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Discourse structures


Discourse structure is the description of language above the level of the sentence.


Research on discourse was pioneered at the University of Birmingham under Professor John Sinclair. The Language of Ideas draws on the work of Eugene Winters of Hatfield Polytechnic, developed by his student, Michael Hoey, now Baines Professor of English Language and Director of Applied Language Studies Unit at the University of Liverpool. His work in this area was published as On the Surface of Discourse, Allen and Unwin, 1983.


Mary Mason was fortunate in being able to work with Michael Hoey on the discourse structures now contained in The Language of Ideas (originally Book 3 of Illuminating English and Breakthrough to Learning). He was very interested in the application of this research at secondary school level and very generous in his time monitoring the writing of the book.


Contents of On the Surface of Discourse

  1. Some Questions about Discourse
  2. The Clause Relation and its Signals
  3. The Problem – Solution Pattern: a Minimum Discourse
  4. The Problem – Solution Pattern: Some Real Examples
  5. Some Modifications to the Problem – Solution Pattern
  6. Matching Patterns
  7. General – Particular Patterns
  8. Some Theoretical Conclusions