How do social situations influence language use, discourse and conversation? This book is a monograph which presents a multidisciplinary theory of context and the way context influences language use and discourse. Unlike in earlier approaches, contexts are not defined as objective social 'variables', such as gender or age. Rather, they are constructs of the participants themselves, that is, 'subjective definitions of the communicative situation' that are made explicit in the sociocognitive notion of context models. These models dynamically control all language use, make sure that discourses are appropriate in the communicative situation and hence are the basis of pragmatics. In this book, context models are studied especially from a (socio) linguistic and cognitive perspective. In another book published by Cambridge University Press, Society and Discourse, Teun A. van Dijk develops the social psychological, sociological and anthropological dimensions of the theory of context.

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