• Sunday August 7,2022


We explain what a discourse is and the disciplines that study discourse. In addition, the four types of discourse and their functions.

A speech is the way a sender builds a message.
  1. What is speech?

The concept of discourse is very broad and can refer to several issues. In general, speech is what we say, that is, the term is associated with the transmission of a message through words . This message can be written or oral, independently.

A speech is the way in which a sender constructs a message and the characteristics that this message possesses. A speech is an instance of communication .

In a communicative situation several elements intervene, but the essential thing is the transmission of a message (speech) between a sender and a receiver using a code (which is usually the language) and through of a channel, which can be oral, written, etc. A speech is given in a specific context, at a specific time and place and under certain conditions.

  • Expand: Elements of communication.

The word discourse is usually related to the word story, in reference to the cultural and ideological content of a person or persons within a certain ideology. For example, when talking about a liberal, Marxist, modern, etc. discourse.

However, socially, what we call discourse and the more generalized concept is in reference to when a person speaks to a public and issues a previously prepared message, that is, a text (written previously) and reads I face a certain audience.

In important events, speeches are made, as well as politicians, managers of a company or school, and so on. A speech seeks to focus on a particular topic or issues and develop it in a way that captures the public's interest. Many speeches rely on computer resources such as slide shows, videos, images displayed on screens, among other things.

See also: Interpersonal Communication.

  1. The disciplines that study speech

Linguistics studies speech as a form of written or oral language.

Being a very broad concept, several disciplines or sciences study and analyze discourse.

  • First, linguistics studies speech as a form of written or oral language, that is, text or conversation.
  • As for the communication situation, anthropology and ethnography are in charge.
  • For philosophy, discourse responds to a social system of ideas or thoughts.
  • Within psychology, in the area of ​​psychoanalysis, discourse is based on a logical question.
  1. The four types of speeches

For linguistics, discourse is divided into four discursive forms . Differentiating them is not simple and they do not appear differently, since human speech does not always support exact categories.

  • Narrative discourse refers to facts that are expressed in a certain context of time and space and that can be real or imaginary.
  • The descriptive speech tries to show the characteristics of the expressed without issuing a personal assessment.
  • An expository speech informs about something in an objective, clear and orderly manner.
  • An argumentative speech is one that uses an issuer to convince or persuade about something. It is typical of orality, of conversations, debates, conferences, or within texts as imitation of orality.
  1. Speech functions

If we seek to get the attention of the listener, the function of the speech will be appealing.

In addition, according to the position taken by the speaker, the language within the speech takes different forms . If the message appeals to express a feeling, the speech will have an expressive function. If we seek to get the attention of the listener, it will be appealing.

When we want to know if the other has heard our message, phreatic. The function that takes up the same language is called metalinguistics . When it comes to fiction, the discourse is poetic and if we provide objective information, the function will be informative or referential.

See also: Language functions.

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