(2,175 words)

The organization of meaning as a foreground/background structure is a fundamental property of text or discourse, and a language-independent, universal principle of text organization. The terms ‘text’ and ‘discourse’ are used interchangeably. Discourse does not refer only to conversation, and a written text may also be a “ monologue discourse” (van Dijk 1977:8). The scalar foreground/background structure makes texts or discourses interesting. It is also consistent with the assumption that human communication does not manifest the same grounding value throughout a text or …

Cite this page
Esam N. Khalil, “Grounding”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 24 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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