Discourse analysis is a general term for a number of approaches to analysing language use beyond the sentence or clause level. The language in question can be written or spoken texts or systems of texts. The term discourse analysis first entered general use in a paper published by Zellig Harris in 1952.
The concept of discourse analysis has been taken up in a variety of disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and social psychology, each of which is subject to its own assumptions and methodologies. The following are some of the specific theoretical perspectives and analytical approaches used in linguistic discourse analysis:
Although each approach emphasizes different aspects of language use, they all view language as social interaction, and are concerned with the social contexts in which discourse is embedded.
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