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TOURISM AS SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE. TOURISM HAS ONLY RECENTLY STARTED TO BE INVESTIGATED FROM A LINGUISTIC PERSPECTIVE PROBABLY BECAUSE ITS LANGUAGE MIRRORS.

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Presentation on theme: "TOURISM AS SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE. TOURISM HAS ONLY RECENTLY STARTED TO BE INVESTIGATED FROM A LINGUISTIC PERSPECTIVE PROBABLY BECAUSE ITS LANGUAGE MIRRORS."— Presentation transcript:

1 TOURISM AS SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE

2 TOURISM HAS ONLY RECENTLY STARTED TO BE INVESTIGATED FROM A LINGUISTIC PERSPECTIVE PROBABLY BECAUSE ITS LANGUAGE MIRRORS THE COMPLEXITY OF THIS FIELD, WHICH IS DEFINITELY HYBRID (geography,economics, sociology and psychology are among the disciplines which influence tourism)

3 LANGUAGE AND TOURISM TOURISM USES LANGUAGE TO MANIPULATE REALITY TURNING AN ANONIMOUS PLACE INTO A TOURIST DESTINATION LANGUAGE IS THE MOST POWERFUL DRIVING FORCE IN THE FIELD OF TOURISM. ITS AIM IS to persuade, lure, woo and seduce millions of human beings, and, in so doing, convert them from potential into actual clients (Dann, 1996: 2)

4 AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE NEED FOR LANGUAGE EXPERTS IN THIS FIELD IS GROWING STEADILY (the writing of effective promotional materials requires a high level of language competence and is vital to achieve success in a field characterized by keen competition)

5 LANGUAGE AND TOURISM THE LANGUAGE OF TOURISM ORGANIZES ITS DISCOURSE ACCORDING TO SPECIFIC LEXICAL, SYNTACTIC AND TEXTUAL CHOICES HOWEVER, IS THIS ENOUGH TO LABEL IT AS SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE?

6 TOURISM AS SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE M.V. Calvi (2005: 33) defines the language of tourism as un linguaggio dalla fisionomia sfuggente which does not have a well-defined content and clear functional boundaries as it is influenced by a vast range of disciplines like history, geography, art, etc. and encompasses different communicative functions (informative, persuasive, argumentative).

7 TOURISM AS SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE ALTHOUGH THE FIELD OF TOURISM IS GREATLY INFLUENCED BY OTHER DISCIPLINES, ITS LANGUAGE SHOWS PECULIAR LEXICAL, SYNTACTIC AND TEXTUAL FEATURES WHICH JUSTIFY ITS INCLUSION AMONG THE MANY LSPs

8 SOME KEY TERMS DISCOURSE A complex term used in linguistics and in the social sciencies Discourse analysis indicates the study of whole units of communicative exchanges produced in a particular speech community Language is analysed both in its form and in its function

9 SOME KEY TERMS GENRE We use this term to refer to a set ot text types defined according to extralinguistic criteria, e.g. the communicative function they serve in a given discourse community

10 SOME KEY TERMS TEXT TYPE The classification criterion used is mainly linguistic Texts are grouped together according to the linguistic features they share

11 TOURIST TEXT TYPES A FIRST BROAD CLASSIFICATION IS BETWEEN –A) SPECIALIZED TEXTS ADDRESSED TO EXPERTS IN THE TOURIST FIELD (e.g. papers on the marketing of tourism, on the sociology and psychology of tourism, on the language peculiarities of tourist texts) –B) PROMOTIONAL TEXTS ADDRESSED TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC (i.e. to potential tourists)

12 AMONG THE TEXT TYPES AIMED AT NON-SPECIALISTS, NIGRO (2006) IDENTIFIES THE FOLLOWING 4 TYPOLOGIES 1) LEAFLETS 2) BROCHURES 3) TRAVELOGUES 4) TRAVEL GUIDES

13 HOWEVER, THE RANGE OF TEXT TYPES IS WIDER (consider tourist adverts, itineraries, unsolicited promotional letters, etc.) DANN (1996) CLASSIFIES TOURIST TEXT TYPES ACCORDING TO THE MEDIUM (AUDIO, VISUAL, WRITTEN, SESORY) AND TO THEIR STAGE IN THE TOURIST CYCLE (PRE/ ON,/POST TRIP)

14 TOURIST TEXT TYPES (AS TOURISM ITSELF) ARE HYBRID GENRES Different text types often share a number of linguistic and discoursive strategies, giving birth to hybrid texts which can hardly be classified as belonging to a particular genre. (Nigro, 2006:64)

15 DANNS CLASSIFICATION OF TOURIST TEXT TYPES PRE-TRIP: ADVERTS, LEAFLETS, BROCHURES ON-TRIP: TRAVEL GUIDES, TRAVELOGUES POST-TRIP: TRIP REPORTS, REVIEWS

