The functions of context in discourse analysis


  • Yang Yang Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Rong Hu School of Foreign Languages, Pu'er University, Pu'er, Yunnan, China


cultural context, discourse analysis, function, linguistic context, situational context



Context is the environment that forms discourse and is one of the key factors influencing discourse comprehension. Language communication is not conducted in a vacuum but a specific language environment. Context plays a vital role in discourse analysis. This paper investigated the development and categories of context and analyzed the disadvantage of the traditional way of discourse analysis without considering the context. Based on Hu's classification of context, this paper analyzed many discourse examples from textbooks, grammar books, and articles, and concluded the functions of each type of context in discourse analysis. Linguistic context can eliminate ambiguities, indicate the reference of endophora, predict ensuing content, help guess word meaning, and supplement omitted information in discourse analysis. Situational context plays the role of understanding illogical sentences, supplementing omitted information and filling the semantic vacancy, and understanding illocutionary force and reflecting speech acts in discourse analysis. The cultural context has the functions of explaining cultural connotations, filling the semantic vacancy, and building consistency of discourse in discourse analysis. Finally, enlightenment of functions of context in discourse analysis to language teaching and learning is provided.



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How to Cite

Yang, Y., & Hu, R. (2022). The functions of context in discourse analysis. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Culture, 8(5), 218–228.



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