Re: Defn. of textlinguistics

From: Philip Graber (
Date: Sun Nov 08 1998 - 08:19:29 EST


The term "discourse analysis" has been used for a great variety of things,
and the term "textlinguistics" has often been used for ONE of the things
discourse analysis sometimes refers to. In much of the recent literature,
discourse analysis refers to the analysis of verbal exchanges/conversation.
Textlinguistics is much more likely to refer to the study of written,
monological texts. The distinction is far from consistant or hard-and-fast.
Essentially, the term textlinguistics is used in indicate that the object of
linguistic analysis is whole texts rather than isolated sentences or
clauses. The analysis may be grammatical, semantic or pragmatic, but it
will always seek to take into account texts as wholes rather than sentences
in isolation. Bob Longacre, MAK Halliday and Robert de Beaugrande &
Wolfgang Dressler represent different approaches, but all can be referred to
as textlinguists. In my opinion, Halliday's approach (systemic functional
linguistics) is most promising, and you are in a good place to learn it!

Philip Graber
Ronceverte, West Virginia, USA
-----Original Message-----
From: Mark O'Brien <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Date: Sunday, November 08, 1998 7:35 AM
Subject: Defn. of textlinguistics

>I have a brief question which is not directly related to the GNT, but I am
>sure that there are some on this list who could surely help me out...
>I have been recently doing some reading where I have come across the term
>"textlinguistics", but where there has been no clear definition of the
>term. I was wondering whether there are some on this list who might
>proffer me a summary of what is meant here. At times, it seems to be
>pretty close to discourse analysis, but then there are occasions when it
>appears to mean perhaps more than that. Anyway, any help with this would
>be greatly appreciated.
>Many thanks,
>Revd. Mark B. O'Brien
>Assoc. Pastor, Subiaco Church of Christ, Western Australia
>Lecturer in Biblical Studies, South Perth Christian College
> (Sydney College of Divinity), Western

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