Text structure and politeness in French and English corporate brochures
This paper reports on the findings of a contrastive study of argumentative text structure in a corpus of French and English corporate brochures. The texts in these brochures tend to be instances of 'through-argumentation', where a claim is made — this is the 'thesis cited' — and is then argued through, or 'substantiated'. In the corporate brochure this claim serves to evaluate the company in a highly positive manner. Although these features are common to all of the French and English brochures, there are identifiable differences in the text formats adopted: whereas the English writers tend always to cite the thesis in text-initial position, a significant proportion of the French writers prefer to delay thesis citation. This may be explained, at least partly, in terms of the writer-reader relationship and factors of linguistic politeness. It will be shown that the principles of Politeness Theory, hitherto applied almost exclusively in the study of spoken language, can be used to help analyse and explain certain features of written genres — including those at the level of text structure.
Keywords: Argumentation, English/French, Contrastive textology
Published online: 03 December 2002
Cited by 1 other publications
Egan, Thomas & Hildegunn Dirdal
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