OLAC Discourse Type Vocabulary

Date issued:2006-04-06
Status of document:Recommendation. This document embodies an OLAC consensus concerning best current practice.
This version:http://www.language-archives.org/REC/discourse-20060406.html
Latest version:http://www.language-archives.org/REC/discourse.html
Previous version:http://www.language-archives.org/REC/discourse-20030127.html

This document specifies the codes, or controlled vocabulary, for the Discourse Type extension of the OLAC Type element. These codes describe the content of a resource as structured in such a way as to represent a particular type of discourse.

Editors: Heidi Johnson (mailto:ailla@ailla.org)
Helen Aristar Dry (mailto:hdry@linguistlist.org)
Changes since previous version:

Promoted to candidate status, with a call for review by those who have put the document into practice.

Copyright © 2006 Heidi Johnson (University of Texas at Austin) and Helen Aristar Dry (Eastern Michigan University) . This material may be distributed and repurposed subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Discourse Type

1. Introduction

The Discourse Type extension of the Type element is used to describe the content of a resource as representing discourse of a particular structural type. It will typically be used when the resource is itself an object of study, as, for example, when the resource is a primary text. So it will usually occur in conjunction with the Linguistic Data Type extension. For example, a narrative text would be described as both a primary text (OLAC Linguistic Type) and a narrative (OLAC Discourse Type).

2. Discourse Type

Each term in the controlled vocabulary is described in one of the following subsections. The heading gives the encoded value for the term that is to be used as the value of the code attribute of the "OLAC-Discourse-Type" extension of the Type metadata element [OLAC-MS]. Under the heading, the term is described in four ways. Name gives a descriptive label for the term. Definition is a one-line summary of what the term means. Comments offers more details on what the term represents. Examples may also be given to illustrate how the term is meant to be applied.


DefinitionA planned, creative, rendition of discourse involving two or more participants.

Usually a drama involves mimesis of events, either real or imagined.


Examples of drama include plays, skits, and enacted scenes.


NameFormulaic Discourse
DefinitionThe resource is a ritually or conventionally structured discourse.

Examples of formulaic discourse are prayers, curses, blessings, charms, curing rituals, marriage vows, and oaths.


NameInteractive Discourse
DefinitionLinguistic communication between two or more participants.

Examples of interactive discourse include conversations, interviews, correspondence, consultations, greetings and leave-takings.


NameLanguage Play
DefinitionLanguage Play is language whose primary function is to be part of play, or a style of speech that involves a creative manipulation of the structures of the language.

Examples of language play are verbal art, jokes, secret languages, and speech disguises.


DefinitionPublic speaking, or speaking eloquently according to rules or conventions.

Examples of oratory include sermons, lectures, political speeches, and invocations.


DefinitionA monologic discourse which represents temporally organized events.

Types of narratives include historical, traditional, and personal narratives, myths, folktales, fables, and humorous stories.


NameProcedural Discourse
DefinitionAn explanation or description of a method, process, or situation having ordered steps.

Examples of procedural discourses include recipes, instructions, and plans.


DefinitionA factual account of some event or circumstance.

Examples of reports include news reports, essays, and commentaries.


Definition"Words or sounds [articulated] in succession with musical inflections or modulations of the voice" OED.

Examples of singing include chants, songs, and choruses.


NameUnintelligible speech
DefinitionThe resource consists of utterances that are not intended to be interpretable as ordinary language.

Examples of unintelligible speech include sacred languages, glossolalia, and singing syllables (fa-la-la).


[OLAC-MS]OLAC Metadata.