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НазваThe definitions of discourse
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The definitions of discourse

 

Discourse (L. discursus, "running to and from") means either "written or

spoken communication or HYPERLINK

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate" \o "Debate" debate " or "a formal

discussion or debate." HYPERLINK

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse" \l "cite_note-0" \o "" [1]

The term is often used in HYPERLINK

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantics" \o "Semantics" semantics and

HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse_analysis" \o

"Discourse analysis" discourse analysis .

 

In semantics, discourses are linguistic units composed of several

sentences; in other words, conversations, arguments, or speeches. In

discourse analysis, which came to prominence in the late 1960s, the word

"discourse" is often used as shorthand for "discursive formation"

meaning large heterogeneous discursive entities.

 

According to HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault"

\o "Michel Foucault" Michel Foucault , discourse has a special meaning.

It is "an entity of sequences of signs in that they are enouncements

(enoncйs)" (Foucault 1969: 141). An enouncement (often translated as

"statement") is not a unity of signs, but an abstract matter that

enables signs to assign specific repeatable relations to objects,

subjects and other enouncements (Ibid: 140). Thus, a discourse

constitute sequences of such relations to objects, subjects and other

enouncements. A discursive formation is defined as the regularities that

produces such discourses. Foucault used the concept discursive formation

in relation to his analysis of large bodies of knowledge, such as

political economy and natural history.(Foucault: 1970)

 

Studies of discourse have been carried out within a variety of

traditions that investigate the relations between language, HYPERLINK

"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_and_agency" \o "Structure and

agency" structure and agency , including feminist studies,

anthropology, ethnography, cultural studies, literary theory and the

history of ideas. Within these fields, the notion of "discourse" is

itself subject to discourse, that is, debated on the basis of

specialized knowledge. Discourse can be observed in the use of spoken,

written and signed language and multimodal/multimedia forms of

HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communication" \o

"Communication" communication , and is not found only in

"non-fictional" or verbal materials.

 

 The prevailing sense of "discourse" is defined by the OED as "A spoken

or written treatment of a subject, in which it is handled or discussed

at length; a dissertation, treatise, homily, sermon, or the like." While

previous, archaic definitions of discourse have been "process or

succession of time, events, actions, etc." or "the act of

understanding," discourse is most simply understood today as a sort of

unit of language organized around a particular subject matter and

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