Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 1, No 1 (2005)

Time in discourse

Theo van Leeuwen
Issued Date: 17 Feb 2007

Abstract


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 synchronisation, in which the timing of social activities is synchronised with
the timing of other social activities; natural synchronisation, in which the timing of social activities is synchronised with the timing of natural events; and mechanical synchronisation, in which the timing of social activities is synchronised with the timing of artificially created events. A number of more delicate categories and other aspects of timing are discussed, together with their realisations. Two texts are analysed 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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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.2005.1.1.127

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