Historical Discourse: The Language of Time, Cause and Evaluation (Continuum Discourse)

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Historical Discourse analyses the importance of the language of time, cause and evaluation in both texts which students at secondary school are required to read, and their own writing for assessment. In contrast to studies which have denied that history has a specialised language, Caroline Coffin demonstrates through a detailed study of historical texts, that writing about the past requires different genres, lexical and grammatical structures. In this analysis, language emerges as a powerful tool for making meaning in historical writing.

Presupposing no prior knowledge of systemic functional linguistics, this insightful book will be of interest to researchers in applied linguistics and discourse analysis, as well as history educators.
Historical Discourse analyses the importance of the language of time, cause and evaluation in both texts which students at secondary school are required to read, and their own writing for assessment. In contrast to studies which have denied that history has a specialised language, Caroline Coffin demonstrates through a detailed study of historical texts, that writing about the past requires different genres, lexical and grammatical structures. In this analysis, language emerges as a powerful tool for making meaning in historical writing.

Presupposing no prior knowledge of systemic functional linguistics, this insightful book will be of interest to researchers in applied linguistics and discourse analysis, as well as history educators.

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About the Author:

Ken Hyland is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Applied English Studies, University of Hong Kong.

Review:

"Coffin's volume is a worthy addition to the Continuum Discourse series, seeking, as it does, to explore the nature of historical discourse, its purposes, its distinctive features and its pleasures." (Frances Christie, Journal of English for Academic Purposes)

"Coffin's functional linguistics perspective provides a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the texts of secondary school history, both those that students read and those they need to learn to write. This is an original and welcome contribution to debates about how to develop students' historical understanding" (Professor Mary Schleppegrell, University of Michigan)

"This book makes a major contribution to the study of historical discourse and while it will be of interest to teachers of history, it will in addition be of considerable interest to those who work in discourse studies generally- linguists, applied linguists and educational linguists." (Frances Christie, Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor, University of Sydney)

'Coffin's Historical Discourse provides a systematic, informative and insightful description of the nature of historical discourse, it's function and role, and of its pedagogic potential in the context of secondary schools ... Historical Discourse is an exceptionally well-written book that expounds on the role of language in learnning and teaching history. It offers a systematic and comprehensive account of a rich array of language resources that are critical to success in history and provides valuable insights into the nature of, and the teaching and learning of historical discourse' (Honglin Chen, Faculty of Education, University of Wollongong, Australia)

'Coffin's book ... discusses a host of fascinating language issues ... that have important ramifications for the analysis of academic language and discourse iteself, particularly when viewed in terms of the requirements of historical education and as a basis for literacy educational practice ... Coffin's book successfully shows the importance of collaboration between educational linguists, literacy consultants and history teachers. Language emerges as a powerful tool for making meaning in historical writing, as well as a key element in the teaching-learning cycle ... Its appeal is wide: it will be of interest to history educators and educational linguists, as well as researchers in applied linguistics and discourse analysis in general' (Marina Bondi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy)

"This work succeeds in communicating the inherent complexity of historical texts and in analyzing and labeling features that render them complex...However, Coffin does not address the difficulties of reading and writing about history within a culture that approaches the past warily and requires that historical accounts evince relevance to the present." - Margaret Thomas, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, September 2008 (Margaret Thomas)

"It is..a timely and illuminating set of analytical tools for the critical examination of the various competing accounts of history.Historical Discourse therefore provides a crucial link between pedagogic practices and the reproduction of power relations through a close examination of the curriculum as a significant site of struggle in terms of national history. More importantly, it provides students and analysts alike with the means to reflect on the syllabus critically.Discourse and Society

"Coffin's volume is a worthy addition to the Continuum Discourse series, seeking, as it does, to explore the nature of historical discourse, its purposes, its distinctive features and its pleasures." (Sanford Lakoff)

"Coffin’s functional linguistics perspective provides a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the texts of secondary school history, both those that students read and those they need to learn to write. This is an original and welcome contribution to debates about how to develop students’ historical understanding" (Sanford Lakoff)

"This book makes a major contribution to the study of historical discourse and while it will be of interest to teachers of history, it will in addition be of considerable interest to those who work in discourse studies generally- linguists, applied linguists and educational linguists." (Sanford Lakoff)

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This is an important analysis of the language of time, cause and evaluation in historical texts studied by students at secondary school, looking at the implications for making meaning in historical writing. Historical Discourse analyses the importance of the language of time, cause and evaluation in both texts which students at secondary school are required to read, and their own writing for assessment. In contrast to studies which have denied that history has a specialised language, Caroline Coffin demonstrates through a detailed study of historical texts, that writing about the past requires different genres, lexical and grammatical structures. In this analysis, language emerges as a powerful tool for making meaning in historical writing.Presupposing no prior knowledge of systemic functional linguistics, this insightful book will be of interest to researchers in applied linguistics and discourse analysis, as well as history educators. Discourse is one of the most significant concepts of contemporary thinking in the humanities and social sciences as it concerns the ways language mediates and shapes our interactions with each other and with the social, political and cultural formations of our society. The Continuum Discourse series aims to capture the fast-developing interest in discourse to provide students, new and experienced teachers and researchers in applied linguistics, ELT and English language with an essential bookshelf. Each book deals with a core topic in discourse studies to give an in-depth, structured and readable introduction to an aspect of the way language in used in real life. Seller Inventory # AAV9781847065735

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