Google Talks as a new knowledge dissemination genre


This study explores the new knowledge dissemination (KD) online genre of Google Talks, in both qualitative and quantitative terms. In particular, the study combines two complementary strands of linguistic investigation – discourse analysis and corpus analysis – to inspect and describe the features that characterise Google Talks as popularisation discourse, as compared to both traditional and new web-based genres. The qualitative analysis of three case studies belonging to the fields of economics, political science, and medicine shows both a continuity between Google Talks and other forms of popularisation, such as TED Talks, and a departure from more traditional genres in academic and institutional settings addressed at non-experts (academic lectures) or colleagues (conference presentations). A quantitative corpus-based analysis of evaluative adjectives shows that Google speakers frequently use aesthetic and emotion adjectives to encourage audience participation and create intimacy and proximity with hearers. In general, Google Talks imposes not only a simplification but also a reformulation and recontextualisation of specialised knowledge in a more interactive and dynamic web-based context.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v29p359

Keywords: Google Talks; knowledge dissemination (KD); popularisation; evaluative adjectives; web genre


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