Generic analysis of instructional discourse in user manuals of technical equipments and machines.
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The present research aims to investigate the influence of discourse community on the communicative purposes of the genre. The study seeks to reveal how a change in the communicative purpose affects genre membership. It explores the genre of instructions in the technical field, focusing namely on user and service manuals. The research sheds light on the genre of instructions as it addresses a wide range of audience who are members of a discourse community, varying from a general to a very specific one, and explains how technical information, represented by instructions, is conveyed to different types of audience, namely the laymen and technicians respectively. Hence, it is hypothesizes that a change in the discourse community will lead to a change in the communicative purposes of the communicative event. In other words, user manuals will have different communicative purposes by changing the community to which they are addressed.The methodology is based on a corpus-based analysis of a sample of thirty user and service manuals representing different products that are available in the Algerian context. First, the moves used to structure the genre are identified manually. Then, the data is processed using different text analysis tools to determine the linguistic features including sentence type and the lexical sets used to construct the identified moves. The results obtained from both types of manuals are compared to find out the changes resulting by moving from a general to a specific discourse community. The study reveals that the change of the discourse community could affect the communicative purpose of such genre. However, it does not lead to a completely different set of communicative purposes; hence, the two types of manuals share some of the communicative purposes because they share, to a great extent, the same pattern of moves that reflects the intended communicative purposes. In addition, the differences between the two types of manuals make it clear that the change that may occur at the level of communicative purpose does not necessarily affect the genre class and thus does not gives us a different kind of genre.
- Doctorat langue Anglaise