Discourse - Text and Visual Structures

Text Structures. From the work of Hoey (1994, p. 26-45 references) and Winter (1994, p. 46-69 references), I have derived two ideas which interest me greatly :-

First, that all text has an implicit structure of

  • (description of a) situation
  • evaluation (of the situation)
  • (basis for the evaluation) (this is optional and is not always found)

Nearly all text appears to fulfil this Situation -Evaluation- Basis structure - all text is about situations. It is interesting to wonder if all thought is also in this pattern.

Secondly, any author appears to

  • First, examine the content of their minds (their discourse strands ?) - their thoughts
  • Select the material which they want to communicate, and form this into a message
  • Then, convert this into speech or written text

It is not generally thought that authors express a discourse (or their thoughts) directly in text or speech, but they weigh and filter it according to their audience.

Visual Structures. Tim John makes the main point that texts can have 'visual structures' built into them, such as a table/matrix, flowchart or tree diagram. He calls this an information structure. The wrong use of these can give readers tremendous difficulties if the structure is not clear enough and if references do not follow neatly and sequentially - readers may also need training in 'prediction of what can be expected in a text'. (John, 1994, p.105-110 references)

I think these 3 ideas could be tremendously important for a study of the nature of thought, as it seems likely that thought and text will have similar structures

Please contact me at george@whatever-will.be if you are interested in the above

(0044)(0) 1372-749803

A website from