Jan Renkema Discourse Studies: An introductory textbook


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This book familiarizes the student with the key concepts and the major issues in the field of discourse studies. It provides a scientific 'toolkit' for courses on discourse studies and serves as a stepping stone to the independent study of the professional literature.The book consists of four parts. In Part I the focus is on four essential concepts in discourse studies as it is defined in this book: the investigation of the relationship between form and function in verbal communication. Part II is an introduction to basic phenomena: the building blocks of discourse and the links between them. Two age-old problems are also addressed: What are the differences between types of discourse? What is style?In Part III specific types of discourse are dealt with: interaction, narration and argumentation. Part IV deals with the production and the perception of discourse, for example, 'staging' in the presentation of information and 'inferences' in the derivation of information. Special attention is given to models of the writing and the reading process.The material, organized in seventeen short chapters, is based on more than fifteen years of experience gained in teaching introductory courses. The book contains advice on further study, and background information about the origins of the central concepts (philosophy, psychology sociology, etc.). A number of classic studies are referred to from both the Anglo-American and the European tradition. Each chapter ends with questions and assignments to stimulate discussion about seemingly unproblematic distinctions.
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