Publication details

Cross-cultural variation in the expression of directives as important persuasive strategies in the genre of technical manuals

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Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Description The contribution provides a contrastive analysis of directives as linguistic realizations of persuasion in technical communication represented here by technical manuals. The aim is to identify differences and similarities between the ways persuasion is expressed in this type of specialized discourse in English and Czech. The data comprise manuals to various technical devices, such as TV sets, monitors, cameras, mobile phones, freezers and microwaves, and amounts to about 300,000 words. This specialized corpus (20 manuals in English and 20 in Czech) enables the comparison of the ways in which technical communicators express persuasion. The analysis, which is conducted from the perspectives of corpus analysis and discourse analysis, focuses on the ways in which the persuasive power can be expressed: 1. explicitly (i.e. using directives expressed by imperatives of full verbs, modals of obligation, necessity, prohibition, and predicative adjectives expressing the writer’s judgement of the necessity or importance to perform an action) and 2. implicitly (i.e. using other language means than directives, such as conditional clauses, rhetorical questions). The findings are expected to be relevant and applicable in the education domain to provide instructions for technical writers to produce effective manuals since their quality, including the appropriate degree of persuasiveness, can influence prospective consumers of particular technical devices.
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