Interpretation of 'Discourse' from Systemic Functional Linguistic Perspective
Systemic functional linguists concern, among other things, language and its use. In their documents, two terminologies more often than not appear together: text and discourse. Numerous scholars claim that both terms may refer to a "unit of language larger than the sentence: one may speak of a 'dis-course' or a 'text'" (Chafe, 1992, p. 356; Stubbs, 1996, p. 4). Via functional linguistic theories, howev-er, the two terms are different in one regard: discourse is a dynamic multidimensional process; a text is the static product of that process (Halliday, 1994; Brown & Yule, 1983). Here 'text' will be adopted to replace both terms.
Lecture 5-6 Discourse analysis (DA)
DISCOURSE ANALYSIS - ITS ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT
Discourse analysis is a primarily linguistic study examining the use of language by its native population whose major concern is investigating language functions along with its forms, produced both orally and in writing. Discourse analysis is a qualitative method that has been adopted and developed by social constructionists. Although discourse analysis can and is used by a handful of cognitive psychologists, it is based on a view that is largely anti-scientific, though not anti-research.
Sphere of interest of discourse analysts.The range of inquiry of discourse analysis not only covers linguistic issues, but is also concerned with other matters, such as: enabling computers to comprehend and produce intelligible texts, thus contributing to progress in the study of Artificial Intelligence.
Why discourse analysis?
Discourse analysis is a way of understanding social interactions. The researcher acknowledges their own bias and position on the issue, known as reflexivity. The aims of research vary: The aim of one investigator might be to understand power relationships in society in order to bring about change; another may be interested in appearance and how it can shape identify; and another investigator may be interested in an interaction or conversation simply for its own sake (in terms of not knowing what the study might uncover). The research begins with a research question (and not a hypothesis in the formal sense) that is aimed at a theoretical position. A conversation or piece of text is transcribed and then deconstructed. This involves attempting to identify features in the text, such as discourses. A discourse is a particular theme in the text, especially those that relate to identities, for example such as a statement that reiterates a view or claim that men find weddings dull, and so on. Topics that have been studied include men's friendships, family conversations of the royal family, an interview with Princess Diana, media constructions of racism, gender categories in discourse, lesbian motherhood, conversations about marriage, men's talk about fatherhood, and so on.
How to do a discourse analysis
The first point to note is that in order to do a discourse analysis you need to have read a handful yourself first. By reading published articles that use the method, you will have a better understanding of (1) how to do an analysis and (2) some of the theoretical orientations that you will need to know to do your own analysis. Having identified a theory and a chosen item (text or recorded conversation) to analyse, you need to transcribe it in one of the accepted/published ways. The transcript must always appear in the appendices. There are many different forms of discourse analysis, so here we will focus on thematic analysis as an example.
What is thematic analysis?
Thematic analysis is about trying to identify meaningful categories or themes in a body of data. By looking at the text, the researcher asks whether a number of recurring themes can be abstracted about what is being said. For example, on one level you might find an inconsistency,
an attempt to assign blame, an attempt to cite others to support one's views, a regular interruption of other people, an attempt to make one's account of some event sound more authentic, and so on. On another level, you might idenitify a regulalry occurring attribution of blame or the repeated reference to some specific cause of an event. The reference might take slightly different forms but refers to the same cause. An example might be football fans blaming various aspects of a player's motivation for the failure of their team (e.g., "he gets so much money, doesn't need to try", "he looked as though he wasn't bothered", "he didn't want the ball", and so on).
In the results section of the report, the themes abstracted are collated and reported on. In doing so, it is usual to cite from the transcription examples of the points you are trying to make. A summary of the findings can be offered but also a critique of the author's own interpretations - this refers to the concept of 'reflexivity', that the author's is only one interpretation of the text.
When transcribing text, a conventional system of symbols is used. A table of the symbols used in the transcription can often appear as an appendix, such as the following (some of which are taken from Potter and Wetherell, 1987):
Symbol Meaning Example
(.) Short pause Jane: I think that (.) it's possible
... Interruption Driver: No, I haven't um... Police officer: Had a drink?
