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Discourse Studies – Ways and Crossroads

Insights into Cultural, Diachronic and Genre Issues in the Discipline

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Edited By Karolina Bros and Grzegorz Kowalski

The volume brings together papers emerging from the GlobE conference (University of Warsaw). The authors explore major topics in Discourse Studies, offering insights into the field’s theoretical foundations and discussing the results of its empirical applications. The book integrates different lines of research in Discourse Studies as undertaken at academic centres Europe-wide and beyond. In this diversity, the editors identify certain dominant lines of study, including (new) media discourse, political discourse in the age of social/digital media, or professional discourse in globalized workplace contexts. At the same time, the volume shows that Discourse Studies not only investigate emerging language phenomena, but also critically reassess research issues formerly addressed.

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Semantic and pragmatic structure of problem feature articles in American and Belarusian media discourse (Tatiana Karpilovitch)

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Tatiana Karpilovitch

Minsk State Linguistic University, Belarus

Semantic and pragmatic structure of problem feature articles in American and Belarusian media discourse

Abstract: The paper proposes an integrated approach to analyzing semantic and pragmatic structures of discourse on the example of problem feature articles from American and Belarusian press. A prototypical semantic structure of this genre has been singled out, which consists of two categories: the essence of the problem and ways of solving the problem. The pragmatics of semantic categories is revealed through the use of evaluative lexis, modal units, stylistic devices, and opinion making utterances. The cross-linguistic study of problem feature articles from American and Belarusian media discourse has shown the prevalence of similar properties in the semantic and pragmatic structures of this genre. The differences lie in the use of some language units and stylistic devices which are predetermined by the systemic differences between English and Belarusian, and also by the traditions of using expressive language means in the two media cultures.

1. Introduction

Various approaches have been proposed to formalize the semantics of text and discourse (e.g. Minsky, 1975; Schank & Abelson, 1977; Thorndyke, 1977; van Dijk & Kintsch, 1983; Mann & Thompson, 1988; Swales, 1990). Some of these theories have provided the basis for computer summarization systems aimed at automatic generation of secondary documents, i.e. summaries and abstracts of texts and discourses (Hahn & Reimer, 1999; Marcu, 1999; Karpilovitch, 2003). Summaries, as concise...

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