Types of discourse and textual construction of knowledge

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Assuming that language plays a main role in the development of the individual throughout life, the aim of this paper is to refl ect on the mechanisms which upgrade the textual and linguistic construction of knowledge. To do this, I have chosen the Socio-Discursive Interactionism (SDI) theoretical and epistemological perspective. I will focus specifi cally on the analysis of the mental operations that underlie the forms of knowledge organization and the way these operations are linguistically and textually formed. Based on the positioning of Benveniste, Weinrich and Genette, such operations in the SDI framework are named as types of discourse and are related to two discursive domains: narrating (the temporal coordinates of language action match those verbalised in the text) and exposing (the two coordinates have no match between them). Using a qualitative and interpretative method, the textual analysis will focus on two memorialistic texts, produced in different contexts: (i) Memórias da minha vida (Memoirs of my life), an unpublished text, written by João Azenha when he was 76/77 years old, between 2006 and 2007, limited to household activity; (ii) As pequenas memórias (The small memories), a text written by José Saramago, in the context of literary and household activities and published in Portugal in 2006 by Caminho. Its aims are to analyse the specifi c linguistic confi gurations of the discourse types in texts which adopt the textual genre memoirs and analyse the way the discourse types link to the different types of reasoning. This work will enable us to achieve two conclusions. The fi rst is that, in the case of the memoirs genre, the types of discourse take on particular aspects at the level of geneologically determined linguistic units. The second is that the types of reasoning, being indissociable from the discourse types, in the memories genre, are informed not only by formal logic, but also by practical and experiential knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-293
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


  • Memorialistic text
  • Reasoning
  • Types of discourse (TD)

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