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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2010 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2010 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Dr Louisa Willoughby


This unit will examine a number of theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of discourse and texts in a range of sites and social contexts. We examine the way narrative texts are constructed; the resources that speakers manipulate in conversation and in 'electronic' discourse; the ways that institutions such as the media, education and the judiciary appropriate features of discourse structures in their discourses; and how information is transformed in written texts.


Upon completion of this subject students should be able to demonstrate that language understanding is a constructive process using not only knowledge of the language but also inferences based on context, knowledge of the conventions of language use, and knowledge of discourse conventions for narrative, joke telling, conversation, etc. and encyclopedic knowledge of all kinds; recognise the contribution made by plans and scripts to the development of written texts and spoken dialogues; recognise and be able to describe the characteristics of turn taking in dialogue; recognise linguistic clues and cues to the introduction of individuals, topics, and themes within texts, to their maintenance, and how some are made more salient than others. Also, to recognise the ways in which topics and themes are concluded; apply Labov's theory for action narrative and also rhetorical structure theory; be aware of some of the similarities and differences in discourse conventions across cultures and how to identify them; confidently undertake the systematic linguistic analysis of a text or dialogue. Additional work is required with respect to LIN2570.


Written work: 95%
Class test: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Louisa Willoughby

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Religion and theology


A first-year sequence in Linguistics and Communication.