Discourse Description: Diverse Linguistic Analyses of a Fund-raising Text

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William C. Mann, Sandra A. Thompson
John Benjamins Publishing, Jan 1, 1992 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 409 pages
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Discourse Description presents in one convenient volume a variety of approaches to text description that have been proposed in the linguistic literature in the last decade or so. The book is organized to make it easy to understand and compare the various approaches. Since all of the researchers are analyzing the same text, their differences are readily seen.
The text they analyze is a letter, mailed in bulk by a Washington-based lobbying organization which is supported by contributions from donors. Far from simply informing the readers, the letter seeks to appeal to them on many levels, intellectual, emotional, and financial. It is a fascinating study in how texts do their work.
Discourse Description is expected to serve both as a research document and as a case textbook for graduate and undergraduate courses in discourse and text analysis, as well as a resource for text analysts.
 

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Contents

I TEXT ORGANIZATION
1
A Meaningbased Analysis
5
Rhetorical Structure Theory and Text Analysis
39
An Analysis of a Plea for Money
79
The Discourse Strategy of an Appeals Letter
109
The Notion of Unspecific versus Specific as one Way of Analysing the Informationof a FundRaising Letter
131
An Integrated ThreePronged Analysis of a FundRaising Letter
171
How I Understand a Text via the Structure of the Happenings and the Telling of Them
227
II LEXICOGRAMMATICAL APPROACHES TO THE TEXT
263
The Flow of Ideas in a Sample of Written Language
267
Subjects Definiteness and Informationstatus
295
Some Lexicogrammatical Features of the Zero Population Growth Text
327
Meaning by Degree
359
Collocation and Field of Discourse
397
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