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From the late eighteenth century, various sections of Iranian society, particularly the court and the elites, developed an acquaintance with European and American cities, their social lives, and spaces through direct visits, postcards, geographical texts, pictures, and other means of knowledge transfer. The analysis of Iranians’ wonder-like appreciations of Western cities helps to illustrate how this novel spatial knowledge determined the future of Iranian cities. This chapter suggests that the post-1870s spatial transformations of Tehran had been incubated in Iranian society – at least among the elites and the Qajar court – for decades. I argue that these transformations were the outcome of the gradual formation and development of a spatial discourse, rather than an abrupt change and a sudden disjuncture from the past. By adopting the Foucauldian conception of discourse, this chapter focuses on Iranians’ acquaintance with European cities, their social lives, and social spaces. The exposure to new ideas was not limited to the political landscape and had an impact on various aspects of Iranian society. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the growing relationship between Iran and European countries generated new forms of knowledge and transferred them to Iranian society. From culinary culture to the establishment of a new educational system, and from painting and theater to industrial and monetary organizations, various aspects of this impact have been investigated before.
Discourse analysis is one of the clinical methods commonly used to assess the language ability of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the majority of published analytic frameworks are not geared for highlighting the pragmatic aspect of discourse deficits in acquired language disorders, except for those designed for quantifying conversational samples. This study aimed to examine how pragmatic competence is impaired and reflected in spoken monologues in Chinese speakers with TBI.
Discourse samples of five tasks (personal narrative, storytelling, procedural, single- and sequential picture description) were elicited from ten TBI survivors and their controls. Each discourse sample was measured using 16 indices (e.g., number of informative words, percentage of local/global coherence errors, repeated words or phrases) that corresponded to the four Gricean maxims. Twenty-five naïve Chinese speakers were also recruited to perform perceptual rating of the quality of all 50 TBI audio files (five discourse samples per TBI participant), in terms of erroneous/inaccurate information, adequacy of amount of information given, as well as degree of organization and clarity.
The maxim of quantity best predicted TBI’s pragmatic impairments. Naïve listeners’ perception of pragmatics deficits correlated to measures on total and informative words, as well as number and length of terminable units. Clinically, personal narrative and storytelling tasks could better elicit violations in pragmatics.
Applying Gricean maxims in monologic oral narratives could capture the hallmark underlying pragmatic problems in TBI. This may help provide an additional approach of clinically assessing social communications in and subsequent management of TBI.
We asked jurors awaiting trial assignment to listen to a recorded synopsis of an authentic criminal trial and to make a choice among 4 verdict possibilities. Each participant juror then deliberated with another juror whose verdict choice differed, as a microcosm of a full jury’s deliberation. Analysis of the transcripts of these deliberations revealed both characteristics general to the sample and characteristics for which variation appeared across participants. Findings were interpreted in terms of a model of juror reasoning as entailing theory-evidence coordination. More frequently than challenging the other’s statements, we found, a juror agreed with and added to or elaborated them. Epistemological stance — whether knowledge was regarded as absolute and certain or subject to interpretation — predicted several characteristics of discourse. Absolutists were less likely to make reference to the verdict criteria in their discourse. Those who did so, as well as those who made frequent reference to the evidence, were more likely to persuade their discourse partners.
In IPCC reports, calibrated language is used to communicate confidence and/or agreement in claims. This language is highly specialised and has developed over time to account for diverse sources of knowledge and types of agreement. Currently, the IPCC uses two typologies for calibrated language — a qualitative confidence scale that assesses the amount of evidence, and expert agreement about that evidence; and a more quantitative scale that measures and expresses uncertainty. IPCC leadership intends for calibrated language to help make their reports scientifically clearer, although the resulting stylised language raises readability challenges. Calibrated IPCC language is also used, cynically, as a diplomatic tool during the report adoption plenaries of the Panel, as government delegates raise questions about the characterisation of climate facts. Uncertainty language in the IPCC, then, signifies both technical advancement in the characterisation of uncertainty and the challenges of communicating climate science in diverse contexts.
This chapter outlines established disciplines that have addressed the study of clichés, from lexicography to formulaic language and problematises the issue of defining clichés based on form. The chapter positions linguistic clichés within discourse studies and conceptualises them as socio-semiotic resources and discourse strategies that fulfil a range of specific functions across different discourse types and sites. The chapter also provides a working definition of cliches and outlines what constitutes cliches for the purposes of the book.
This chapter introduces clichés and discusses their uses and contemporary debates in academic and public domains. It argues for a functional approach to the study of clichés and outlines the scope of the book.
Chapter 8 of Discourse Syntax (Discourse Markers) deals with elements within discourse which do not belong to the core clause but are either placed at the sentence periphery or within it as insertions. The chapter shows that discourse markers mainly serve the needs of spoken, interactive discourse, and that they are placed in variable sentence positions and also occur as characteristic discourse marker sequences. Discussing the use of discourse markers in different text types, the chapter highlights that discourse markers have a bracketing and an interactive function in spoken discourse, but that there is also some text-linguistic variation, such as a use in scripted discourse or in online writing to mark a certain informality. The issue of syntactic variation is covered by a discussion of the positioning of the discourse marker then. The chapter also touches upon the development and use of “actually” as a discourse marker, the rise and grammaticalization of discourse markers as parentheticals, and their role in language proficiency.
