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LINGUIST List 23.85

Thu Jan 05 2012

Diss: Discourse Analysis: Hommerberg: 'Persuasiveness in the ...'

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        1.     Charlotte Hommerberg , Persuasiveness in the Discourse of Wine: The rhetoric of Robert Parker


Message 1: Persuasiveness in the Discourse of Wine: The rhetoric of Robert Parker
Date: 05-Jan-2012
From: Charlotte Hommerberg <charlotte.hommerberglnu.se>
Subject: Persuasiveness in the Discourse of Wine: The rhetoric of Robert Parker
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Institution: School of Language and Literature, Linnaeus University
Program: English Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Charlotte Hommerberg

Dissertation Title: Persuasiveness in the Discourse of Wine: The rhetoric of Robert Parker

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Dissertation Director:
Carita Paradis
Maria Lindgren

Dissertation Abstract:

The primary purpose of this study is to explore a case of remarkably
powerful contemporary rhetoric, namely Robert Parker's wine writing, which
has had an unprecedented impact in the world of prestigious wine for more
than two decades. Parker, an American autodidact who gave up his career in
law to become a full-time wine critic, is considered the most influential
critic of all time. This background motivates the approach of the current
enquiry, which targets the persuasiveness in Parker's writing. The
investigation strives to bring to the fore both explicit and implicit
elements of his wine reviews that have the potential to contribute to
rhetorical success.

The material selected for analysis comprises a corpus of reviews extracted
from Parker's extensive bulk of wine writing. The texts are studied against
the backdrop of socio-cultural and institutional frames. Considerable
importance is assigned to the fact that the reviews occur within a strictly
specialized field of discourse with a highly conventionalized configuration.

This hermeneutic enquiry approaches the topic from three analytical
perspectives, designed to highlight persuasiveness in representations,
argumentation and appraisal. The presentation reports on schematic patterns
in Parker's discourse as well as close interpretation of individual texts.
The analysis of representations shows that both visual and verbal
representations contribute to the persuasiveness of the text. The
argumentative exploration of Parker's discourse, which is assisted by the
analytical tools of pragma-dialectics, demonstrates that the reviews
involve rational argumentation on several subordinate levels, given in
support of assessments and recommendations. Finally, the perspective of
appraisal draws on the analytical resources provided by the Appraisal model
to shed light on the way in which the audience is positioned to respond
with respect to emotional, associative and perceptual values. The results
indicate that the persuasiveness of Parker's discourse arises as a result
of concordance among an intricate array of interrelated factors. The
audience is recurrently demonstrated to play a crucial role as
co-constructors of the message.

The present study also has methodological outcomes, presenting a novel
combination of analytical methods to perform contextually situated
discourse analysis. In addition, the material is allowed to challenge the
theoretical ideas and notions that are addressed.




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