Sinclair, J & Coulthard, R.M. (1975). Towards an analysis of discourse: the English used by teachers and pupils. London, Oxford University Press.
The book describes research into student/pupil discourse - who controls the flow, what coded messages are being communicated, etc…
Four minimum criteria for producing a descriptive system as outlined in Sinclair (1973):1
- The descriptive apparatus should be finite, or else one is not saying anything at all, and may be merely creating the illusion of classification.
- The symbols or terms in the descriptive apparatus should be precisely relatable to their exponents in the data, or else it is not clear what one is saying.
- The whole of the data should be describable; the descriptive system should be comprehensive. (have an “other” category)
- There must be at least one impossible combination of symbols. (I don’t get this…)
5 major dimensions along which situations could vary:
- Number and grouping of participants
- Intended audience
A model for discourse
Sinclair, J. (1973). A course in spoken English: Grammar. London. Oxford University Press, 1972. Linguistics in colleges of education. Dudley Educational Journal. 1(3). ↩︎