16 LEAFLETS IT IS USUALLY A SINGLE SHEET OR A FOLDED PIECE OF PAPER ALTHOUGH PRACTICAL INFORMATION IS SOMETIMES PROVIDED, THE MAIN COMMUNICATIVE PURPOSE IS TO PERSUADE POTENTIAL TOURISTS TO VISIT A PLACE OR FACILITY THE MESSAGE IS USUALLY SHORT AND CLEAR THE AESTETIC COMPONENT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT (prevalence of pictures)

17 BROCHURES HAVE TWO MAIN COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS: –1) to provide practical information which visitors may use in their trip decision making and planning processes (informative) –2) to establish an image of the destination as a viable alternative when planning future trips (persuasive) (Fesermaier, 2000 in Nigro 2006)

18 BROCHURES According to Mason (2004) brochures display an almost fixed set of moves: –A) evaluative claims about the place/facility to visit –B) brief history of the resort/facility –C) guided tour of the main attractions –D) practical details (e.g. how to get there) –E) regulations (e.g. restrictions concerning animals, food, photography, etc)

19 BROCHURES EACH MOVE HAS ITS OWN COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTION WHICH IS BEST SERVED BY A SET OF LANGUAGE FEATURES TO EACH SHIFT OF MOVE CORRESPONDS A CHANGE IN THE PREVAILING LANGUAGE FEATURES e.g. evaluative claim: present tense, use of superlative forms, thematization of adverbials of place; brief history: past tense, thematization of adverbials of time; guided tour: use of imperative forms, increase in the use of personal pronouns

20 TRAVELOGUES CAN BE ARTICLES WRITTEN BY (SPONSORED) JOURNALISTS AND PUBLISHED IN THE TRAVEL SECTIONS OF NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES CAN BE TRIP REPORTS WRITTEN BY INDEPENDENT TOURISTS AND POSTED ON TRAVELOGUE SITES IN THE INTERNET (e.g.

21 TRAVELOGUES THE PREVAILING FUNCTION IS NARRATIVE (they sometimes include negative comments on the places visited or on the facilities used; they often offer advice on how to best do things) TEXT IS USUALLY PREVALENT (and can be quite long) BUT THE ICONIC COMPONENT IS ALSO PRESENT THEY ARE OFTEN ORGANIZED INTO SECTIONS (like travel guides)

22 LEXICAL ASPECTS Lexis is the most visible feature of specialized discourse. It is mainly through lexis that a particular specialized language can be set apart both from general language and from other specialized languages. General language is the mortar used to mix specialized lexis (Cortelazzo,1994)

23 LEXICAL ASPECTS Hoffman (1998) proposes a breakdown of specialized lexis into three categories: – specific vocabulary (i.e. highly specialized terms) e.g. late-perpendicular architecture –common specific vocabulary (i.e. common words which have been subjected to semantic restriction) e.g. package tour –general vocabulary (i.e. common words which have not been subjected to semantic restriction) e.g. hotel

24 LEXICAL ASPECTS Contrary to other fields, the language of tourism is not shared by a restricted group of specialists Its promotional and persuasive function makes it an accessible register (most of the time) However, all lexical choices are carefully made (use of selected keywords as away, adventure, dream, imagination, pleasure, escape to comply with the tourists expectations about holidaying)

25 LEXICAL ASPECTS A further peculiar characteristic is the use of a technique called languaging (Potter in Dann (1996: 183), i.e. the use of foreign and invented words in tourist texts to induce a sense of inferiority in the tourist some examples: –If you are lucky, you may also see the world famous Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara (from: The London Discount Guide – leaflet) –Camden Town is the London smorgasboard par excellence (from: he Original London Walks – leaflet)

26 LEXICAL ASPECTS Another commonly employed technique is the use of key words referring to one of the following psychological themes: ROMANTICISM, REGRESSION, REBIRTH HAPPINESS, HEDONISM, HELIOCENTRISM FUN, FANTASY, FAIRY TALES SEA, SEX, SUN, SOCIALIZATION

27 LEXICAL ASPECTS In the field of tourism the vast majority of specific vocabulary (in Hoffmanns sense) is ascribable to the many disciplines which characterize it (history, geography, art, etc) An example: The Henry VII Chapel, in the easternmost part of the abbey, is an outstanding example of late perpendicular architecture, with spectacular circular vaulting on the ceiling. The wooden choir stalls are carved with exotic creatures and adorned with colourful heraldic flags. (From: Lonely Planet London, 2004: 126)

28 SOME COMMON WORD FORMATION TECHNIQUES Specialization of words borrowed from everyday language (e.g. package > package tour) or from other specialized languages (e.g. congestion air traffic congestion) Creation of acronyms (e.g. B&B = bed and breakfast; LTB = London tourist board; LHR = London Heathrow airport) Creation of compounds (e.g. half-board; holiday farmhouse; theme park; one way ticket)

