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Journal Articles Working Papers in Functional Discourse Grammar (WP-FDG-82): The London Papers I, 2009 Year : 2009

"Text" and "discourse" as "context"

Francis Cornish


In recent proposals for the crucial internal structure of the framing Contextual Component within Functional Discourse Grammar (Hengeveld & Mackenzie 2006,2008) -- for example by Rijkhoff (2008:88-97) and Connolly (2007) --, what is here called text is considered as equivalent to discourse within an account of the NP (Rijkhoff) or of context (Connolly). The article purports to show that this conflation of text and discourse is not adequate to the task of describing and accounting satisfactorily for discourse-anaphoric reference in actual texts, in particular, and that a principled distinction between the two is needed. Discourse anaphora is a particularly good diagnostic of context, since it clearly involves a (co-)textual dimension, but also a discourse one, relating to the world of referents, properties and states of affairs. The context relevant for a given act of utterance is in constant development: the discourse derived via the text both depends on the context and at the same time changes it as the discourse is constructed on line. So both the (co-)text and the discourse (a provisional, hence revisable, interpretation of the preceding co-text and/or context), as well as the anchoring situation of utterance, must be represented within the Contextual Component within an FDG representation of a given communicative event.


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hal-00961139 , version 1 (19-03-2014)


  • HAL Id : hal-00961139 , version 1


Francis Cornish. "Text" and "discourse" as "context": Discourse anaphora and the FDG Contextual component. Working Papers in Functional Discourse Grammar (WP-FDG-82): The London Papers I, 2009, 2009, 1 (1), pp.97-115. ⟨hal-00961139⟩
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