Festschrift für Professor Franciszek Grucza- Unter Mitarbeit von Ewa Bartoszewicz, Monika Płużyczka und Justyna Zając
Why ‘discourse’? Anna Duszak
(Warszawa) 1. Introduction For many linguists language engages the whole of man with his/her capacities for functioning as an individual, a representative of a group, or a bearer of an identity. As much as anthropocentric thinking in language research has little alternative to- day, it also has (as it did in the past) various editions, foci and re-readings as a re- sult of paradigm elaborations and shifts, or locally cultivated interpretive frame- works. It is natural that such coincidences should lead to variation in nomenclature, conceptual highlights or preferable methodologies. In what follows I address an approach to communication that prioritizes the social nature of man and makes specific claims on how to handle language in social context. Specifically, I elabo- rate on some aspects of discourse analysis, with a dedication far from any neophyte enthusiasm but strong enough to stay put against those who (sincerely or per- versely) still doubt the legitimacy of discourse as a viable category in the broadly conceived anthropocentric linguistics of today. 2. Discourse (analysis) and its cognates One of the typical ploys of discourse skeptics is to pick at the ontological status of the concept of discourse relative to the allegedly better-entrenched notions of lan- guage or text. This is an illusion, given the widespread literature debating the na- ture of all such categories in linguistics. Even though it is important to have a ‘clear mind’ as to what we are talking about, dwelling on definitional problems may be essentially unproductive and may lead...
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