E-encyclopedia of Discourse Structures (EDS)

Michelle Maria Lazar ellmml at NUS.EDU.SG
Mon Feb 14 08:11:10 UTC 2000

Teun -- i think it's an excellent idea!

A suggestion: If viable, persons taking responsibility for a certain item
could optionally add a hyperlink to their entry, which then allows
interested parties to engage in a dialogue over the given entry. This way,
it could become an 'interactive encyclopaedia', which becomes (also) a forum
for "expert" and other voices on a discourse category.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Teun A. van Dijk [mailto:teun at HUM.UVA.NL]
> Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2000 11:10 PM
> Subject: E-encyclopedia of Discourse Structures (EDS)
> (I posted this message already on the DISCOURS list of LINGUIST,
> but since not all of you may read that list, I also send it to
> you, and would love to have your opinions too; those on DISCOURS
> were all raving, which is promising for the future of the project;
> in the meantime I have asked LINGUIST to host the EDS website on
> their server... If you like this idea, please send IDEAS to improve
> the project: I see this as a joint venture of the community of
> discourse analysts).
> -------------------------------------------------------------------
> I am thinking of organizing an electronic Encyclopedia of Discourse
> Structures (EDS). This message is asking your opinion about this
> project.
> This EDS would feature small essays of about 1000 words each about a
> possibly large number (say between 500 and 1000) of
> structural and other
> properties of text or talk, at all possible levels of
> description. Each
> item would consist of a brief theoretical part, an illustration on one
> or more examples, a very selective bibliography, and a number of
> internet links to a full bibliography, lists, specialized scholars in
> that area, or any other information on that particular item. Items may
> be quite general (e.g., about intonation, discourse syntax, pronouns,
> coherence, metaphor, speech acts, politeness, turntaking, power,
> ideology, or mental models, etc) as well as more detailed (questions,
> generalizations, conversation opening, agreement, news report schemas,
> etc.).
> Each item should ideally be written by one of THE specialists (if any)
> on a particular structure, who will also be responsable for the
> continuous update of an item (new theory, new bibliography,
> new internet
> links). If very different theoretical views exist on the account of a
> very important structure, I see no reason not to accept two or even
> three items on the "same" structure, but in general items should be as
> 'general' and as little 'partisan' as possible.
> The aim of the encyclopedia is especially practical and
> pedagogical: You
> briefly want to know what is now known about structure X or
> want to have
> some references on discourse strategy Y. Such information is also very
> relevant for students and other newcomers to the field who want some
> first information on some item. Finally, the encyclopedia may
> be useful
> as a general "checklist", when you want to set up a research
> project on
> a specific genre or corpus or want to analyze empirical data,
> wondering
> which structures might most relevantly be studied.
> New items will be reviewed by a panel of specialized
> discourse analysts,
> who may ask reviews and comments from other specialists. Each
> large area
> of the encyclopedia would have its own editor who maintains
> contact with
> the specialists on specific items.
> Access to the encyclopedia is free and contributions are nly
> voluntary.
> Probably the most practical format to organize the
> accessibility of the
> encyclopedia is to set up a special web-page for it. We may ask a
> university dept. with a strong presence in discourse analysis and some
> resources to host the web-site.
> My request to the subscribers to this list is to let me (or the whole
> list) know whether
> - they think this is a good idea,
> - what would make the idea even better,
> - they have other suggestions or critique,
> - they are a specialist on some specific structure,
> - ..and whether they in principle would like to write an item for the
> encyclopedia.
> Best wishes
> Teun
> --
> Teun A. van Dijk
> Program of Discourse Studies
> University of Amsterdam
> In 2000:
> Universitat Pompeu Fabra
> Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada (IULA)
> Rambla 30-32
> 08002 Barcelona (Espana)
> Phone: (0034) 93-272.1200 (casa/home)
> FAX:   (0034) 93-272.0106 (casa/home)
> E-mail: teun at hum.uva.nl
> Web-site: http://www.hum.uva.nl/teun

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