The overall aim of this work is to suggest pathways towards the ambitious goal of developing a usable, integrated model for analysing political discourse. Instead of analysing a single feature such as metaphor (Charteris-Black 2006), parliamentary insults (Ilie 2004), evaluative language or humour (Swain 1999, 2002), the model attempts to combine descriptions of textual and non-verbal/multimodal features of political discourse, in order to provide a practical tool for analytical purposes, and a coherent account of their possible pragmatic effects.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):122-139
pages 122-139 views

“Let Me Tell You...”: Audience Engagement Strategies in the Campaign Speeches of Trump, Clinton, and Sanders

Quam J., Ryshina-Pankova M.


Throughout the 2016 campaign, presidential candidate Donald Trump surprised observers with his ability to maintain his popularity in the face of unorthodox and often offensive statements. Trump likely bolstered his electoral chances by appealing to a large segment of voters with whom other candidates failed to align themselves. To quote one news anchor, “People tried to attack Trump; it just didn’t work - voters liked him anyway”. As previous work by Miller (2002; 2004) has shown, systemic functional linguistic (SFL) analysis (Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004) can illuminate particular strategies politicians employ to strengthen their arguments and exhort their audiences to join their efforts. In this paper, we employ the SFL-based Engagement framework (White, 2003; Martin & White, 2005) to examine ways in which the 2016 presidential candidates aligned themselves with their audiences. Our analysis of the speeches of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders reveals markedly different patterns of interaction with the voters in terms of ways expansive and contractive dialogic strategies are used, an intended audience is identified and thematized, and shared assumptions are made. While Trump makes his arguments in a highly constrained dialogic space, taking the agreement with the audience for granted, his opponents often employ a mix of contractive and expansive argumentative strategies and make more explicit overtures to the audiences whose perspectives they share. This study offers insights as to how each candidate identifies and addresses his or her ideological sympathizers or opponents and exhorts the former to intensify their support.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):140-160
pages 140-160 views

Destructiveness in Political Discourse

Volkova Y.A., Panchenko N.N.


Destructiveness is among the fundamental discourse categories that play a significant role in the organization of communicative interaction and define the pragmatics of discourse; its study helps to understand some mechanisms and principles of communication, identify strategies and tactics used by a destructive communicative personality. The relevance of this study is determined by the increasing aggressiveness in various types of discourse, and, accordingly, by the need to extend the knowledge of destructive behavior of a communicative personality. The study is based on the theory of discourse-analysis and theory of destructiveness (Z. Harris, T. van Dijk, A. Buss, E. Fromm, D. Ponton, K. Hacker, R. Wodak. N. Arutyunova, V. Karasik, M. Makarov, E. Sheigal et al). Developing the theory of destructiveness and relying on Erich Fromm’s research (1973), we specify the concept of “destructiveness” in relation to the political discourse and compare it with the related concept of aggressiveness. The paper analyses the category of destructiveness in modern US political discourse, using excerpts from the speeches of the candidates for presidency of 2016. Particular attention is paid to the dominant destructive intention - to harm the reputation of the opponent and reduce his political chances, as well as to the functions of verbal aggression: on the one hand - to discredit the opponent, bring accusations, on the other hand - to poison the audience mind against him/her and arouse the feeling of danger posed by a political opponent. The analysis of verbal and nonverbal means of destructiveness in the US political discourse is carried out. The article concludes that abusive remarks of politicians do not result from spontaneous emotional outburst, but from an elaborated destructive strategy where the agonistic nature of political discourse stipulates the use of instrumental aggression (Buss, 1971) for the sake of the conquest of power, lowering the opponent’s status, deteriorating his/her public image.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):161-178
pages 161-178 views

American Political Discourse: Irony in Pre-Election Campaign 2016

Gornostayeva A.A.


This article represents the analysis of American modern political discourse, mainly the field connected with the pre-election campaign 2016. It explores primary genres of political discourse (speeches, announcements, debates, party programmes), as well as secondary genres (commentaries, discussions, interpretation, political interviews). Owing to the fact that political communication embraces the whole range of informal political processes in society, the field of research includes the so-called informal political socializing. The aim of the paper is to study the use of irony and its functions in political discourse. The data used for the study were taken from candidates’ speeches, interviews with political and public figures, and recent witty sayings/comments. The study is based on the theory of critical discourse analysis (M. Bilig 2007, Teun A. van Dijk 2009, N. Fairclough 1996, P. Graham 2007, J. Lemke 2007, S. Scollon 2007), political discourse analysis (A. Beard 2001, D. Ponton 2011 etc.) and theory of irony (L. Alba-Juez 2014, S. Attardo 2007, R. Giora 2001, 2003, L. Hutcheon 2005, B. Komlosi 2010 etc.). The analysis showed that irony is a frequent communicative strategy used by politicians in pre-election campaigns, it performs different functions, such as aggression, defense, entertainment and some others and plays a positive role in commucation with the audience. When used expertly, irony contributes to making political discourse more expressive and convincing. An ironic politician is a better manipulator of public opinion than one unable to use irony.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2016;20(4):179-196
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