chapter  1
Pages 5

It is a reasonable claim that linguistic phenomena could be, and have been, seen in basically two different ways, as actions and as structured sets of abstract forms. According to the first perspective, to speak and to listen and respond to talk, that is to indulge in talk-in-interaction, and to write and read, and to use language in modern hybrid media, imply involvement in action, in acting in and through language. Such a perspective will highlight dynamic processes; as several authors have claimed quite emphatically, discourse is a process. Thus, for example, Potter et al. (1990) contend that ‘discourse is a verb’.