Monday, 9 November 2009

Categorising Texts

Looking at Categorising Texts, consider the following topics:


Lexis and Semantics

  • What word classes are used?
  • Any collocations
  • Use of pronouns?
  • Use of verbs?
  • Use of nouns?
  • Adjectives and adverbs?
  • Lexical/Semantic Fields
  • Lexical connectors
  • Synonyms/Antonyms
  • Denotation/Connotation
  • Figurative Language (similes, metaphors)
  • Under/Over specify
Discourse Structure
  • How does it start?
  • Is it laid out in a logical order?
  • Is it cohesive or disjointed? What is used to make it flow?
  • Subheadings, headings?
  • Chronological structure?
  • Narrative structure
  • Analysis (breaking down ideas into constituent parts)
  • Problem solution (identifies a problem to be solved)

Spoken Discourse Structure

  • Is the conversation laid out in adjacency pairs? (Greetings, questions, answers, command and response)
  • Does the conversation follow a logical pattern?
  • Is there turn taking?

How is it organised?

o Dominant speaker?

o Equal turns?

o Who signals the end/start of a turn?

o Topic management (who has the control?)

  • What speaker moves are used: framing, initiating, focusing, challenging (interruption of a topic)
  • Tag Questions
  • Fillers
  • Discourse markers (anyway, so,)
  • False Starts
  • Ellipsis and Ellision

Grammar and Syntax
  • Does the grammar conform to the formality of the situation? (The more formal the more standard the grammar patterns)
  • What sentence structures are used?
  • What clause structures are used?

  • What kinds of utterances are used? (declarative, imperative, emotive)

  • Use of adverbial intensifiers to enhance meaning? (very, a bit)
  • Incomplete utterances.
  • False starts and pauses
  • Contractions
  • Qualifiers

Graphology - The visual elements of a text.

  • Font choices
  • Layout
  • Inclusion of pictures


  • Assonance
  • Alliteration
  • Accents and Dialect


  • Context, implication and inference
  • Grice’s Maxims
  • Diexis
  • What meanings do we take from words
  • Background knowledge and modern language.

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