Download Text, Context, Pretext: Critical Issues in Discourse by H. G. Widdowson PDF

By H. G. Widdowson

Content material:
Chapter 1 textual content and Discourse (pages 1–16):
Chapter 2 textual content and Grammar (pages 17–35):
Chapter three Context (pages 36–57):
Chapter four Context and Co?Text (pages 58–73):
Chapter five Pretext (pages 74–88):
Chapter 6 severe Discourse research (pages 89–111):
Chapter 7 textual content and Corpus research (pages 112–127):
Chapter eight research and Interpretation (pages 128–146):
Chapter nine method and technique (pages 147–164):
Chapter 10 end (pages 165–174):

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Additional info for Text, Context, Pretext: Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis

Example text

This is made quite clear in another introduction to S/F grammar. Lock (1996) illustrates the relationship between textual and ideational (what he calls experiential) systems of the grammar by referring to the following two clauses: Michelangelo finished the statue of David in 1504. The statue of David was finished (by Michelangelo) in 1504. TCPC02 31 7/28/04, 10:32 AM 32 Text and grammar He then comments as follows: In the active voice clause the noun group functioning as Actor (Michelangelo) also functions as Subject and as Theme.

As Hymes puts it: ‘The use of a linguistic form identifies a range of meanings. A context can support a range of meanings. When a form is used in a context, it eliminates the meanings possible to that context other than those the form can signal: the context eliminates from consideration the meanings possible to the form other than those the context can support’ (Hymes 1968:105). What was discussed in the preceding chapter was the tendency, in Halliday’s S/F model, to overextend the semantic reach of grammar and so to undervalue the eliminating function of context.

In actual use they do indeed combine with other meanings: indeed their only function is to realize other functions. The organization of information in the clause is motivated by some ideational or interpersonal purpose. Thus, theme and rheme may be associated with topic and comment, in which case the first person adopts TCPC02 28 7/28/04, 10:31 AM Text and grammar 29 a position in relation to the third-person world, interprets reality, if you will, in reference to self. In this sense, assignment of topic and comment is an ideational matter.

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