non semiotic element?

elaine richardson ebr2singer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 6 15:27:54 UTC 2006

Dear Colleagues,
I am teaching Critical Discourse Analysis for the first time this semester.
I have enjoyed reading the scholarship of vanDijk, Fairclough, Gee, Wodak,
Blommaert, among others.  A question came up in class from Fairclough's
chapter in Rebecca Rogers' (2004) edited book--CDA in Education, wherein
Fairclough discusses the semiotic aspects of social transformation and
learning, to fill a gap in his work in CDA.  He writes:

I approach the question of learning indirectly in terms of the more general
and in a sense more fundamental question of the performativity of texts or,
in critical realist terms...their causal effects on nonsemiotic elements of
the material, social, and mental worlds and the conditions of possibility
for the performativity of texts.(p. 225)

My question is--what does non semiotic element mean?

Thank you for any discussion on this question.
Elaine Richardson
Penn State
English and Applied Linguistics
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