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Differences between discourse theories and cognitive theories (Essay Sample)

Theories of Discourse- Differences between discourse theories and congitive theories. How is speech-act theory different from linguistics? What are its chief advantages in comparision to lINGUSITCIS? DOUBLE SPACED. APA -SOURCES source..

Differences between discourse theories and cognitive theories
Researchers in the field of linguistic have increasingly sought to link language development and the mind though cognitive theories of linguistics. This is in contrast to earlier explanations, which highlighted on language’s structure and linguistic pattern. In essence, these theories go beyond analyzing syntax, and look into association between language structure and cognitive standards that appear through human interaction. Cognitive theorists attached much importance to meaning in understanding language structure, and hence also influence semantic structures of languages. On the other hand, discourse theorists look into language patterns in every day language use (Gee, 2005). Discourse theorists are found in the fields of social science, and they research on the characteristics of language in its naturally occurring environment. Rather than analyze language in bits, discourse theorists look into the historical and social context.
The speech act theory looks into the relationship between the intended message by the speaker and interpretation by the listener. Supporters of this theory presuppose that in communicating human beings typically use speech acts to give out intended meaning. Additionally, speech acts highlights on the functions of utterances as opposed to the utterance’s form. Each sentence type has a different speech act associated with it, like an imperative sentence focuses on questions. This theory faults the assumption that attaching meaning to utterances depends on whether an utterance is true or not. The theory further goes on to state that it is impossible to categorize all sentences as either true or false. Austin’s speech –act theory divides speech acts into illocutionary, locutionary and perlocutionary. Illocution focuses on the speaker’s purpose, locution delves into linguistic properties, and perlocution lays emphasis on impact of speech act to the listener (Tsohatzidis, 2012).
Linguistics encompasses the study of language including the structure and nature of language. Thus, language is far broader than speech- act theory which falls under discourse analysis. Nonetheless, the major difference between the two is that speech –act theory mostly focuses on utterances through spoken words. Austin theorized that people communicate when they understand the meaning of spoken acts, but linguistics focuses on inferring meaning from both context and concepts. However, a speech act may have many intention...
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