* Formalists (Chomsky) tend to regard language primarily as a mental phenomenon. Funtionalists (Halliday) tend to regard it primarily as a societal phenomenon.
* Formalists tend to explain linguistic universals as deriving from a common genetic linguistic inheritance of the human species. Functionalists tend to explain them as deriving from universality of the uses to which language is put in human society.
* Formalists are inclined to explain childern's acquisiton of language in terms of a built-in human capacity to learn language. Functionalists are inclined to explain it in terms of development of the child's communicative needs and abilities in society.
* Above all, formalists study language as an autonomous system, whereas functionalists study it in relation to its social function. (Leech,1983:46)
Definitions to dicourse
1) Discourse is "language above the sentence or above the clause."(Stabbs,1983:1)
2) Discourse is "language in use" and discourse analysis, therefore, involves purposes and "functions of language" in human life. Discourse is a socially and culturally organized system through which particular functions are realized. It is as collection of contextualized units of language use. The study of discourse is the study of any aspect of language use. (Fasold,1990; Brown &Yule,1983; Halliday,1973;Schiffrin,1994)
3) Discourse is "utterances". (Schiffrin,1994:39) "Discourse is fun."
Approaches to Discourse
1) Speech Act Theory focuses on communicative acts performed through speech.
2) Interactional Sociolinguistics focuses on the social and lingustic meaning created during interaction.
3) The Ethnography of Communication focuses on language and communication as cultural behaviour.
4) Pragmatics focuses on the meaning of invidual utterances in hypothetical contexts.
5) Conversation Analysis focuses on how sequential structures in conversation provide a basis through which social order is constructed.
6) Variation Theory focuses on structural categories in texts and how form and meaning in clauses help to define text. (Schiffrin,1994)
Explicature and Impliciture
Grice (1975: 24) introduced the technical term "implicature," using it to denote either (i) the act of meaning or implying one thing by saying something else, or (ii) the object of that act. Grice (1975: 87ff) used the word "say" quite strictly, requiring what a speaker says to be closely related to what the sentence uttered means on that occasion. Thus if Carl utters "The largest planet is a gas giant" referring to Jupiter, Grice would describe Carl as saying that the largest planet is a gas giant and thereby implicating that Jupiter is. Indexicals provide cases in which what a speaker says is not what the sentence used means. When Barb uttered "I have to work" in (1), she said that she, Barb, has to work; but the sentence she used does not mean "She, Barb, has to work" even on that occasion.
Sperber and Wilson (1986: 182-3) introduced the parallel technical term explicature to mean what is "explicitly communicated." Carston (1988: 33) identified this with "what is said, in Grice's terms." In this terminology, Barb's explicature in (1) was "She (Barb) has to work," and her implicature was "She is not going to Barb's party."
Discourse genres: theory and applications (2 hours)
* The word genre comes from the French (and originally Latin) word for 'kind' or 'class'. The term is widely used in rhetoric, literary theory, media theory, and more recently linguistics, to refer to a distinctive type of 'text'.
* Genres are not static, but rather dynamic social processes
* Genres define, organize and structure social reality
* Genre is a type of 'social action'
* Genres signal Membership
Genre theory offers few ways of understanding how and why some social actors have an easier time than others in producing generic texts and getting their texts deemed "legitimate" by recognized authorities. Genres exist within Discourses and Discourses exist within genres.
How to recognize and understand various types of texts and what they accomplish in different human activities based on the production and use of texts is a major issue in genre theory. In this way genre theory is concerned with much more than mere text types and their formal textual features. In the book 'Genre and the New Rhetoric' (1994) Freedman & Medway (1994, pp. 8-10) identify two major schools of thought within genre studies: The North American School and The Sydney School. The former derives its concept of genre from a rhetorical tradition. It is inspired by Carolyn R. Miller's seminal essay 'Genre as Social Action' (Miller, 1984) in which genre is conceptualized as 'typified rhetorical actions based in recurrent situations'. This leads the North American School of genre into a socio-historical concept basing their genre typification on how texts function within a social and interactional context. The Sydney School of genre is based in Michael A. K. Halliday's systemic functional linguistics. It primarily puts emphasis on formal textual features and thus expresses a more linguistically oriented concept of genre. Common to both schools, however, is the attention paid to the role of the social in conceptualizing and understanding genres and the role of context (Freedman & Medway, 1994, p. 9). Thus, genre theory in the North-American tradition locates its understanding of genre in relation to how people, texts and activities interact with each other in order to produce meaning and knowledge for action.
