Discourse Analysis of “Popular Academic Speech”— A Case Study of Four TED Academic Speeches

Ting-na Liu


A “popular academic speech” is a kind of speech aiming at audience without certain professional academic background. Taking four popular TED academic speech as example, this paper attempts to investigate the discourse organization and language structures and characteristics based on the theory of Generic Structure Potential and the method of discourse analysis. The study also compares such kind of speech with academic conference speech, finding out its trait of being academic and popular at the same time. Hopefully this study would be able to provide support for researchers who will give a “popular academic speech”.


Popular academic speech; Discourse analysis; Generic Structure Potential; Systemic-functional linguistics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14725/jenc.v4n2a1578

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Journal of Education in New Century

 ISSN 2372-6539 (Print)  ISSN 2330-9121 (Online)