1st Edition

Discourse Analysis
Putting Our Worlds into Words

ISBN 9780415522199
Published December 20, 2013 by Routledge
424 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $74.95

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Book Description

This introductory textbook presents a variety of approaches and perspectives that can be employed to analyze any sample of discourse. The perspectives come from multiple disciplines, including linguistics, sociolinguistics, and linguistic anthropology, all of which shed light on meaning and the interactional construction of meaning through language use. Students without prior experience in discourse analysis will appreciate and understand the micro-macro relationship of language use in everyday contexts, in professional and academic settings, in languages other than English, and in a wide variety of media outlets.

Each chapter is supported by examples of spoken and written discourse from various types of data sources, including conversations, commercials, university lectures, textbooks, print ads, and blogs, and concludes with hands-on opportunities for readers to actually do discourse analysis on their own. Students can also utilize the book’s comprehensive companion website, with flash cards for key terms, quizzes, and additional data samples, for in-class activities and self-study.

With its accessible multi-disciplinary approach and comprehensive data samples from a variety of sources, Discourse Analysis is the ideal core text for the discourse analysis course in applied linguistics, English, education, and communication programs.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction – Discourse, words, and the world  2.The building blocks of language: the stuff that discourse is made of  3. Genre, Register, Modality, and Participation Framework  4. Reference, Deixis, and Stance  5. Information structure, cohesion, and intonation units  6. Conversation  7. Pragmatics – Implicature, Speech Act Theory, and Politeness  8. Indexicality, Stance, Identity, and Agency  9. Critical Discourse Analysis  Bibliography  Appendix

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Susan Strauss is impassioned by language, literacy, imagery, and discourse. She has studied Spanish, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Amharic, German, Yiddish, and Quechua, and is fascinated by the ways in which these various systems of language combine to express tense and aspect, number, gender, shape, color, sensory perception, stance, opinion, affect, and emotion.

She teaches courses at Penn State in Discourse Analysis, Discourse Functional Grammar (English and other languages), Linguistic Anthropology, Second Language Writing, and Pedagogical Approaches to L2 Speaking/Listening.

Since 2012, she has been the mother of six school-aged children, all adopted from Ethiopia. Together they have been building foundations of literacy as "social cognition," foundations through which words and worlds connect to form new understandings about people and freedom, education and respect; about science, social studies, history, literature, and art.

She is currently working on a new book with Parastou Feiz, Cal State San Bernardino, and Xuehua Xiang, University of Illinois at Chicago, also to be published by Routledge, on the topic of discourse functional grammar. She is also authoring a book on her adoption story, detailing the institutional challenges of the adoption process itself and sharing the absolute joy, wonder, and awe of being a mother to six utterly amazing children.

Parastou Feiz is Associate Professor in the Department of English at California State University - San Bernardino.


Strauss and Feiz break new ground by combining key elements of a cognitive perspective towards language with established DA traditions. The book is full of naturally occurring text from diverse sources, including blogs and e-texts, providing the reader many opportunities for carefully-crafted, self-guided DA. This is an innovative, thoughtful contribution to discourse studies which promises to prove an invaluable resource – an engaging, highly informative introduction to multiple approaches to discourse analysis. – Andrea Tyler, Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University, USA

This volume offers an extraordinary sweep of the field of discourse analysis in highly accessible terms. In crystal clear, sophisticated fashion the authors ground fundamental concepts in a rich corpus of discourse drawn from vastly different languages. Discourse analysis comes alive as readers plunge into how knowledge, truth, emotions, relationships, power, and resistance are cast through talk and texts. – Elinor Ochs, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, University of California Los Angeles, USA

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.