Generally speaking, the concept of genre covers the characteristics that differentiate texts (verbal or written) from each other. But this differentiation is not a matter of recognizing purely textual and formal features.
In connection with genre and written communication the concept of typification becomes even more critical. Given that writers and readers are separated in time and space, a means is needed in order to communicate appropriately and avoid, or minimize the risk of, misunderstandings. In a typified communicative activity certain actions are carried out in certain situations following certain forms of communication, leading to the ability to recognize and understand particular standardized practices and activities (Bazerman, 2004, p. 316). Thus, typification is what allows one to recognize and identify a particular context and its particular forms of communication, i.e. its genres. Genre theory has in recent years been informed by activity theory (e.g. Bazerman, 1997; 2004; Russell, 1997; Winsor, 1999). This theoretical approach has its historical roots in the culture-historical school in psychology originating in the 1930s in the Soviet Union with Lev Vygotsky, Alexander Luria and later Aleksie Leont'ev. Activity theory is a theory about human activity and modes of cognition. It considers social and cultural forms as objective conditions of possibilities for both cognition and human activity. Human activity is understood as intentional and object-oriented. For this purpose humans make use of particular tools, e.g. texts. Activity theory stresses that humans shape and is shaped by social structures by means of their production and use of tools in an active dialectical process. These structures are considered relatively objective insofar they constitute the social and material circumstances humans act with and within. The main goals of genre theory are
* to represent and account for the seemingly chaotic realities of the world;
* to understand and account for the private intentions of the author, in addition to socially recognised communicative purposes;
* to understand how language is used in and shaped by socio-critical environment; and, to offer effective solutions to pedagogical and other applied linguistic problems.
Genre Analysis is an approach that attempts to explain regularities in texts in terms of shared communicative purposes within discourse communities. It is usually associated with John Swales's analysis of the move structure of article introductions by North American and British academics. But since 1990, it has taken on other forms of analysis (rhetorical structure, analysis of variation, Systemic Functional Linguistics), other discourses (popular genres and legal genres as well as academic texts), different cultures (the academic writing of Finland, Czechoslavakia, or Germany), and different modes (in studies of pictures, electronic texts, and activities).
* 'Moves' (academic introductions: The four moves of academic introductions:
* 1. Establishes the field in which the writer of the study is working.
* 2. Summarizes the related research or interpretations on one aspect of the field.
* 3. Creates a research space or interpretive space (a "niche") for the present study by indicating a gap in current knowledge or by raising questions.
* 4. Introduces the study by indicating what the investigation being reported will accomplish for the field.
It may also be characterised by a set of genre systems (Bazerman, 1993, 1994) practised by members of a particular discourse community to communicate with a larger set of people outside the community, one of which generally is ordinary public and the other(s)
may be discourse communities other than those to which they belong. Such readership(s) may be from one or several discourse domains.
System of genres in Law: cases, judgements, ordinances, contracts, agreements etc. System of genres in Business: memos, reports, case studies, letters,
System of genres in public administration: government documents, political communication, news reports, policy statements, international treaties, memoranda of understanding, etc.
System of genres in mass media: editorials, News reports, review articles, advertisements, sports reports, letters to the editor, etc.
- Colonies of Genres
We often find a constellation of closely related and overlapping genres, sometimes within but often across discourse communities, some of which may include,
- Mixed and embedded genres
Although in much of genre analysis, we identify textual artefacts in terms of pure genres, in practice, we often find them in mixed or embedded forms, either because they are designed to achieve a mix of communicative purposes, (often complimentary, though conflicting are also possible, some of which I shall take up in the next section), or to communicate 'private intentions' within the context of 'socially recognised communicative purposes' (see Bhatia, 1995, 1997a, Fairclough, 1995, for details). Some of these include,
Annual reports, which often convey not only the annual performance of the company or corporation but also in a very subtle manner incorporate promotional elements, one of which is a typical selection and interpretation of positive aspects of the performance figures.
