Category Archives: Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Multimodal Discourse Analysis (MDA), Conversation Analysis (CA)

Independent and dependent variables

Dear All, When we conduct a linguistic research, we usually work with a number of variables some of which are independent and some are dependent. This post defines these two types of variables. An independent variable is what is given (e.g. age, sex, social class, geographical location, occupation), the “input”. An dependent variable is what …

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Social stratification of English

Dear All, This blog post has to do with the social stratification of English. In other words, it deals with how a language use can depend on the social class of speakers. The most well-known classic research in this area was conducted by linguist William Labov (originally industrial chemist) and published in his book entitled …

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Some features of vernacular English

Dear All, One of the things that I have been recently noticing in modern English is the vernacular usage of certain forms. This post briefly discusses some of these forms. I would like to focus on seven vernacular forms which seem to be used often: 1) she don’t; 2) he ain’t; 3) I just said …

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Theme and rheme

Dear All, Have you ever heard the terms “theme” and “rheme” (= focus – background/presupposition)? First, this post defines the two terms and then provides an example of how they have been applied in research. The discussion concludes by pointing at the importance of these notions in linguistics. Theme (in some sources, also “topic,” “background,” …

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Good ethnographic technique

[…] one good ethnographic technique for getting at speech events, as at other categories, is through words which name them (Hymes, 1962, p. 110). According to Hymes (1962), it is possible to get at speech events through the analysis of words used to name them. In other words, by analyzing the words and expressions as …

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Coherence and cohesion

Dear All, In systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and in discourse analysis, there exist two notions, which are sometimes confused: coherence and cohesion. In this post I would like to clarify any potential confusion by defining the terms and by providing examples. Coherence (from Lat. “cohaerere” – to stick together) can be understood in a wide …

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MAXQDA: Discourse analysis software

MAXQDA, Software for qualitative data analysis, 1989-2013, VERBI Software – Consult – Sozialforschung GmbH, Berlin, Germany Dear All, Two of the most important stages of research are (1) data collection and (2) data analysis. Traditionally, for researchers in humanities it is more difficult to find suitable software to assist them in these tasks. MAXQDA, however, is designed …

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BibleQuote 6

Screenshot: BibleQuote6 software Dear All, If you are doing research on different versions of the Bible or if you need to find particular words (e.g. to compare their frequency, word form, etc.) in a given version, the following software may be of use: 1) BibleQuote6-20120312 (http://code.google.com/p/biblequote/downloads/list) 2) Modules (http://bqt.ru/Katalog) Different versions of the Bible (King …

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Observer’s paradox

Have you ever heard of the term observer’s paradox? This is a sociolinguistic term which was introduced by Labov (1972, p. 209) who noted that “the aim of linguistic research in the community must be to find out how people talk when they are not being systematically observed; yet we can only obtain this data …

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