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A note on epistemics and discourse analysis


Teun A. van Dijk, Pompeu Fabra University, Dept. of Translation and Language Sciences, 138, Roc Boronat, 08002 Barcelona, Spain (e-mail:


Discursive Psychology has the great merit of having introduced discourse analysis (DA) to social psychology and to have contributed to DA itself by its study of the expression of ‘psychological’ notions in text and talk. Within this perspective, this paper presents some elements of a proposal to study the expression of knowledge in discourse. Beginning with a brief summary of our multidisciplinary approach to knowledge, followed by a summary of discourse structures that express knowledge, the main argument of the paper is that we not only need to take discourse seriously in the study of knowledge, but cannot ignore their cognitive underlying structures if we want to describe and explain many properties of discourse, such as all implicit or presupposed knowledge, as well as the interactional and contextual management of old and new knowledge in text and talk.