Halliday or De Beaugrande and Dressler: FAQs
Tincheva, N. 2012. Enter Text Linguistics. Sofia: Direct Services Publ.
47 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2012 Last revised: 24 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 13, 2012
Text linguistics has come a long way since its origin as a branch in linguistics which deals with text grammars. Its genesis lies in the realization that a true understanding of language and its relationship with meaning cannot be attained, if linguistics keeps defining itself as the study of phonemes, morphemes, lexemes and sentences only. Its evolution has progressed from the analysis of the specificities of textual features and phenomena (most notably, Halliday and Hasan) to the inclusion of theories on cognitive processes into the analysis of text production and reception (de Beaugrande and Dressler’s seminal work). Still frequently perceived as a part of Discourse Analysis, Text Linguistics has nonetheless provided its own unique understanding of textual communication, so much so that at present it feeds into a huge array of studies on language and its social implications: Cognitive Sciences and Conceptual Metaphor Theory, Critical Discourse Analysis, Linguistic Anthropology, Sociology of Language, etc.
The present paper is a theory-based discussion focusing on the FAQs which emerge repetitively in my dealings with fresh students of text. The paper presents a brief history of the evolution of Text Linguistics and then compares and contrasts the major perspectives to and within the field.
Keywords: text linguistics, cognitive structures, Halliday, de Beaugrand and Dressler
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