Subjectivity of Discourse from the Philosophic Perspective

  • Bingzhuan Peng Harbin University of Science and Technology
Keywords: subjectivity, discourse, philosophic perspective, experience model, mental model, communicative model


Language not only objectively expresses the thought of a proposition but also indicates the speaker’s emotion, attitude, and viewpoints toward a proposition, which is called subjectivity in the study. Subjectivity is one of the main topics in philosophy. However, the phenomenon of subjectivity is mainly discussed at the word, construction, or syntactic level from the perspective of linguistics. To better the characteristics of speakers as subjects in social practice activities and cognitive activities, an analytical framework of subjectivity in discourse from the perspective of philosophy was constructed to investigate subjectivity at the discourse level. Three aspects, that is, experience, mental and communicative models, were explored. The results show that (1) the constructed analytical framework clearly shows the social characteristics of subjectivity in discourse; (2) the experience model is divided into the speaker’s social and cultural experience; (3) the mental model is construed as the speaker’s mental cognition, reflected by the speaker’s mental stance and emotion; (4) the communicative model is represented by the speaker’s communicative intention and communicative practice, including appeal, command and announcement. The study provides an analytical framework to dig up the subjective nature of language and the relationship among speakers, society and discourse. This study also enriches the research on subjectivity and discourse analysis.

Language and Discourse