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The Reduction of a Text Roberta Grandi Università della Valle d’Aosta.

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Presentation on theme: "The Reduction of a Text Roberta Grandi Università della Valle d’Aosta."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Reduction of a Text Roberta Grandi Università della Valle d’Aosta

2 REDUCTION REMOVING ELEMENTS FROM A TEXT GENERIC SELECTIVE

3 Generic Reduction It consists in the omission of few elements of the original text (e.g. adjectives, repetitions etc.) without omitting or changing its meaning.

4 What is the purpose of generic reduction? Reducing a text helps to focus on its main ideas or components by eliminating superfluous, unrelated or inappropriate elements. Through a process of gradual “dismantling” of the text, the final generic reduction will consist only of the basic elements of the source text and will communicate only the primary pieces of information.

5 Example Subject: Speaking Chic to Power Lauding someone for their style on Capitol Hill is a lot like celebrating the best surfer on Florida’s Gulf Coast — it is all relative and, some would argue, irrelevant. Washington has never embraced fashion (nor, for that matter, has the fashion world embraced Washington) and for understandable reasons. REMOVE PARENTHETICAL CLAUSES REMOVE RHETORICAL FIGURES a lot like celebrating the best surfer on Florida’s Gulf Coast —, some would argue, (nor, for that matter, has the fashion world embraced Washington) it is

6 Remove quantifiers and adjectives Remove linking words and phrases Remove adverbs Remember Who You Are, But Stay Open To Everyone Else. Who we are is very much a product of where we've been raised and spent most of our lives. A common person who was raised in the United States would be likely to have a very different outlook on the world, and a very different way of doing things, if he were raised in Russia or France or Namibia instead. It is widely accepted that much of who we are is determined not by personal intrinsic internalities but rather by the accumulated experience of having lived in a specific place at a specific time. In other words, though we are who we are no matter where we're from, the details of how we go about our lives are very much determined by the culture in which we have always lived.

7 Removing quantifiers and adjectives Removing linking words and phrases Removing adverbs Remember Who You Are, But Stay Open To Everyone Else. Who we are is very much a product of where we've been raised and spent most of our lives. A common person who was raised in the United States would be likely to have a very different outlook on the world, and a very different way of doing things, if he were raised in Russia or France or Namibia instead. It is widely accepted that much of who we are is determined not by personal intrinsic internalities but rather by the accumulated experience of having lived in a specific place at a specific time. In other words, though we are who we are no matter where we're from, the details of how we go about our lives are very much determined by the culture in which we have always lived.

8 Can we further reduce our text? Yes, in order to get the gist of a paragraph, very often it is sufficient to read the topic sentence. Who we are is very much a product of where we've been raised and spent most of our lives. (topic sentence) A common person who was raised in the United States would likely have a very different outlook on the world, and a very different way of doing things, if he were raised in Russia or France or Namibia instead. It is widely accepted that much of who we are is determined not by personal intrinsic internalities but rather by the accumulated experience of having lived in a specific place at a specific time. In other words, though we are who we are no matter where we're from, the details of how we go about our lives are very much determined by the culture in which we have always lived.

9 Selective Reduction It consists in the removal of an entire communicative component (e.g. the removal of emotional elements, personal opinions and comments) Or in purging the text from elements considered inadequate to the context of communication.

10 What is the purpose of selective reduction? Selective reduction is a means of conforming a text to a particular communicative purpose and context or of stressing a precise communicative component: for instance, by eliminating personal opinions from a text it is possible to focus the reader’s attention on the actual referential elements.

11 CENSOR GEOGRAPHICAL AND MILITARY INFORMATION Confederate soldier John Sweet of the 9th Tennessee Infantry wrote home to his parents in November 1863 from siege lines overlooking Union troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee: We have just returned from a trip into East Tenn where we got big amounts of everything to eat and everything we eat is so good to me as I had been starved out so long on some bread & beef, all that we got while we were here besieging Chattanooga. Up there we got sweet and Irish potatoes, chickens, wheat bread and everything that was good for a poor soldier. Oh, how I do wish that I could be at home now, for it is getting late in the evening and I have had nothing to eat since breakfast and no telling when we will get rations. The enemy still holds their position in Chattanooga and our lines drawn up close around the place. We are now on the top of Lookout Mountain overlooking the town. We have a fine view of our entire line and also of theirs. It is said that we can see into five different states from our position. It is very cold up here, as cold as it is where you are in mid- winter. You must excuse this exceedingly bad letter as I have written in great haste. My love to you and all. Write when you can and a long letter as I am very anxious to hear from you.

12 CENSORING GEOGRAPHICAL AND MILITARY INFORMATION Confederate soldier John Sweet of the 9th Tennessee Infantry wrote home to his parents in November 1863 from siege lines overlooking Union troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee: We have just returned from a trip into East Tenn where we got big amounts of everything to eat and everything we eat is so good to me as I had been starved out so long on some bread & beef, all that we got while we were here besieging Chattanooga. Up there we got sweet and Irish potatoes, chickens, wheat bread and everything that was good for a poor soldier. Oh, how I do wish that I could be at home now, for it is getting late in the evening and I have had nothing to eat since breakfast and no telling when we will get rations. The enemy still holds their position in Chattanooga and our lines drawn up close around the place. We are now on the top of Lookout Mountain overlooking the town. We have a fine view of our entire line and also of theirs. It is said that we can see into five different states from our position. It is very cold up here, as cold as it is where you are in mid-winter. You must excuse this exceedingly bad letter as I have written in great haste. My love to you and all. Write when you can and a long letter as I am very anxious to hear from you.

