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Facets of Linguistics

Proceedings of the 14 th Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium 2013 in Halle an der Saale


Edited By Anne Ammermann, Alexander Brock, Jana Pflaeging and Peter Schildhauer

This volume aims to represent the breadth and depth of current linguistic research of predominantly young linguists and thus to produce a snapshot of topical linguistic issues and trends. Therefore, it presents papers from systemic linguistics next to ones on text linguistics, sociolinguistics and the didactics of language. The volume is based on talks given at the 14 th Norddeutsches Linguistisches Kolloquium 2013 in Halle an der Saale. The book contains 14 contributions in English, and three in German.
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On the Corruption of Text Types. The Cases of Comedy and Readers’ Commentaries in Online Newspapers


Alexander Brock


This paper is about mechanisms of text type change. The term corruption is borrowed from lexical semantics/morphology and modified to describe the production of highly peripheral members of a prototypically organised set of texts. Examples are given for the deliberate corruption of text types in the context of TV comedy, and for the possibly accidental corruption of the patterns of readers' commentaries in online newspapers. If corruptions accumulate over time and are gradually naturalised in the communicative process, they may lead to different evaluations of the acceptability of products and consequently to text type change.

I. Introduction

One of the concerns of text linguistics is the description and differentiation of text and communication patterns (Adamzik 2001, Heinemann 2000 a; b), which are commonly referred to as text types. A text type is an intersubjective mental pattern of knowledge concerning the typical form, structure, content, function, and medial environment of groups of similar texts. For a number of years now, an interest has grown in the dynamics of text types and their change over time (Fritz 2013), especially under the influence of the New Media (Crystal 2001; Luginbühl/Perrin 2010; Schildhauer (this volume)). Various patterns of change have been identified, such as hybridization (Brock 2009 a) and migration with concomitant change (Schildhauer forthcoming). However, if we assume text types to be organized prototypically (cf. Sandig 2000), with more and less representative members of a type and various degrees...

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