ERIC Number: ED331300
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Communicative Dynamism in Expository Academic English: Some Strategies in Teaching the Pragmatics of Writing.
Bruce, Nigel J.
Working Papers in Linguistics and Language Teaching, v11 p42-53 1988
There are qualities or organizational principles in discourse that determine its information structure and contribute to its communicative dynamism. A "wave" model of discourse analysis shows graphically how each successive item of new information in a text provides a platform for the next new item, or "wave," of information. The model is based on the following concepts: (1) new information tends to come near the end of information units, and assumed or understood information at the beginning; (2) information tends to be ordered from left to right in the information unit according to its degree of informativity; (3) in descriptive scientific texts, there is a tendency for the structural/concrete to precede the functional/abstract; and (4) the degree of informativity of a clause or sentence can determine its position in the left-right hierarchy of a sentence or thematic unit. Using the model, the student can ask questions to test the purpose and appropriateness of an utterance by matching what the utterance seems to be answering against what it should answer in light of contextual and rhetorical expectation. The model is illustrated using a paragraph classifying three muscle types in the body. A brief bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A