Time in Discourse

Publisher:
Equinox
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 2005, 1 (1), pp. 125 - 143
Issue Date:
2005-01
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The paper presents a systemic-functional description of English discursive resources for representing and regulating the timing of social practices. Four key categories are distinguished: the time summons, which imposes timing on social activities by decree; social synchronization, in which the timing of social activities is synchronized with the timing of other social activities; natural synchronization, in which the timing of social activities is synchronized with the timing of natural events; and mechanical synchronization, in which the timing of social activities is synchronized with the timing of artificially created events. A number of more delicate categories and other aspects of timing are discussed, together with their realizations. Two texts are analyzed to demonstrate the utility of this descriptive framework for the critical discourse analysis of texts in which the management of time is a key issue.
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