APPLIED GENRE ANALYSIS: A MULTI-PERSPECTIVE MODEL
Corporate brochures, though designed to be informative, are becoming increasingly promotional in character and tone.
Reviews, though less in the case of books and films, but more so in the case of food, restaurants, computer products, especially software are becoming more promotional than balanced evaluation of products and services.
Van Dijk, a champion of critical discourse analysis, focuses on "the role of discourse in the (re)production and challenge of dominance" (2001), and views political discourse as a class of genres defined by a social domain, namely by politics. Though the domain has fuzzy boundaries, Van Dijk suggests that it can be narrowed down to the set of activities politicians engage in. The study of the structures of political discourse (topics, coherence, arguments, lexical style, disclaimers, rhetorical features), Van Dijk states, may reveal much about the unique character of the discourse. Van Dijk argues that at the more detailed, micro-level of discourse analysis the manifestation of power is less direct and less consciously controlled, and may be observed in intonation, lexical or syntactic style, rhetorical figures, semantic structures, politeness phenomena, etc.
Discourse in general is a way of organizing human experience. It establishes frames of meaning by the recounting and interpreting of events and situations. Political discourse deals with the narrative interpretation of events and ideas and establishes criteria and contexts for comparing and evaluating political systems. While the substance of political narratives varies widely, they follow certain standard trajectories, including the recounting of events in the form of retrievals and projections. The the concept of language as mediation is a key to understanding the nature of political discourse. The Vygotskian concept of the regulatory function of language throws light on how a discussion within political discourse is framed (Frawley 1987). Any participant in political discourse is other-regulated: by the media, by the opposing camp, by the electorate, etc. Consider the political debate in the closing weeks of the election. It was framed as a choice between "values and security" (Mr.Bush's narrative), or "the economy and Iraq" (Mr. Kerry's narrative). The GOP (Grand Old Party - for Republicans)strategists effectively "sold" moral issues to the voters by implementing state-of-the-art organizational techniques, authored by the architect of the Bush election campaign, Karl Rove. Republicans used culturally powerful issues like gay marriage, guns, and abortions to connect to ordinary voters.
Euphemisms and metaphors - deserve an especially close examination because of their pervasiveness and weight in political discourse. Metaphorizing and euphemizing undoubtedly serve as linguistic bridges to indirectness that tends to dominate human communication in the modern era. In semiotic terms, both metaphor and euphemisms deal with substitution of one denotation for another, creating desirable conceptual and connotative meanings. Lakoff and Johnson argue that "the essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another" (1980), while euphemisms became a salient phenomenon of language usage in modern political culture by virtue of their ability "to conceal something perjorative behind a softened or manipulated expression"(De Beaugrande).
In cognitive terms, euphemisms are used when one wants to name things without calling up a mental picture of them. The aim of using euphemisms is to strike at a person's imagination. Euphemisms do not form complete pictures in the mind, nor do they completely define an event or object. Without a complete definition, the ability to understand the true meaning of a statement is obscured.
Though euphemizing is now an accepted and established practice, it has acquired a dubious connotation in light of its tendency to deliberately disguise actual meanings of words in political discourse.
