Media stylistics

Lambrou, Marina and Durant, Alan ORCID: (2014) Media stylistics. In: The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics. Stockwell, Peter and Whitely, Sara, eds. Cambridge handbooks in language and linguistics . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 503-519. ISBN 9781107028876. [Book Section]

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In this chapter we review the concept of ‘media stylistics’. In particular, we disentangle the polysemy of these two terms which, when combined, describe but can also obscure work in this area; and we discuss key themes and concerns which emerge. Through analysis of two short extracts of media discourse in English, we elaborate a distinction between two alternative emphases: study of media language as concerned with the 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 commentary on modern society’s dominant communication forms, which tend to take an electronic ‘media’ form. In the first emphasis, media discourse is important in understanding the social functions of language and as regards social change. In the second emphasis, media language is more a matter of linguistic resources being used to communicate within an array of contemporary media choices whose availability is simply taken as a social fact. In later stages of the chapter we examine interaction between these different emphases at the level of media ‘genres'. In the formation of media genres, we argue, patterns of linguistic choice are superimposed on a given technical infrastructure and history of media capabilities. Distinctive media styles gradually evolve from each such combination to serve specific and changing expressive and communicative purposes. We conclude with discussion of the implications of this view of media technologies and forms as regards the development of new communicative styles on the Internet.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 16605
Notes on copyright: This material has been published in The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics by / edited by Peter Stockwell and Sara Whiteley. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press 2014
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Depositing User: Alan Durant
Date Deposited: 29 May 2015 14:53
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 17:28

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