Is the Wikipedia introduction accurate? If so, what are the boundaries around discourse analysis? When is analysis discourse analysis, and when is analysis not discourse analysis?
Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyze written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic event.
The objects of discourse analysis—discourse, writing, conversation, communicative event—are variously defined in terms of coherent sequences of sentences, propositions, speech, or turns-at-talk. Contrary to much of traditional linguistics, discourse analysts not only study language use 'beyond the sentence boundary', but also prefer to analyze 'naturally occurring' language use, and not invented examples. Text linguistics is a closely related field. The essential difference between discourse analysis and text linguistics is that discourse analysis aims at revealing socio-psychological characteristics of a person/persons rather than text structure.
Discourse analysis has been taken up in a variety of social science disciplines, including linguistics, education, sociology, anthropology, social work, cognitive psychology, social psychology, area studies, cultural studies, international relations, human geography, communication studies, and translation studies, each of which is subject to its own assumptions, dimensions of analysis, and methodologies.
Topics of discourse analysis include:
- The various levels or dimensions of discourse, such as sounds (intonation, etc.), gestures, syntax, the lexicon, style, rhetoric, meanings, speech acts, moves, strategies, turns, and other aspects of interaction
- Genres of discourse (various types of discourse in politics, the media, education, science, business, etc.)
- The relations between discourse and the emergence of syntactic structure
- The relations between text (discourse) and context
- The relations between discourse and power
- The relations between discourse and interaction
- The relations between discourse and cognition and memory