Chapter 2 of Discourse Syntax (Concepts, Data, and Methods) further clarifies the need for studying patterns of syntactic use and variation in English with emphasis on the surrounding text (co-text), which is itself embedded in a specific discourse situation (context). It also differentiates between sentences and utterances and introduces the notion of “register” as a grouping of linguistic patterns arising from the discourse situation and distinguishes between a text-linguistic (focus on text) and a variationist perspective (focus on a syntactic variable) in studying syntactic variation, as well as methods of data collection, including guidance on working with corpora, corpus searches, data cleaning, and data interpretation, as well as research design in line with these two approaches.
Chapter 5 of Discourse Syntax (Special Endings) deals with two constructions that place sentence elements in the final, end-focus position. Discussing the extraposition of subject clauses (it-extraposition) and the cleft construction (it-clefting), the chapter shows that both constructions serve the distribution of given before new information in the sentence and the placement of complex material at the end of the sentence (Principle of End-Weight). It also shows that alternative constructions (non-extraposition) as well as discourse types and registers play a role in how these non-canonical constructions are used and that there are differences between speech and writing as well as other discourse types and modes. The chapter also discusses the presentation and visualization of quantitative corpus-linguistic evidence and presents strategies for dealing with absolute, normalized, and proportional frequencies gained from natural language corpora.
Chapter 6 of Discourse Syntax (Connectives) deals with connectives as one aspect of grammatical cohesion and the grammar of discourse. It introduces the various syntactic elements that function as discourse connectives (coordinators, connective adjuncts), contrasts the overt and the covert expression of additive conjunction, and then turns to other semantic and pragmatic types of discourse relations (causative, adversative, temporal). The discussion of the occurrence of sentence-initial “and” as it is used to connect sentences in texts focuses on spoken discourse and narration. Turning to the other semantic classes of conjunction, the chapter describes characteristic uses of connectives within the academic register. The chapter also explains how to deal with frequencies of occurrence gathered from large-size corpora, elaborating on the need for normalized rates of occurrence rather than absolute frequencies and on how to adjust individual frequencies for their density.
Chapter 1 of Discourse Syntax introduces the concept of discourse syntax and connects this topic to what students likely already know from a basic introduction to English syntax, like parts of speech, basic principles of canonical word order in English and basic patterns of grammatical variation, such as syntactic movement. It emphasizes that patterns of variation are systematic and often rooted in the surrounding discourse. The chapter also introduces corpora of English, such as the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), and the notion of reference grammars.
For decades, social perspectives, and even academic studies of language, have considered clichés as a hackneyed, tired, lazy, unthinking and uninspiring form of communication. Authored by two established scholars in the fields of Systemic-Functional Linguistics and Discourse Studies and Pragmatics, this cutting-edge book comprehensively explores the perception and use of clichés in language from these complementary perspectives. It draws data from a variety of both written and spoken sources, to re-interrogate and re-imagine the nature, role and usage of clichés, identifying the innovative and creative ways in which the concepts are utilised in communication, interaction, and in self-presentation. Observing a rich, complex layering of usage, the authors deconstruct the many and varied ways in which clichés operate and are interdependently constructed; from the role they play in discourse in general, to their functions as argumentative strategies, as constructs of social cognition, as politeness strategies, and finally as markers of identity.
Chapter 9 of Discourse Syntax (Grammar and Genre) deals with patterns of English grammar as tied to the situational settings of a register or the conventions of a genre. It notes that a feature of grammar, such as the passive voice in academic discourse, may either be pervasive in some as compared to other registers, or that it can be typical, like a hashtag in tweets. The chapter also refers to the modality of the discourse situation and distinguishes between conceptually oral and written language. For a written genre, it discusses the scientific abstract and the various grammatical forms of expressing agentivity that typically occur in it. It also examines the way in which scientific genres show a condensation of information through syntactic complexity, particularly within the noun phrase, and how to study that type of complexity based on a sample of attestations retrieved from an electronic corpus. The chapter also discusses digital genres and the use of hashtags in discourse on social media platforms as well as the “because X” construction as a characteristic case of linguistic innovation within that medium.
Chapter 3 of Discourse Syntax (Non-Canonical Beginnings) introduces students to sentences with non-canonical beginnings, which we define as the non-canonical placement of a core element of the clause to the left of the subject. Students learn to differentiate between topicalization, left-dislocation, and sentence-initial adjuncts, as well as different types of inversion, including locative inversion, and are introduced to how these syntactic patterns are used to structure the discourse – establishing topics, packaging information, providing signposts – and under which discourse conditions they occur. Woven into these explanations are data from current research in the text-linguistic and variationist approach and attestations from freely available corpora.