A popular synonym for euphemism in the media is "spin." According to the New York Times
columnist William Safire, spin is "deliberate shading of news perception." Linda Wertheimer, a reporter for National Public Radio, defined spin as "not quite lying," "not quite truth." The presidential campaign of both candidates in 2004 heavily relied on designated spinners or spin-doctors, whose mission was to publicly defend or downplay errors made by their candidate. The highly staged and hyperbolic spin operations, for example, included monitoring the candidate's every word and comparing his statements with public records through a computer matrix for possible exaggerations or misstatements, sending the computer-generated list of responses via emails to reporters and partisans all over the country. The intent was to reshape public perceptions of the candidates' performances and personalities. For example, the Kerry campaign methodically highlighted the incumbent's inability to face the reality and accused him of spinning by presenting a "rosy" view of Iraq and the economy to the public, though the word "lie" was never used. "He can spin till he's dizzy," the President lives in "a fantasy world of spin," one Yale gentleman charged another. Interestingly enough, commentators on both sides also avoided using the "L-word" (lie). Instead, they chose to euphemize the instances when the political opponents "misspoke," "misstated" or "stretched the truth." For example, USA Today accused the Bush administration of putting an optimistic face on the worsening conflict in Iraq and called it "upbeat spins."
There were numerous euphemisms coined by spin-doctors of the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11. They all can be classified under the rubric of national security euphemisms. 9/11 is one of them. The euphemism is an index, a minimal deictic, which refers to the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001, when the country lost nearly 3,000 people. The terrorist attack was designed by Osama bin Laden and executed by 18 terrorists from different Arab countries. Being an escapist expression, it removes dreaded connotations of horror and pain that the nation experienced as the victim of the attack. Jacques Derrida, in a post-9/11 interview, attempted to explain the minimalist aim of this dating. He argues that the meaning of the event being ineffable, the language admits its powerlessness and is reduced to mechanically pronouncing a date, repeating it endlessly, as a kind of ritual incantation.
"War on terror" became a pervasive euphemism for the war on militant Islam. To use religion as the target of military engagement would be diplomatically perilous for the United States. It could have alienated Muslim countries which have been the country's allies in the post 9/11 period, and inflamed millions of Islam believers worldwide. "Terror" does not define the enemy explicitly; it refers to enemy activity on the emotional level, singling out violence as its core sense.
The invasion of Iraq was called "a liberation" (though it was later defined as an occupation), "a broad and concerted campaign," executed with the help of the "Coalition of the Willing" (among them the United Kingdom is the only ally which has contributed significantly to the occupation). The war was also defined as "tearing down the apparatus of terror," "confronting dictators," and "regime change" in an attempt to justify the invasion for a humanitarian reason. The outcome of the war in Iraq was portrayed euphemistically in the political narratives of the Republicans. Consider Mr. Cheney's a "remarkable success" euphemism, Mr. Bush's "catastrophic success" oxymoron and the metaphor "a seedbed of democracy." The fact is, in spite of the historic January 2005 elections in Iraq, the country remains a hotbed of terrorist threat.
The war on terror has brought a number of euphemisms intended to blur legal boundaries to justify illegal treatment of American citizens or detainees from other nations. Among them are "unlawful combatants," or "enemy combatants" rather than "prisoners of war" or "criminals." The former terms offer none of the basic protections democratic nations have come to expect from their governments while the traditional titles bring with them certain rules and standards governing human treatment. When U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions became an issue, the former White House legal counsel Alberto Gonzales stated that the war against terrorism, being a new kind of war, gave the President the option of disregarding the Geneva Conventions - and thus of engaging in torture in clear violation of the Conventions. As a means of pre-empting a repeat of 9/11, President Bush, along with Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and former Attorney General John Ashcroft, signed off on a secret system of detention and interrogation that opened the door to using a whole range of techniques - including sleep deprivation, the
use of phobias and the deployment of "stress factors." The appeal of the Guantanamo Bay base was that it existed in "a legal twilight zone" over which U.S. courts have no jurisdiction. Guantanamo Bay's legally ambiguous status supported the state claim that Qaeda and Taliban "unlawful combatants" have no right to Geneva Convention protections.
Academic discourse, then, refers to the kinds of language used in academic settings. Of course, this is difficult to define, since different academic areas use different kinds of language with different sets of assumptions! In general, academic discourse refers to language used by students and professors in college settings that purposefully describes a subject in complex ways so that a certain audience can understand and respond to it.
