LING 440: Critical Discourse Analysis

Course Aims, Objectives and Content

This course will focus on different methods and issues in Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA).  CDA is broadly concerned with the way that language and other semiotic modalities reflect, legitimate and instantiate power and inequality in social relations.  In this course, students are introduced to various methodological approaches to CDA which draw on and apply a range of theoretical frameworks including functional grammar, argumentation theory, cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, conversation analysis and pragmatics.  A variety of discourses articulated in talk, text and image and operating across a range of social and political fields of action are considered, including discourses of race, immigration, war, national identity, political protest, and corporate responsibility.  Students will also be encouraged to critically engage, through close textual analysis, with discourses of specific interest to themselves.  Throughout the course, students will be introduced to and encouraged to engage with a number of theoretical and methodological debates currently ongoing in CDA.

Course Content

Topics addressed will include:

  • Systemic Functional Approaches to CDA
  • Argumentation Approaches to CDA
  • Interactional Approaches to CDA
  • Multimodal Approaches to CDA
  • Issues and Debates in CDA
  • Corpus Linguistics and CDA
  • Cognitive Linguistics and CDA


A 5,000 word written assignment.

Recommended Reading

Baker, P. (2006).  Using corpora in discourse analysis.  London: Continuum.
Bartlett, T. (2014).  Analysing Power in Language: A Practical Guide
Chilton, P. (2004). Analysing political discourse: Theory and practice. London: Routledge.
Coulthard, C.R. and Coulthard, M. (Eds.) (1996). Texts and practices: Readings in critical discourse analysis.  London: Routledge.
Hart, C. (2010).  Critical discourse analysis and cognitive science: New perspectives on immigration discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Hart, C. and P. Cap (eds.) (2014).  Contemporary Critical Discourse Studies.  London: Bloomsbury.
Jeffries, L. (2009).  Critical Stylistics: The Power of English.
Machin, D. and A. Mayr (2012).  How to Critical Discourse Analysis: A Multimodal Introduction.
Reisigl, M., & Wodak, R. (2001). Discourse and discrimination: Rhetorics of racism and anti-Semitism. London: Routledge.
Van Dijk, T.A. (1998).  Ideology: A multidisciplinary approach.  London: Sage.
Weiss, G., & Wodak, R. (Eds.). (2007). Critical discourse analysis: Theory and interdisciplinarity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (Eds.). (2009). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage.

Additional Information

Anybody registering for the LING 440 Critical Discourse Analysis course is expected to have completed LING442 Introduction to Discourse Studies.


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