Intercultural rhetoric and intercultural pragmatics are two linguistically based fields with many principles and processes in common: both examine the use of language systems in encounters between people with different L1s, coming from different cultures, but communicating in a common language. This chapter provides an overview of intercultural rhetoric highlighting the ways in which intercultural pragmatics and intercultural rhetoric parallel and complement one another. The chapter begins with a description of the evolution of intercultural rhetoric from contrastive rhetoric drawing particular attention to the shift to understanding culture dynamic, understanding the importance of analyzing texts in context, and drawing greater attention to the use of negotiation and accommodation. The chapter then explores the influences that intercultural rhetoric and intercultural pragmatics have exerted on English for Specific Purposes, English for Academic Purposes, and second language teaching, particularly noting the ways the two fields have complemented and paralleled one another and suggesting ways the fields can serve as a bridge across chasms that have formed in linguistics, second language writing, English as a Lingua Franca, and translingualism. The chapter ends with a short discussion of the future of intercultural rhetoric and suggestions for future trends.
The theory of common ground is an important analytical tool in linguistics and intercultural pragmatics. Common ground has applicability in the characterization of speech acts and allows for distinguishing, for example, between an assertive, which requires a dynamic common ground, and a declarative that depends more on appropriate contextual factors for a successful realization. The theory of common ground is intrinsically linked to how knowledge relates to language and how a discourse advances between interlocutors. As such, the creation and maintenance of common ground has consequences for our stance on knowledge and what we KNOW, BELIEVE, DESIRE, and our INTENTIONS for action. There are many kinds of knowledge and a relevant portion of these are framed within a discourse situation, with common ground. We discuss the interfaces and relationship between situation, context, common ground, and knowledge including cultural knowledge, drawing on the thinking of Malinowski and Firth, and others. The challenges addressed are: (a) how do we ground the notions of context and common ground and their contents, with the appropriate level of specificity? (b) how do we represent them in such a way to become operationally useful in linguistic analysis? and (c) how do we show how context and common ground contribute to utterance meaning?
The concept of context has undergone some fundamental rethinking in the scientific community. Rather than being considered an external constraint on linguistic performance, context is analyzed as a product of language use and thus as an interactional achievement, which is negotiated and co-constructed, imported and invoked. Context and contexts are analyzed from the perspectives of interlocutors, considering contextualization, recontextualization and decontextualization, and entextualization. The complexity, multilayeredness and dynamics of context have far-reaching implications on its role in intercultural pragmatics with interlocutors from different linguistic backgrounds having diverging meaning-making processes, diverging contextualization conventions, and thus diverging constructions of context. Intercultural pragmatics thus calls for context-sensitive particularizations of the fundamental premises of cooperation, contextualization, meaning-making process, and negotiation of discourse common ground.
Discourse Syntax is the study of syntax that requires an understanding of the surrounding text and the overall discourse situation, including considerations of genre and modality. Using corpus data and insights from current research, this book is a comprehensive guide to this fast-developing field. It takes the reader 'beyond the sentence' to study grammatical phenomena, like word order variation, connectives, ellipsis, and complexity. It introduces core concepts of Discourse Syntax, integrating insights from corpus-based research and inviting the reader to reflect on research design decisions. Each chapter begins with a definition of learning outcomes, provides results from empirical articles, and enables readers to critically assess data visualization. Complete with helpful further reading recommendations as well as a range of exercises, it is geared towards intermediate to advanced students of English linguistics and it is also essential reading for anyone interested in this exciting, fast-moving discipline.
This chapter presents the most influential linguistic approaches to presupposition. Going beyond the traditional analyses of the problem of presupposition projection, it also considers recent developments in linguistics that link the analysis of presuppositions to general processes of cognition and reasoning, such as attention, probabilistic reasoning, theory of mind, information structure, attitudes and perspectival structure. I discuss some outstanding questions: whether presuppositions form one coherent group or should be thought of as different types of phenomena, why we have presuppositions at all, and why we see the presuppositions that we see (aka the triggering problem). Overall, the chapter stresses the need to consider the intricacies of the interaction of presuppositions with the broader discourse context.
Quayson’s chapter compares the Dublin of Joyce’s Ulysses in 1904 with the real-life multilingual city of Accra, Ghana. In these twentieth- and twenty-first-century contexts, Quayson finds different forms of epic dreaming and material work. From among these celebrations of the kinetic aspects of urban life, he focuses on advertising billboards and personal slogans and pronouncements, arguing that these slogans and Joyce’s interior linguistic landscape in Ulysses exemplify what Deleuze and Guattari have described as the deterritorialization of language. Quayson draws on these theorists to offer a new way of understanding a central problem of language in Joyce’s writing – the self-interlocution and the relations between external stimuli and internal activities of the mind – and the nature of the Accra streetscape, in which vehicle slogans and inscriptions turn oral discourse into a written text, transforming stigmatized terms of African indigenous languages into co-creative dimensions of English discourse.