Advances in Spoken Discourse Analysis

Advances in Spoken Discourse Analysis

Advances in Spoken Discourse Analysis

Advances in Spoken Discourse Analysis


This collection reviews 20 years of research into Spoken Discourse by the Birmingham group, allowing, for the first time, a developmental perspective. It combines previously published but unavailable work with new research. Bringing together recent theories of discourse structure, with a new and detailed analytic framework, the book emphasises both historical context and new developments. The articles are comprehensive, ranging from the theoretical to the highly applied. Practical applications include language teaching, literary stylistics and forensic linguistics with examples taken from literature and language classrooms, telephone conversations, disputed witness statements and corpuses of spoken English.


The aim of this book is to present current Birmingham work in the analysis of Spoken Discourse. The first three ‘historical’ papers outline the foundation on which the other nine build: Chapter 1 is, with very minor alterations, the central chapter of Towards an Analysis of Discourse (Sinclair and Coulthard 1975); Chapter 2 introduces the Brazil description of intonation assumed in all the later chapters; Chapter 3 is a slightly modified version of sections 1 and 3 of Exchange Structure (Coulthard and Brazil 1979). In republishing these papers we resisted the very strong temptation to rewrite and update, feeling it was more useful to give readers access to these texts very much in their original form, warts and all, particularly as several of the later articles are developments of or reactions to them.

Many of the other papers are revised, sometimes substantially revised, versions of papers which first appeared in a restricted-circulation University of Birmingham publication, Discussing Discourse, Papers Presented to David Brazil on his Retirement. Three papers were specially written for this collection: John Sinclair’s ‘Priorities in discourse analysis’ (Chapter 4), David Brazil’s ‘Listening to people reading’ (Chapter 11), and my own ‘Forensic discourse analysis’ (Chapter 12).

In order to give the reader easier access to the work of the Birmingham school I have collected all references from the individual articles together at the end of the book and supplemented them with other relevant publications, in order to form a reference bibliography.

Malcolm Coulthard


July 1991 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.