approaches to text analysis

hancock at hancock at
Tue Jan 4 14:35:32 UTC 2011

    For a course in "Writing, Reading, and Language," I am using (for the
first time) "Exploring English Language: from Formal to Functional",
Coffin, Donohue, and North, Routledge 2009. It takes an admittedly SFL
perspective, though it starts with a more traditional orientation.
What I especially like are the large numbers of texts and a great many
interactive exercises built in.
    When I taught the class last semester, I used Kolln's Rhetorical
Grammar and The Longman Student Grammar (Biber et. al.). I was
surprised that my students found the Longman (a corpus based grammar)
much more useful, and so I am ordering it again. Biber's contention is
that language features co-occur within genres for functional reasons.
The book examines language frequencies and patterns in speech,
fiction, newswriting, and academic writing. That's a very broad brush,
but a useful base to work from. I teach this as a "writing intensive"
course out of the linguistics department. Students try out the genres
as they explore them.
    There has been a good deal of discourse analysis out of SFL. Genre and
text are the central focus of a language curriculum in the schools. If
language is what it is because of what it does (a central tenet, I
think, of a functional perspective), then discourse analysis should be
more central than it is to language study in the schools. There is a
growing argument for this. I recommend Terry Locke's "Beyond The
Grammar Wars" (Routledge, 2010) for an international conversation.


> Hi Ceci
> In addition:
> Jan Renkema has edited a 2009 volume with Benjamins "Disocurse, of course"
> which has several interesting contributions for your purpose (by Maite
> Taboada, Max Louwerse, Ted Sanders & Wilbert Spooren, for instance). I
> guess this could function as the introdoctory chapters you mention, but it
> could easily be extended with original research papers, to which the
> chapters point.
> Best wishes,
> Ted
> --------------------------------------------------------
> Ted Sanders
> Departement Nederlandse Taal en Cultuur /
> Utrecht institute of Linguistics UiL OTS
> Universiteit Utrecht
> Trans 10
> NL-3512 JK Utrecht
> The Netherlands
> T +31 30 2536080 / 8000
> F +31 30 2536000
> E T.J.M.Sanders at
> ------------------------------------------------------
> -----Original Message-----
> From: funknet-bounces at
> [mailto:funknet-bounces at] On Behalf Of Cecilia E. Ford
> Sent: dinsdag 4 januari 2011 3:55
> To: Johanna Rubba
> Cc: funknet
> Subject: Re: [FUNKNET] approaches to text analysis
> Thank you. I have the Hatch book and can use it right off the shelf. >From
> what I can recall, it is better than Salkie because it goes into verb
> forms and clause constrution, not just cohesive devices. It covers written
> and spoken language, but I think it has parts that are primarily about
> writing.
> great!
> Ceci
> On 01/03/11, Johanna Rubba  <jrubba at> wrote:
>> Here is a rather basic one by Raphael Salkie:
>> 15092787
>> This is also worth a look. It's intended for language education (ESL,
>> particularly), but I think you'll find it very rich. Evelyn Hatch:
>> dp/0521426057/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294109083&sr=1-1
>> On Jan 3, 2011, at 6:30 PM, Cecilia E. Ford wrote:
>> I teach a regular course on grammar in use, centering on language in
>> interaction. I would like to include some coverage of analyzing written
>> text and am interested in suggestions of approaches that would work for
>> a mixed graduate/undergraduate class.  Any suggestions on textbooks,
>> articles, chapters, introductory essays or the like?
>> thanks,Ceci
>> --
>> Cecilia E. Ford
>> Nancy C. Hoefs Professor of English
>> Professor of Sociology
>> University of Wisconsin-Madison
>> UW Interaction Interest Group (UWIIG):
>> Ford website:
>> Be GREEN, keep it on the SCREEN
>> Dr. Johanna Rubba, Professor, Linguistics Linguistics Minor Advisor
>> English Department California Polytechnic State University, San Luis
>> Obispo
>> E-mail: jrubba at
>> Tel.: 805.756.2184
>> Dept. Ofc. Tel.: 805.756.2596
>> Dept. Fax: 805.756.6374
>> URL:
> --
> Cecilia E. Ford
> Nancy C. Hoefs Professor of English
> Professor of Sociology
> University of Wisconsin-Madison
> UW Interaction Interest Group (UWIIG):
> Ford website:
> Be GREEN, keep it on the SCREEN

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