Man and Message: A Guide to Meaning-Based Text Analysis

Callow, Kathleen

Co-published with the Summer Institute of Linguistics and University Press of America, Man and Message provides a practical method of analyzing texts based on a cognitive, multilevel model of meaning presented in simple, non-technical language for a wide audience.

It begins with a demonstration of human communications as grounded in a cognitive and language-independent meaning base, and details the non-verbal nature of meaning, purpose, conceptualization, thematic patterns, and coherence-providing relations. Then the model is applied to a variety of English texts by dividing it into subunits and displaying their inter-relations at all levels. Each chapter provides pointers in analyses that can be applied to any text in any language. The approach to analysis from a standpoint of cognition realized in language, rather than based in the language itself makes this an original and effective guide for text analysis of any kind in any language.

About the Author

Kathleen Callow has worked in translation projects in Brazil and Ghana. She served as translation consultant for languages in the Former Soviet Union and neighboring countries. She has an MA in Philosophy from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and a B.Div. from London Bible College.

Table of Contents:


Part One

  1. Meanings and How We Express Them
  2. 1.1 Meanings and their expressions closely intertwined
    1.2 Meanings and their expressions necessarily distinguished
    1.3 What is left of meanings if we take away the words?
    1.4 So what is meaning?

  3. Which Come First, Words or Meanings?
  4. 2.1 One approach: words prior to meanings
    2.2 An alternative approach: meanings prior to words

  5. The Man Behind the Message
  6. 3.1 Why do we communicate?
    3.2 What mental characteristics structure our communications?

  7. Person to Person
  8. 4.1 Before speech starts: the shared situation
    4.2 Before speech starts: the participants’ mutual awareness
    4.3 While communication flows: the monitoring process
    4.4 Situations involving multiple participants

  9. Things, Thoughts, and Words: Mostly Thoughts
  10. 5.1 How do words relate to the world?
    5.2 The traditional view of concepts
    5.3 An alternative approach: concepts as habitual events
    5.4 The origins of conceptual events
    5.5 The structure of conceptual events
    5.6 Concepts in use
    5.7 Concepts and the real world

  11. Things, Thoughts, and Words: Mostly Words
  12. 6.1 The springs of speech
    6.2 The storage of speech
    6.3 Speech as signals
    6.4 Words and meaning in different languages
    6.5 A theory note: analogies of mental activity
    6.6 Looking beyond words

  13. Communicating Messages Purposively
  14. 7.1 Distinguishing message form from message meaning
    7.2 Criteria for identifying import
    7.3 The three imports
    7.4 The emotions in relation to the three imports

  15. Communicating Messages with Several Purposes
  16. 8.1 The possibility of multiple import
    8.2 Apparent double import
    8.3 Genuine double import
    8.4 Apparent single import with extended significance
    8.5 The purposive chain
    8.6 Informationals with a variety of purposes
    8.7 Multiple import in longer messages

  17. Presenting Messages Appropriately
  18. 9.1 A problem: parts of communications without import
    9.2 Solution: non-import-bearing elements as message support
    9.3 The functions of message support
    9.4 Longer utterances as message support
    9.5 A problem relating to informationals

  19. The Shaping of Longer Messages
  20. 10.1 Cognitive characteristics of messages
    10.2 The units constituting messages
    10.3 The message and its network of relations
    10.4 The prosodies of the message
    10.5 Monitoring features of the message
    10.6 Special prominence
    10.7 Looking ahead to Part 2

Part Two

  1. The Message as a Unit
  2. 11.1 Approaching the analysis of texts
    11.2 Situational prosodies: the context of the message
    11.3 Referential prosodies: the content of the message
    11.4 Person-related prosodies
    11.5 Special prominence

  3. Schematic and Nonschematic Message Patterns
  4. 12.1 The difference between schematic and nonschematic patterns
    12.2 The sources of schema patterns
    12.3 Schema patterns in the three message genres
    12.4 Messages with nonschematic patterns

  5. Configurations: Determining the Boundaries
  6. 13.1 The nature of configurations
    13.2 Referential analysis
    13.3 Purposive analysis
    13.4 Boundary-marking phenomena

  7. Configurations: the Topic
  8. 14.1 What is a topic?
    14.2 The functions of a topic
    14.3 The signaling of a topic
    14.4 Identifying the topic in a text or configuration
    14.5 How a topic develops

  9. Configurations: the Theme
  10. 15.1 Theme as a cognitive reality
    15.2 Theme as purposive and prominent
    15.3 Theme in different text types
    15.4 Establishing the theme of a themeline text
    15.5 Establishing the theme of a timeline text
    15.6 Complex themes
    15.7 Configurations without themes

  11. Referential Relations
  12. 16.1 The nature of referential relations
    16.2 The signaling of relations
    16.3 Relations involving time and causality
    16.4 Relations involving envisaging and causality
    16.5 Reporting relations
    16.6 A worked example: The Picnic

  13. Presentational Relations
  14. 17.1 Associative relations
    17.2 Monitoring relations
    17.3 Relations between a proposition and a concept
    17.4 The authorial comment-HEAD relation
    17.5 A worked example: Daffodil Leaves 2-12

  15. The Proposition
  16. 18.1 The nature of the proposition
    18.2 The referential elements in a proposition
    18.3 Structural patterns of propositions

  17. Propositionalising a Text
  18. 19.1 The heart of the message
    19.2 Propositionalising all referential content unambiguously
    19.3 Making the relational framework explicit
    19.4 Representing only referential material
    19.5 Propositional displays of texts
    19.6 Analysed examples of propositional displays

  19. The Meaning Structure Of a Text
  20. 20.1 The message as a unit
    20.2 The units and schema relations of the message
    20.3 The propositions and referential relations of the message
    20.4 The theme and schematic outline of the message

Appendix: The Texts

xvi, 383 pages
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