Re: Discourse Analysis

Date: Fri Dec 11 1998 - 12:52:16 EST

Dear Dax,

In a message dated 12/10/98 9:56:04 PM Mountain Standard Time, writes:

> I will be graduating in May of 2000 with my Master's from Sputhwestern
> Baptist. I want to study in the area of Discourse Analysis. I am open to
> mainline, evangelical, conservative or whatever. I was hoping you guys
> point me to some scholars who are working in this area. How is the
> reputation of DTS with Fanning and Wallace? Thank you for responding.

This will be a relatively brief reply that will generalize and gloss the
information. I suggest that you invest some time researching the different
approaches to linguistics and decide which school you develop the most
affinity for, and then decide who you will study with on that basis.

Fanning and Dan Wallace are not essentially involved in a linguistics
system--that is, their starting point for their grammatical models is not
linguistics. That is not to say that they have not applied some linguistics
principles. Dan apparently has wondered about the validity of discourse
analysis (second-hand info).

SIL--Summer Institute of Linguistics has turned out a wealth of material on
Discourse Analysis. They are related to a linguistic approach that includes
Tagmemics. The studies of Longacre, and John and Katherine Callow among many
others provide rewarding insight.

The South African school has made some great contributions to Discourse
Analysis. It is closely related to Chomsky and Van Dijk.

Roehampton Institute (Stan Porter) reflects a model of discourse analysis and
corpus linguistics based on Systemic Linguistics (The "English School": M. A.
K. Halliday and the so-called Birmingham School).

Sheffield has a degree which combines linguistics and Biblical studies.

If you wish to stay in the US, SIL is located in Texas and has an impressive
web page. I believe that there are pockets of scholars in the US that are
influenced by the South African school, and I know that there are some that
are applying Systemic Linguistics, though others would have to give you more

These are just options within Biblical Studies, but you might want to look
into studying Discourse Analysis apart from Hellenistic Greek, which would
open up other alternatives.

The more I learn about Systemic Linguistics, the better I like it. In
comparison to the other approaches, it the most textually-based, because it
believes the the form of discourse is intrinsically related to discourse

Cindy Westfall
PhD Student, Roehampton

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