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Discourse Analysis and Human and Social Sciences

Edited By Simone Bonnafous and Malika Temmar

What is the relationship between discourse analysis and its more recent companion disciplines such as sociology, political science and information and communication sciences, at their point of convergence between the symbolic and the social? How are relationships evolving between discourse analysis and disciplines like the literary studies, psychoanalysis and philosophy, which have been the constant companions of linguistics as these emerged and developed? What is the place and role of discourse analysis in Europe? These are some of the themes dealt with in this book. A team effort on the part of Centre d’Etude des Discours, Images, Texte, Ecrits, Communication (Céditec EA 3119), it aims not to present another view of the history and concepts of discourse analysis, but to encourage thinking and debate on interdisciplinary practices.

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V. Political discourse analysis: content analysis, lexical statistics, a semantic-enunciative approach - Pierre FIALA 75

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75 Chapter V Political discourse analysis: content analysis, lexical statistics and a semantico-enunciative approach Pierre FIALA Over the course of the twentieth century, the language sciences, and linguistics in particular, have progressed by seeking a balance (not always attained) between empiricism and speculative constructions, description and formalisation, basic research and applications. In re- cent years, the emergence and independent development of informa- tion and communication sciences, cognitive sciences and computer- aided linguistic engineering has been a strong feature of these changes. In this new order of things, corpus linguistics has been assisted by the development of automated language processing tools (ALP) and the extension of textual databases: it has thus contributed to steering lan- guage sciences back towards empirical data and experimental meth- ods, by reformulating the question of meaning and verbal interaction on the basis of data analysis. In this context, those working on text and words – linguists, but also political scientists, sociologists, mediologists and of course historians and literary specialists, not to mention psy- choanalysts – all of these now have available to them more highly- developed automated discourse processing tools (ADP). Through them, they are discovering new research methods, based on different per- ceptions and models, a wider range of data, more precise descriptions and, above all, measurements which can be verified and combined [Habert, Nazarenko, Salem, 1997: 240]. Yet empirical and quantita- tive approaches to language events, partly or largely automated by the growth in linguistic engineering, cannot take place without reflecting critically on data, formulating plausible...

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