By Terttu Nevalainen, Sanna-Kaisa Tanskanen
The contributions during this booklet speak about letter-writing from 1400 to 1800, and the fabric studied levels from the past due medieval Paston Letters and the correspondence among Sweden and the German Hanse to Early smooth English kin letters and correspondence in typical historical past among England and North the US within the eighteenth century. via bringing a collection of corpus linguistic, discourse analytic, pragmatic and sociolinguistic techniques to endure on old letter-writing task, the articles either expand and supplement the conventional letter-writing learn within the historical past of ecu languages, which techniques the subject from a mostly rhetorical perspective.
The articles during this booklet have been first released as a distinct factor of the Journal of old Pragmatics 5:2 (2004), proportion a contextualised view of letters: no matter if approached from the point of view of language touch, social and discursive practices, intertextuality, viewers layout or linguistic politeness, letters are analysed as a part of their particular familial, company or medical community. Writing letters hence emerges as hugely context-sensitive social interplay.
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399, ll. 31ﬀ, emphasis added). What can be made of this? These patterns seem to suggest that some basic variability, such as the presence or absence of pious valedictions, might be governed mostly by social status. On the other hand, some of the variation cannot be accounted for in terms of social status alone. It seems to be based on other factors, including subject matter and the author’s intention, in other words: socio-pragmatic subtypes. Before the distinction between text types and socio-pragmatic subtypes is put to the test with two linguistic variables, one word of caution is in order.
Table 3 demonstrates that this distribution is not due to any individual preferences on the part of the authors — on the contrary. The author with the proportionally highest number of th-pronouns (the most progressive speaker/writer) is John Paston III; but he did not produce many “orders” which are characterised by innovative forms. John I, on the other hand, is one of the more traditional speakers with many instances of hem and many “report” texts. These show many instances of here, although John I does not use many possessive forms, so that this part of the Text typology Table 3.
Some types may simply be absent; others may be added through more ﬁnely grained distinctions. The development of (at least European) letters in general, from oﬃcial business letters to a general means of written communication, is a case in point in this respect. Table 1. Socio-pragmatic diﬀerentiation of text types Text type(s) Subtype(s) Letter Report (= descriptive, neutral) Request (= appellative, socially inferior to superior) Orders (= appellative, socially superior to inferior) Counsel (= descriptive-appellative) Phatic (= phatic-descriptive-expressive) Petition Request (= appellative, socially inferior to socially superior) Some examples: Letter no.