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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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15. Conclusion


The results of the present study show that a multifactorial parallel text analysis is a method that makes it possible to examine the complex web of norms of cultures that use certain genres. The different kinds of norms for the genre readers’ comments are interwoven with the language in which they are written, the platforms on which they are published, the magazines’ articles they react to, and the journalistic culture including the genre history of a magazine. Cultural differences cannot be simply attributed to the language used (English or French) or the state where the headquarters of a magazine can be found. Language can only be seen as one of the factors that shape a genre. However, this does not mean that language should be neglected in the cultural comparison of genres. The analyses of the synchronous sub-corpus (2015) showed that there are for example similarities among the French magazine’s websites and among the English magazine’s websites regarding the layout and the position of the commenting function within the genre profile. Additionally, national-cultural aspects are also represented in the logos of the magazines. The qualitative analysis also shows that there are different styles and realizations of the linguistic structures under investigation in the different languages. Still, the more pragmatic linguistic structures did not reveal sharp differences. The topic management in the conversations in English and French seem to be relatively similar. The communicative situation concerning the sharing of the magazine’s articles on the social media platforms are also relatively similar...

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