From bureaucrats to the public on the internet. Methodological aspects of intertextual analysis

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Published May 31, 2017
Merja Koskela


Decisions made by authorities form sections of intertextual chains that run from the preparation phase of an issue until the public is informed, and further when the public starts
to discuss it (see Fairclough 1992). The chain consists of many types of texts with different communicative purposes. A concept that can be used to describe what happens within an intertextual chain is recontextualization. Linell (1998: 144–145) defines that as ‘the dynamic transferand- transformation of something from one discourse/text-in-context to another’. When certain contents, facts or arguments are recontextualized, transformations of meaning tend to happen, depending on the contexts into which they are embedded. In specialized communication it is especially important to understand the nature of such transformations when the context changes. The present paper discusses the methodological challenges in studying transformations of meaning in intertextual chains representing specialized communication, especially when considering the internet as a medium. The most important challenges include limiting the material, identifying points of recontextualization within a chain, and defining the scope of the analysis. As methods and aims are closely intertwined, the paper also suggests potential research questions for research on specialized communication.

How to Cite

Koskela, Merja. 2017. “From Bureaucrats to the Public on the Internet. Methodological Aspects of Intertextual Analysis”. Fachsprache 32 (1-2):54-63.
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