29 SYNTACTIC ASPECTS THE SPECIFICITY OF MORPHOSYNTACTIC FEATURES IN SPECIALIZED LANGUAGES IS NOT A QUALITATIVE BUT A QUANTITATIVE MATTER

30 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE NOMINALIZATION: from a verb phrase to a nominal phrase –E.g. when you arrive at the hotel > upon arrival at the hotel USE OF PASSIVE FORMS –E.g. the tour guide will show you all the major sights of the city> you will be shown all the major sights of the city

31 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE SUBSTITUTION OF RELATIVE CLAUSES WITH ADJECTIVES –E.g. The town of Chioggia, which is nearby> the nearby town of Chioggia OMISSION OF SUBJECT AND AUXILIARY IN RELATIVE CLAUSES CONTAINING A PASSIVE FORM –E.g. charming little towns which are surrounded by vineyards > charming little towns surrounded by vineyards

32 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE USE OF PRESENT PARTICIPLE ISNTEAD OF FULL RELATIVE CLAUSE AS PREMODIFIER (the present participle is used as an adjective) - E.g. the little town which is charming > the charming little town USE OF PAST PARTICIPLE INSTEAD OF FULL RELATIVE CLAUSE AS PREMODIFIER (the past participle is used as an adjective) –E.g. one of the churches which is most fully decorated > one of the most fully decorated churches

33 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE TRANSFORMATION OF THE VERB OF THE RELATIVE CLAUSE INTO A PRESENT PARTICIPLE –E.g. the three tiers of frescoes which represent the life of Mary > the three tiers of frescoes representing the life of Mary USE OF NOUN PHRASE APPOSITION TO DEFINE ANOTHER NOUN –E.g. … youll pass Adria, a sleepy little river town

34 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE FRONTING (THEMATIZATION) OF NON- FINITE (i.e. –ing, -ed, to) ADVERBIAL CLAUSES –E.g. Buried in the north aisle of the Chapel of Henry VII is Elisabeth Tudor –Travelling north, well stop along the way to visit Pisa –To taste genuine food, go to one of the local open-air street markets

35 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE USE OF SUPERLATIVE FORMS (the language of tourism is a kind of extreme language in which superlatives abound) some examples: –Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. (Windsor Castle – leaflet) – … for old Westminster is London at its grandest (The Original London Walks – brochure) –Some of the towers most famous prisoners were held around Tower Green (The Tower of London. Brochure)

36 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE USE OF THE PRESENT SIMPLE (to make the time of the holiday seem still and everlasting ) –E.g. Standing alone in the vast empty tract of the Salisbury plains and with origins dating back nearly 5,000 years, Stonehenge remains a place of wonder and mystery (Bath, Windsor & Stonehenge – brochure) –The past is cast in stone and we take it all in: ancient Westminster Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. And to see it with a great guide is to have that past suddenly rise to surface. (The original London Walks – brochure)

37 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE USE OF THE IMPERATIVE (not to give orders, but to urge the tourist to avail him/herself of the opportunities which are on offer) –E.g. Gain a fascinating insight into the role of the Crown Jewels in royal pageantry with our introductory films […] Once inside the Treasury, marvel at the Imperial State Crown worn at the Opening of Parliament and be dazzled by the worlds largest, top quality diamond, Cullinan, set in the Sovereigns Sceptre (The Tower of London – brochure)

38 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE USE OF MODAL VERBS (not to express deontic, i.e. personal or epistemic, i.e. logical meaning, but to express a way of behaviour, a mode of action to be taken by the tourist) –E.g. On the way to Westminster Abbey you will hear about Leonardo Da Vinci, and get a chance to see a work of him. At Westminster Abbey you can hear more stories about other important people in the book like Isaac Newton, who is buried in the Abbey. A visit inside is not included, but after the tour you can go inside to explore on your own. (Quality Walking Tours, Golden Tours – leaflet)

39 SYNTACTIC FEATURES OF SPECIALIZED DISCOURSE SPECIAL USE OF PERSONAL PRONOUNS (to achieve the goal of ego-targetting) –E.g. London is our main course but we also serve up wonderful side dishes in the shape of Explorer Days to Stonehenge, Oxford, Bath, Hampton Court, etc. An explorer Day is an interesting, fun and inexpensive way to get the most of our visit to these not-to-be-missed places. After all, if youve only got a few fleeting hours to take it all in, why spend half your time wandering around trying to get your bearings?

40 SOME LINGUISTIC RESEARCH QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN INVESTIGATED Lexical aspects: collocations of main keywords in a corpus of tourist information texts Syntactic aspects: degree of complexity in noun phrases taken from a subcorpus of brochures and travelogues Textual aspects: marked themes in tourist information texts

41 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION LITTLE BY LITTLE, ONE TRAVELS FAR (Tolkien)


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