1. A continuum of approaches to <i>dialogue</i>
Following a process of Derridean de-construction, this study reviews fundamental concepts and recent definitions of ‘dialogue’, which posit a simple polarity between micro and macro perspectives. Both are mutually rejected by proponents of opposing approaches as being ‘restricted’, ‘dispersive’ and ‘diffuse’. Instead, after reviewing proposals from Bakhtin, Benveniste, Halliday, Linell and Weigand, a continuum of epistemological functions is proposed, specifying different approaches to studies of dialogue. ‘Dialogue’ is then defined by its complexity and its mutual relationship to a multiplicity of relevant contexts. Thus, micro and macro perspectives become equally valid.