Presentation of ideas (usually in written form) in academic or scholarly contexts that exhibits conventional characteristics in form and expression -- traditionally, such communication has been objective, analytical, and expository, and has generally advanced an argument for a particular thesis -- can also refer to conventions of discourse followed within individual scholarly disciplines -- is often addressed in writing instruction for college (and, in some cases, high school) students (Note: Do not confuse with "English for Academic Purposes," which involves English instruction for non-English speakers -- see also the Identifier "Academic Language")
Secondary Discourse: Academic language
"...is a speciﬁc social practice of certain
academic (and school-based) domain that
has to be learned (not acquired)" (Gee, 2004, p. 23)
Academic discourse "Academic discourse refers to the ways of thinking and using language which exist in the academy."  Discourse is not just "language" itself; discourse is language use that represents a person's existence in the world. Thus, what one has said and written are significant to academic community, which also shows that the institution cannot exist without academic discourse. Academic discourse does not only function as a tool to convey one's thoughts but also influences one's formation of social identity, values, and world knowledge. The common ways to present academic discourse are through textbooks, conference presentations, dissertations, lectures, and research articles.
Students in the institution learn to display their thoughts through different types of academic discourse, such as classroom and conference presentations, assignments, and dissertations. In this way, they acquire social practice in the different academic fields, get to the heart of academic enterprise, and finally become a member of a social group.
Discourse conventions in a particular academic field are shaped by the ways of thinking of community members and the values they believe in. Written works and speeches are widely accepted if they are composed and delivered in a suitable way in terms of discourse conventions. The recognition of publication from academic community is regarded as the accomplishment of one's academic life and the realization of academic discourse. It is highly motivated when one's published paper was cited or further developed by community members because it is the evidence of acceptance. In order to get a reputation of the academic community, people make some contributions through publication to receivecompliments. Popularity of academic discourse From mid-1960s, the issues of academic discourse have caught researchers' and scholars' eyes and grown massively. The first reason why academic discourse has become popular is because the number of students in higher education has been dramatically increased, which also results in great diversity of students. "This more culturally, socially and linguistically heterogeneous student population means that learners bring different identities, understandings and habits of meaning-making to a more diverse range of subjects." Therefore, it leads to the problem that it is more difficult for teachers to know whether students acquire the required ability of the principle or not. With the popularity of the concept of academic discourse, teachers can clearly define students' learning achievement through their performance on different types of academic discourse. A second factor concerns the transformation of education system. Nowadays, schools do not solely rely on governments funding; instead, students' fees are thought of as major income. Universities are more competitive because students as customers choose prestigious schools which are highly evaluated on the aspect of academic discourse, including the publication of dissertations and lectures in conferences.
The last reason, and also the most important factor affecting the development of academic discourse is the spread of English. English becomes as a lingua franca for oral and written communication. Even academic journals, as a representative type of academic discourse, are most in English. Moreover, "the global status of English has come to influence both the lives of scholars throughout the globe and the production and exchange of academic knowledge in the twenty-first century." As a result, the learning of academic discourse is especially meaningful for second language learners. Academic discourse socialization Academic discourse socialization is a dynamic and complex process. Learners internalize the practice of the academic fields through the participation with more competent members of social groups. As novices in the academic principle, less proficient learners acquire the knowledge of academic discourse from the interaction with experts in the field. This kind of interaction is defined as a bidirectional process: both novice learners and experts can learn from each other.
Novice learners first enter into legitimate peripheral participation and then move to the center of the academic community. That is, beginners first acquire the conventions of academic discourse peripherally and imitate discourse activities from experienced learners or experts. After a period of time, learners can also complete academic oral presentations and academic essays, and in the end, the publication of dissertations and participation in international conferences just as what former experts do in the academic community.
For students in the institution, they learn to display their thoughts through different types of academic discourse, such as classroom and conference presentations, assignments, and dissertations. In this way, they acquire social practice in the different academic fields, get to the heart of academic enterprise, and finally become a member of a social group, which can be seen as a process of academic discourse socialization.
