ELF e strategie linguistiche nei siti di Q&A: una ricerca esplorativa sul linguaggio emozionale nel turismo del golf


Abstract – Online communities as a distinctive feature of virtual forums and social networking groups have gradually become one of the major sources of information, surpassing corporate websites in terms of influence on purchasing decisions. Such platforms are characterized by cosmopolitan brand communities sharing the same field of expertise and are constructed around a series of social relationships based upon common interest in a particular topic, e.g. golf tourism. Golf is an interesting tourist segment for Apulia as well as a widespread holiday activity, which implies the adoption of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). It is used in exclusive clubs and resorts and for the profound sharing of linguistic codes. By taking part in digital communities, working on online forums or social networks, golfers can ask questions and receive feedback on exclusive tourist destinations, emotions, and experiences, thus generating debates and exchanging ideas. Social issues related to the various topics of discussion including golf are developed through debates, requests for information, questions and answers that can create word-of-mouth promotion. On the latter aspect literature in the digital communication field has so far focused its attention, by investigating virality as an effect of the emotional content of posts, whereas few researches have analyzed the emotional response and the ability to solicit opinions as effects of the linguistic content of the information requests. The purpose of this exploratory study was therefore to provide evidence for the existence of possible relationships between specific linguistic contents – i.e. personal pronouns with their possessive adjectives and modal verbs on the one hand, and emotions raised and the number of responses elicited on the other - within the English version of Yahoo Answers which is dedicated to resorts with golf courses. To this end, two studies were carried out: 1) a qualitative/pragmalinguistic analysis and 2) a quantitative and marketing-related one. Results, albeit limited by the explorative nature of the research, provide useful insights into the extent to which such language expressions can affect emotional responses in respondents and can initiate response processes, with stimulating implications concerning management in general and the management of digital platforms on golf tourism in Apulia.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v20p33

Keywords: ELF; mitigation; emotions; Solicited Answers; Q&A


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