Full Text

discourse

CHRISTOPHERNORRIS


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

In its broadest, least technical sense, “discourse” means simply “talk” or “conversation,” sometimes with the hint of a didactic purpose (thus “sermon,” “treatise,” or “lengthy address to some particular topic”). This latter development seems rather at odds with the word's etymology, going back to the Latin verb discurrere , “to run about,” “range widely,” “wander off course,” etc. And indeed there is something of the same ambiguity – or tendency to pull in opposite directions – when the word is taken up (as it has been often of late) into the usage of various specialized disciplines. I shall therefore look at some of the issues it raises for philosophy, linguistics, and the human sciences in general. The linguist Emile B enveniste was among the most influential thinkers in this field. According to him, “discourse” has to do with those aspects of language that can only be interpreted with reference to the speaker, to his or her spatiotemporal location, or to other such variables which serve to specify the localized context of utterance. It thus lays claim to a distinctive and well-defined area of study, one that includes the personal pronouns (especially “I” and “you”), D eictics of place (“here,” “there,” etc.) and temporal markers (“now,” “today,” “next week,”) in the absence of which the utterance in question would lack determinate sense. Structural linguistics – following ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top