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English and French Online Comments

A Text Linguistic Comparison of Popular Science Magazines


John Marcus Sommer

In recent years, text and media linguistics have focused on genres in the new media. This is almost always accompanied by the question of the establishment and development of such content. Due to the diversity of genres and their dynamic development one can speak of an almost inexhaustible field of research. The book is located in this field of research. Its goal is to examine the origin and nature of readers’ comments by readers of French and English popular science magazines. Media content is dissected by using text linguistic tools. Transmedial cultures are explored across time, platforms, languages, and editing houses.

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13. Qualitative Analysis


In Chapter 12 it could be seen that some of the topic changes and topic rejection seem to be linked to conflicts that emerge within the conversation. This seems to indicate that these topical actions have a pragmatic function. The first step is a qualitative analysis of examples containing some conflict for every platform in every language. However, there were no examples for GEO Facebook, GEO Twitter, and Discover Twitter.

Example 78: (Discover Facebook 2015\Researchers’ Quest for an Artificial Heart FB: 1: 231|502–1: 640|558)

Example 78 shows a conversation found on Facebook under the root post referring to Discover’s article “Researchers’ Quest for an Artificial heart”. It consists of eleven turns and has eight participants. The root article is about technical innovations and how to help people suffering from heart diseases. The conversation drifts quickly into a racist discourse. The thread starter’s comment still maintains the general topic of the root article. The commenter Jason M Bradford wants the newly developed device introduced to the market. Therefore, he suggests testing it on animals and then on humans. The second commenter Akshay SK suggests taking monkeys as guinea pigs instead of pigs. Jason M Bradford agrees with the suggestion. The conflict, however, then arises in Turn 4 with Massiel Chavez. He suggests testing the device on “cheap indians” (sic). This statement is not only racist towards Indians, but also a face attack towards the commenter Akshay, who bears a Hindi name....

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