13 REMOVE PERSONAL OPINIONS & SPECULATIONS Should we shield our children from Harry Potter? While the three previous films about the boy wizard have been rated PG, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has received a 12A because of fears about some scenes. This decision will lead to many tears, because a generation of under-10s already has the Potter-movie habit, and expulsion from the club will feel like an especially bad example of parents being, in the current short-pants slang, random and, indeed, stressy. The dilemma currently facing parents of junior school kids is whether or not to allow their little darlings to watch the really rather scary Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. With six-year-olds now carrying their books in Harry Potter satchels and wrapping their necks in Hogwarts scarves, it seems churlish to deny them the chance. Yet as the film's posters and trailers make clear, Goblet of Fire is a tale of 'dark and difficult times' whose 12A certificate denotes 'threat and horror' involving fearsome dragons, casual murder and men hacking off their own hands in weird satanic rituals. As a child with a taste for the gruesome, I would have given my right arm to be allowed to watch a movie in which someone... well, gave their right arm. But not every kid inclines so heavily towards the dark side and many under-12s will doubtless find the fourth Harry Potter movie too edgy to endure.

14 REMOVING PERSONAL OPINIONS & SPECULATIONS While the three previous films about the boy wizard have been rated PG, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has received a 12A because of fears about some scenes. This decision will lead to many tears, because a generation of under-10s already has the Potter-movie habit, and expulsion from the club will feel like an especially bad example of parents being, in the current short-pants slang, random and, indeed, stressy. The dilemma currently facing parents of junior school kids is whether or not to allow their little darlings to watch the really rather scary Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. With six-year-olds now carrying their books in Harry Potter satchels and wrapping their necks in Hogwarts scarves, it seems churlish to deny them the chance. Yet as the film's posters and trailers make clear, Goblet of Fire is a tale of 'dark and difficult times' whose 12A certificate denotes 'threat and horror' involving fearsome dragons, casual murder and men hacking off their own hands in weird satanic rituals. As a child with a taste for the gruesome, I would have given my right arm to be allowed to watch a movie in which someone... well, gave their right arm. But not every kid inclines so heavily towards the dark side and many under-12s will doubtless find the fourth Harry Potter movie too edgy to endure.

15 Example___Subject: At These Golden Globes, Everyone Is a Little Special LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 — The Golden Globes, an awards dance that takes great care to make sure everybody has a place at the table, finessed an almost perfect result on Monday night. The 84 or so members of the association are, first and foremost, cheerleaders for the movie industry and the stars that give it light. They spend the year going to private screenings and intimate dinners, bumping knees with the likes of Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. It is possible that they begin to think of these movie titans as friends: friends they don’t want to disappoint. Remember that preschool graduation at which everyone got an award for something and parents left feeling validated that their pride and joy was in some way special? Monday night felt a bit like that. The people behind “Dreamgirls,” in need of a win if only to quiet the chattering class of Oscar watchers who were suggesting that the film had broken stride on the way to the podium, had much to be happy about. With victories in the supporting actor categories for Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, and the award for best comedy/musical, “Dreamgirls”, a film that seemed conceived and executed with an embedded Oscar strategy, is still very much alive and in the hunt for best picture at the Academy Awards. Having not been tested by “Babel” or “The Departed,” which were in a separate dramatic category, “Dreamgirls” is perhaps not the favorite, but its backers can work from their new position. “ ‘Dreamgirls’ will win tonight because it has to,” said a former studio head as he walked up the red carpet on Monday night, asking not to be identified because, he said, he worried he would upset other competitors. REMOVE PARENTHETICALS, QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND DIRECT SPEECH

16 Example___Subject: At These Golden Globes, Everyone Is a Little Special LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 — The Golden Globes, an awards dance that takes great care to make sure everybody has a place at the table, finessed an almost perfect result on Monday night. The 84 or so members of the association are, first and foremost, cheerleaders for the movie industry and the stars that give it light. They spend the year going to private screenings and intimate dinners, bumping knees with the likes of Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. It is possible that they begin to think of these movie titans as friends: friends they don’t want to disappoint. Remember that preschool graduation at which everyone got an award for something and parents left feeling validated that their pride and joy was in some way special? Monday night felt a bit like that. The people behind “Dreamgirls,” in need of a win if only to quiet the chattering class of Oscar watchers who were suggesting that the film had broken stride on the way to the podium, had much to be happy about. With victories in the supporting actor categories for Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, and the award for best comedy/musical, “Dreamgirls”, a film that seemed conceived and executed with an embedded Oscar strategy, is still very much alive and in the hunt for best picture at the Academy Awards. Having not been tested by “Babel” or “The Departed,” which were in a separate dramatic category, “Dreamgirls” is perhaps not the favorite, but its backers can work from their new position. “ ‘Dreamgirls’ will win tonight because it has to,” said a former studio head as he walked up the red carpet on Monday night, asking not to be identified because, he said, he worried he would upset other competitors. REMOVING PARENTHETICALS, QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND DIRECT SPEECH


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