Discourse Analysis


   Discourse Analysis today is primarily a research method for analyzing verbal data, particularly written texts and transcripts of spoken language. More broadly it is an aspect of text linguistics or discourse linguistics, which is the study of how we make meaning with the semiotic resources of language, and particularly meanings that stretch or cumulate over extended text and talk.

   My approach to discourse analysis follows that of Michael Halliday and the “Sydney School”, but also includes basic principles from the work of Michel Foucault (discursive formations as historically specific and socially functional ways of construing the world and the self) and Mikhail Bakhtin and V.N. Voloshinov (dialogism of language in use and social heteroglossia).

   I believe my major contributions are the method of thematic formation analysis (similar to concept networks but linguistically based) and approaches to the analysis of evaluative meanings. I have also worked to extend the principles and methods of discourse analysis to video and multimedia. I have applied these methods to classroom dialogue, scientific communication, newspaper editorials and cartoons, medical teaching, websites, and digital games. Major and summarizing works are highlighted in the list of links below:


Talking Science: Language, Learning, and Values [book]

Textual Politics: Discourse and Social Dynamics [book]

Using Language in the Classroom [book]


Thematic Analysis: Systems, Structures, and Strategies

Ideology, Intertextuality, and the Notion of Register

Discourses in Conflict: Heteroglossia and Text Semantics

Text Structure and Text Semantics

Semantics and Social Values

Technical Discourse and Technocratic Ideology

Text Production and Dynamic Text Semantics


Interpersonal Meaning in Discourse: Value Orientations

Discourse, Dynamics, and Social Change

Intertextuality and Text Semantics

Typological and Topological Meaning in Diagnostic Discourse - Paper

Typological and Topological Meaning in Diagnostic Discourse - Transcript

Analyzing Verbal Data: Principles, Methods, and Problems

Resources for Attitudinal Meaning: Evaluative Orientations in Text Semantics

Semantic Topography and Textual Meaning

Discursive Technologies and the Social Organization of Meaning


See also: Multimedia Semiotics and Games