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Discourse, Knowledge and Context

Plenary Conference and PhD Masterclass by Teun van Dijk

The study of discourse in general, and of professional discourse, in particular, has paid extensive attention to the structures of discourse, as studied in the fields of phonology, syntax, local and global semantics, narrative and argumentative structures and multimodal structures. These have been combined, for example, in the analysis of various genres of text or talk. Current research, whether under the influence of psychology or not, also focuses on the role of knowledge to understand the many structures and strategies studied in epistemic discourse analysis. Similarly, although context has played a prominent role in sociolinguistics and pragmatics, for instance in the study of indexicality, context analysis and the role of context models account for a more explicit focus on the ways discourse structures, including structures of professional discourse, are adapted to the communicative context and thus define their appropriateness. Examples of professional discourse will be used to show the analytical relevance of these theoretical notions.

Teun A. van Dijk (1943) is an honorary professor of Pompeu Fabra University and Founding Director of the Centre of Discourse Studies, Barcelona. After his earlier research on literary theory, text grammar, discourse pragmatics and the psychology of text processing, he has worked on various topics of critical discourse studies since the 1980s. His most recent books are Discourse and Power (2008), Discourse and Context (2008), Discourse and Knowledge (2014) and Social Movement Discourse (2024). He is the founding Editor of Discourse & Society, Discourse Studies and Discourse & Communication. He has lectured in many countries, especially in Latin America, where he has also received three honorary doctorates.


Start date: 21 March 2024, 01.30 pm


ZHAW, Building SM, Mäander C, Winterthur
Theaterstrasse 15c
8401 Winterthur


ZHAW Angewandte Linguistik
Theaterstrasse 15c
8401 Winterthur