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Book Chapter: Media stylistics

TitleMedia stylistics
Authors
Issue Date2015
Citation
The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics, 2015, p. 503-519 How to Cite?
Abstract© Cambridge University Press 2014. Linguistic analysis of media discourse is often described as ‘media stylistics’. This may seem an obvious choice of expression, but unless examined it can obscure complexity in what such approaches to the analysis of media consist of, as well as what they are for. ‘Media stylistics’ is of interest, it is suggested in this chapter, because it throws light on an especially influential but also contested field of language use (Durant and Lambrou 2009). This area of stylistics is also interesting theoretically, in that it exposes for reflection a number of different facets of and approaches to stylistic investigation more widely. The chapter begins by reviewing the general concept of ‘media stylistics’. We disentangle some of the polysemy of the two terms which, when combined, describe work in this area, and discuss some key themes and concerns which emerge. In brief commentary on two short extracts of media discourse in English, we elaborate a distinction between two alternative emphases: study of media language as concerned with general capabilities associated with changing technologies for conveying linguistic messages (e.g. language use in telegraphy, radio or instant messaging); and study of media language as critical commentary on modern society’s dominant communication forms, which tend to take an electronic, ‘media’ form. In the first emphasis, media discourse has implications as regards the social functions of language and as regards social change (as Eisenstein (1979) and others have argued in relation to the advent of print in the Middle Ages, and as Ong (1982) has proposed for broadcast speech-as-a-kind-of-writing, or ‘secondary orality’, in the mid-twentieth century). In the second emphasis, media language is viewed as a matter of linguistic resources used to communicate within an array of available contemporary media choices whose general existence is simply taken as a social fact. It would be easy to overstate such a distinction. So we also explore interaction between these different emphases, especially at the level of media ‘genres’. In the formation of genres, patterns of linguistic choice are superimposed on a given technical infrastructure and history of media capabilities; distinctive media styles gradually evolve from each combination to serve specific and changing expressive and communicative purposes.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222702
ISBN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLambrou, Marina-
dc.contributor.authorDurant, Alan-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-19T03:37:03Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-19T03:37:03Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationThe Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics, 2015, p. 503-519-
dc.identifier.isbn9781107028876-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222702-
dc.description.abstract© Cambridge University Press 2014. Linguistic analysis of media discourse is often described as ‘media stylistics’. This may seem an obvious choice of expression, but unless examined it can obscure complexity in what such approaches to the analysis of media consist of, as well as what they are for. ‘Media stylistics’ is of interest, it is suggested in this chapter, because it throws light on an especially influential but also contested field of language use (Durant and Lambrou 2009). This area of stylistics is also interesting theoretically, in that it exposes for reflection a number of different facets of and approaches to stylistic investigation more widely. The chapter begins by reviewing the general concept of ‘media stylistics’. We disentangle some of the polysemy of the two terms which, when combined, describe work in this area, and discuss some key themes and concerns which emerge. In brief commentary on two short extracts of media discourse in English, we elaborate a distinction between two alternative emphases: study of media language as concerned with general capabilities associated with changing technologies for conveying linguistic messages (e.g. language use in telegraphy, radio or instant messaging); and study of media language as critical commentary on modern society’s dominant communication forms, which tend to take an electronic, ‘media’ form. In the first emphasis, media discourse has implications as regards the social functions of language and as regards social change (as Eisenstein (1979) and others have argued in relation to the advent of print in the Middle Ages, and as Ong (1982) has proposed for broadcast speech-as-a-kind-of-writing, or ‘secondary orality’, in the mid-twentieth century). In the second emphasis, media language is viewed as a matter of linguistic resources used to communicate within an array of available contemporary media choices whose general existence is simply taken as a social fact. It would be easy to overstate such a distinction. So we also explore interaction between these different emphases, especially at the level of media ‘genres’. In the formation of genres, patterns of linguistic choice are superimposed on a given technical infrastructure and history of media capabilities; distinctive media styles gradually evolve from each combination to serve specific and changing expressive and communicative purposes.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofThe Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics-
dc.titleMedia stylistics-
dc.typeBook_Chapter-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1017/CBO9781139237031.038-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84949210780-
dc.identifier.spage503-
dc.identifier.epage519-

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