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Language use as an institutional practice: An investigation into the genre of workplace emails in an educational institution

Al Afnan, Mohammad Awad Mohammad (2014) Language use as an institutional practice: An investigation into the genre of workplace emails in an educational institution. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Abstract

Past studies that examined the genre of email regarded genre as a model by focusing on the content and form alone. However, this study examined the genre as a resource by analyzing the knowledge producing and knowledge disseminating that makes the genre possible in its socio-rhetorical context. The study, in line with critical genre analysis, examined the text-internal and the influences of the text-external elements on language use in email communication at a private higher educational institution in Kuala Lumpur. Using 378 emails, participant observation and interviews, this study analyzed the genre from the ethnographic, textual, socio-cognitive and socio-critical perspectives. To conduct the analysis, a novel integrative methodology that included approaches to text, context and genre analysis was applied. The study revealed that the emails could be categorized into four types of genres that varied in their communicative purposes, intentions, goals of communication, register and generic structures. The discussion email genre, which was used to negotiate issues, mainly included involved production and overt expression of argumentation. Enquiry email genre, which was used as a request-respond strategy, included narrative and nonnarrative discourse while the delivery email genre, which was used to provide files, mainly included informational production and non-narrative discourse. Informing email genre, which was used to notify the recipients about general interest issues, mainly included abstract style and informational production. This study also revealed that the institutional practices and disciplinary conventions of the discourse community influenced language use in the emails. This was reflected in the strategies, mechanisms and linguistic choices made in the four types of genres. The study contributed to the socio-rhetoric perspective and critical genre analysis based on conventionalized practices and procedures in the community of practice in academic management. The integrative approach is also highlighted as an analytical method to examine language use in email communication.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Email communication, Socio-rhetoric, Critical genre analysis, Discourse community, Integrative approach
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Badrulsaman Hamid
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2015 04:00
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2016 08:02
URI: http://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/4388

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