Museums have become fully active cultural agents, pursuing educational aims but also trying to attract the largest number of visitors. Exhibition press announcements (EPAs) issued by museums reflect this tendency and address journalists as if they were ‘customers’ in a very competitive market. Building on Bhatia’s work on promotional genres (1993, 2004) and recent corpus-based studies devoted to press releases (Catenaccio 2008; Lindholm 2008; McLaren and Gurâu 2005), this paper investigates lexico-grammatical forms typical of EPAs with the aim to demonstrate that they carry a strong promotional intent and reflect the value-system of the professional communities involved, i.e. art journalists and museum professionals. The study was carried out on a corpus of contemporary Anglo-American EPAs and shows the recurrent use of linguistic features that express positive evaluation of the exhibition, especially with regard to the semantic areas of novelty, quality, extensiveness and exclusiveness. Emotional linguistic features are also used in order to create ‘news value’ and excite curiosity around the artists and their artworks.
(1983) Museum public relations. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History.
Bazerman, Charles, and James Paradis
(eds.) (1991) Textual Dynamics of the Professions: Historical and Contemporary Studies of Writing in Professional Communities. Madison, Wi: University Of Wisconsin Press. BoP
(1991) The language of news media. London: Blackwell. BoP
Berkenkotter, Carol, and Thomas N. Huckin
(1995) Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication – Cognition/Culture/Power. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. BoP
Bhatia, Vijay Kumar
(1993) Analysing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings. London: Longman. BoP
Bhatia, Vijay Kumar
(2004) Worlds of Written Discourse: A Genre-Based View. London: Continuum.
(2009) Perspective and position in museum websites. In S. Radighieri, and P. Tucker (eds.), Point of View. Description and Evaluation across Discourses. Rome: Officina Edizioni, pp. 113–127.
(2004) How to work with journalists. Museum Practice 261: 44–47.
Calder, Penny Ritchie
(2008) Promoting exhibitions to the Press. Museum Practice 431: 60–61.
(2006) Looking beyond today’s headlines: The Enron crisis from press release to media coverage. In M. Bondi, and J. Bamford (eds.), Managing Interaction in Professional Discourse. Intercultural and Interdiscoursal Perspectives, Roma: Officina Edizioni, pp. 159–172.
et al. (2011) Towards a linguistics of news production. Journal of Pragmatics 43.7: 1843–1852. BoP
(2008) British and American museums promoting in-site events online: A museological and linguistic analysis. Unpublished Ma Thesis, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
(2004) Beyond advertising and journalism: Hybrid promotional news discourse. Discourse & Society 15.5: 553–578. BoP
(2005) Hybrid public relations news discourse. European Journal of Communication 20.2: 155–179.
(1991) Language in the News: Discourse and Ideology in the Press. London/New York: Routledge. BoP
Gandy, Oscar H., Jr.
(1982) Beyond agenda setting: Information subsidies and public policy. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Gunnarsson, Britt-Louise, Per Linell, and Bengt Nordberg
(eds.) (1997) The Construction of Professional Discourse. London: Longman. BoP
Gürel, Eda, and Bahtisen Kavak
(2010) A conceptual model for public relations in museums. European Journal of Marketing 44.1/2: 42 – 65.
(2001/2002) TextSTAT. Simple text analysis tool. Accessed at: [URL]
(2000) Evaluation and the planes of discourse: Status and value in persuasive texts. In S. Hunston, and G. Thompson (eds.), Evaluation in Text: Authorial Stance and the Construction of Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 176–207. BoP
(2002) Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. MetBib
(2011) Corpus Approaches to Evaluation. London: Routledge.
Hunston, Susan, and John Sinclair
(2000) A local grammar of evaluation. In S. Hunston, and G. Thompson (eds.), Evaluation in Text. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 74–101. BoP
Hunston, Susan, and Geoffrey Thompson
(2000) Evaluation in Text. Oxford: Oxford University Press. BoP
(2005) Arts in the news: Evaluative language use in the ‘art review’. Proceedings from the Corpus Linguistic Conference Series 1. On line document Accessed at [URL]
(2009) Spatial description in the art exhibition review: Reference as pointing and wandering. In S. Radighieri, and P. Tucker (eds.), Point of View. Description and Evaluation across Discourses. Rome: Officina Edizioni, pp. 97–112.
Ravelli, Louise J.
(2006) Museum Texts: Communication Frameworks. London: Routledge.
(2005) Museum-public relationships: Exploring the relationship management theory of public relations. Unpublished MA thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.
(2004) Wordsmith Tools: Online Manual. Accessed at [URL].
(1987) Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary. London: Collins.
Strobbe, Ilse, and Geert Jacobs
(2005) E-releases: A view from linguistic pragmatics. Public Relations Review 311: 289–291.
(1996) Text And Corpus Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell. BoP
(2001) Words in culture 1: Case studies of cultural keywords. In M. Stubbs, Words and Phrases. Corpus Studies of Lexical Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 145–169. BoP
(2004b) Evolution in the discourse of art criticism. The case of Thomas Eakins. In I. Bäklund, Maartala U. Melander, U. Börestam, and H. Näslund (eds.), Text I Arbere/Text At Work. Uppsala: Institutionen För Nordiska Sprak Vid Uppsala Universitet.
Thompson, Geoffrey, and Susan Hunston
(2000) Evaluation: An Introduction. In S. Hunston, and G. Thompson (eds.), Evaluation in Text: Authorial Stance and the Construction of Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1–27. BoP
Toolan, Michael J.
(1988) Narrative. A critical linguistic introduction. London: Routledge. BoP
Van Dijk, Teun A.
(1988a) News as Discourse. Hillsdale, Nj: Erlbaum.
Van Dijk, Teun A.
(1988b) News Analysis. Case Studies of International and National News in the Press. Hillsdale, Nj: Erlbaum.
Van Dijk, Teun A.
(1995) Power and the news media. In D. Paletz (ed.), Political communication and action. Cresskill, Nj: Hampton Press, pp. 9–36.
2016. Exhibition Press Announcements: An Evolving or Dissolving Genre?. In The Ins and Outs of Business and Professional Discourse Research, ► pp. 204 ff.
2016. Theoretical Background. In The Language of Museum Communication, ► pp. 23 ff.
2016. Lexical Change of Museum Press Releases. In The Language of Museum Communication, ► pp. 97 ff.
2016. Introduction. In The Language of Museum Communication, ► pp. 1 ff.
2016. Methodology. In The Language of Museum Communication, ► pp. 73 ff.
2016. Conclusions. In The Language of Museum Communication, ► pp. 217 ff.
2016. Newly Emerged Museum Genres. In The Language of Museum Communication, ► pp. 165 ff.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 november 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.