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The Language of Popularization- Die Sprache der Popularisierung

Theoretical and Descriptive Models- Theoretische und deskriptive Modelle


Edited By Giancarmine Bongo and Giuditta Caliendo

In today’s knowledge-based society, exploring the dynamics of communicating specialised contents to the lay public is an undoubtedly topical issue. However, popularization still remains a rather unexplored territory and recent contributions to the field seem to lack a consistent methodological orientation, with hesitations in terms of shared and codified definitions. The contributions to this volume constitute a step forward in the field of popularization studies. New scenarios have been explored with a view to providing shared theoretical and descriptive models from a linguistic perspective and investigating the way popularization is characterised and instantiated, also taking into account its intercultural dimension. The research methods and tools draw upon the analytical framework of discourse analysis, pragmatics, corpus linguistics and genre analysis.
In der heutigen Wissensgesellschaft sind die Mechanismen des Transfers von Fachwissen an Laien von großer Relevanz. Dennoch bleibt Popularisierung ein linguistisch noch relativ unbestimmtes und unerforschtes Phänomen. Ziel des Bandes ist deshalb, neue Perspektiven zu eröffnen und auf mögliche neue konsistente Modelle (sowohl theoretische als auch methodologische) hinzuweisen. Unterschiedliche Ansätze kommen dabei ins Spiel, u.a. Diskursanalyse, Rhetorik, Pragmatik, Korpuslinguistik und genre analysis.
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News production and scientific knowledge: exploring popularization as a process: Giuliana Garzone



This paper looks at popularization through the press (newspapers and magazines) – i.e. a very basic and ‘democratic’ form of popularization, promptly accessible to virtually anyone – focusing on the drafting of the popularizing text as an instance of the linguistic, textual and discursive re-elaboration of specialized knowledge. It is centred on the analysis of a representative sample of popular science articles, published in British newspapers and magazines, that are investigated in parallel with the scientific research papers on which they are based, and aims at identifying the main strategies enacted in the production of lay versions of scientific/technological knowledge, and at reconstructing the various material operations performed in this process. So far the rather sparse literature on popularization has mainly strived to identify specialized journalists’ strategies for the management of knowledge and its construction in a form that is accessible to lay readers (Calsamiglia/van Dijk 2004), also describing the various types of citations/quotations from “authentic” texts and their implications (Calsamiglia/López Ferrero 2003). In this context, popularization has sometimes been interpreted as a form of translation (e.g. Loffler Laurian 1984; Gotti 1996), whereby the complexities of scientific and technological enquiry are transposed and simplified (cf. Garzone 2006). Against the foregoing background, this paper aims to identify the various textual and discursive procedures and strategies journalists enact when drafting popularizing articles, starting from an idea of the newspaper article as originating from the re-elaboration, reformulation and re-use of pre-existing texts, in line with a consolidated tradition of attention...

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