OLAC Discourse Type Vocabulary

Date issued: 2012-02-04
Status of document: Recommendation. This document embodies an OLAC consensus concerning best current practice.
This version: http://www.language-archives.org/REC/discourse-20120204.html
Latest version: http://www.language-archives.org/REC/discourse.html
Previous version: http://www.language-archives.org/REC/discourse-20060406.html

This document specifies the codes, or controlled vocabulary, for the Discourse Type extension of the Type metadata 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:

The previous version of this document wss adopted, but the published XML schema was never updated to match it and none of the participating archives has ever followed any of the changes to the vocabulary. The XML schema and all existing implementations by participating archives are consistent with the 2002-11-21 version of this Recommendation, but are inconsistent with later versions. Therefore, to serve as a basis for further development by the implementing archives, this document has been reverted to the 2002-11-21 version of the vocabulary terms while bringing forward compatible changes to the definitions.

Copyright © 2012 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 olac:code attribute of the xsi:type="olac:discourse-type" extension of the Type metadata element [OLAC-Usage]. 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.


Name Dialogue
Definition An interactive discourse with two or more participants.

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


Name Drama
Definition A 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.


Name Formulaic Discourse
Definition The resource is a ritually or conventionally structured discourse.

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


Name Ludic Discourse
Definition Ludic discourse 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 ludic discourse are play languages, jokes, secret languages, and speech disguises.


Name Oratory
Definition Public speaking, or of speaking eloquently according to rules or conventions.

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


Name Narrative Discourse
Definition A monologic discourse which represents temporally organized events.

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


Name Procedural Discourse
Definition An explanation or description of a method, process, or situation having ordered steps.

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


Name Report
Definition A factual account of some event or circumstance.

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


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

Examples of singing include chants, songs, and choruses.


Name Unintelligible Speech
Definition The resource consists of utterances that are not intended to be interpretable as ordinary language.

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


[OLAC-Usage] OLAC Metadata Usage Guidelines.