Since the end of the 1980s, research into business communication has become a multidisciplinary area of know-how, which draws together a considerable diversity of subjects of study, theoretical perspectives, methodological designs and analytical devices. The increased visibility enjoyed by studies on business discourse should be understood in terms of the importance that language has acquired in social, cultural and economic processes. Nowadays, there is no argument over the relevance of discourse in processes of entrepreneurial negotiation in its various dimensions, and throughout the entire network of entrepreneurial organizations.
A definition of Business Discourse - 'the interaction which takes place between individuals whose main activities are located within business and whose contact is motivated by matters relating to their respective businesses' (Bargiela-Chiappini and Nickerson 1999: 2).
* The analysis of Business Discourse is............contextual and intertextual, self-reflexive and self-critical, although not necessarily political, and is founded on the twin notions of discourse as situated action and language as work.
* What exactly is business discourse? Bargiela-Chiappini defi nes it as "all about how people communicate using talk or writing in commercial organizations to get their work done", as "social action in business contexts" (Bargiela-Chiappini et al., 2007, p. 3).
* Following the concepts of discourse by van Dijk (2007), Fairclough (2001), and Wodak and Chilton (2005), we can define business discourse as the verbalization of business mentality, realized in the form of an open multitude of thematically correlated texts on a wide range of business issues, considered in combination with their extra-linguistic contexts. The concept of business discourse is wide and encompasses some "thematic subspecies", for example "economic discourse","corporate discourse ", "discourse of negotiations", etc. We offer the following functional sub-classifi cation of business discourse types (it is important to note that the sub-types are often transitional and mutually overlapping with other discursive fi elds): Training and academic business discourse (in textbooks, manuals, research of various aspects of business, economics, management and entrepreneurship, as well as in lectures, case studies, training, business consulting and coaching) - it performs an educational function;
* Ritual-public business discourse (e.g., meetings, reports and speeches of corporate executives to the shareholders and staff, presentations, discourses of PR and advertising, etc.) - it performs an argumentative-infl uencing function; Document business discourse (internal and external business correspondence, corporate documents, regulations and charters of companies and organizations, articles of incorporation, etc. - mainly, written discourse) - it performs a regulative function; The discourse of business media - it performs an informative-polemic function; The discourse of professional business communication (in negotiations, communication with clients, colleagues, including production/ manufacturing and technical discourses, as well as business slang and argot, for example, a specific sublanguage of exchange traders mainly, oral discourse) - it performs an instrumental-persuasive function.
Business communication activities represent the methods by which individuals transfer information among each other in an organization. All employees engage in communication, including those messages sent to other employees or to outside parties. Companies may engage in business communication activities to help train and educate individuals in how to communicate. Four common types of communication include face-to-face, electronic transmissions, personally addressed, and impersonally addressed. Activities often surround one of these methods as the most-used forms of communication.
Face-to-face business communication activities are quite common in an organization. Owners, executives, and upper managers may use this communication method frequently in meetings and gatherings to discuss major business issues. Employees may need training on face-to-face communication if they do not have experience in giving presentations or leading meetings with multiple individuals. Other types of face-to-face business communication include talking with other employees on a daily basis. Learning the jargon or other business terms is necessary to have intelligent conversation with other employees.
Electronic transmissions are those conversations that include the use of a telephone or computer. It is often necessary to train individuals on how to communicate effectively through these mediums. A major issue with telephone or e-mail conversations is not being able to indicate the tone of the message. This can lead to misunderstandings or errors in the received messages. Additionally, written messages cannot be taken back, meaning the written message may come up at some other time.
Personally addressed messages are not very common in today's electronically based society. Business communication activities here are more formal and often require the use of specific words or messages. Employees may need extensive training here to understand the importance and style of personally addressed methods. In some cases, these letters may be extremely formal and communicate important messages to outside individuals. These messages are only as effective as the words and language used in them, making these business communication activities very important.
Impersonally written communication is the last method and often the least informative. Messages here are meant for many individuals and typically have one purpose. Business communication activities may not focus heavily on this method as it may be the most discouraged in a business. It is easy to send confusing or unimportant data to the wrong individual with a large message. Business communication activities often train individuals how to avoid these messages by creating and sending direct messages to only the intended individuals or groups.