The theoretical perspectives and the individual case studies of this volume testify to the wide range of methodological tools made available by genre theory, enabling researchers to handle problems relating to the description of variations in language use. Moreover, the following relevant issues are addressed: how are specialized genres constructed, interpreted and exploited in the achievement of specific goals in highly specialized contexts?
ULISSE BELOTTI Genre Characteristics of Invitations for Bids 1. Introduction International business transactions are characterized by a number of official documents which accompany them from start to finish. Most of these documents, such as contracts and bills of lading, have received consistent scholarly attention, with the exception of invitations for bids (IFBs). This type of document was investigated for the first time by Barbara / Scott (1999) and their research, based on a corpus of six IFBs, provided an interesting insight into both textual and linguistic features of this specific genre. Barbara and Scott argued that IFBs belong to the specific class of ‘colony texts’, as described by Hoey (1986, 2001), since each section can operate more or less independently. They concluded that the IFBs in their corpus shared the same textual and linguistic features even though they were written in different languages, namely English and Portuguese. In particular, they shared the same rhetorical functions, be they performative or normative, and most of the key vocabulary. The aim of this chapter is twofold. Firstly, it will investigate the main textual and linguistic features of 16 IFBs (45,480 words), all written in English and issued by companies located in China, Korea, Croatia and Poland, to see if and to what extent they share the same characteristics as those from Barbara / Scott’s corpus. Secondly, it will consider the pragmatic organization of these texts and their syntactic and linguistic realizations to see if and to what extent they show characteristics that...
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