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A chronotopic approach to genre analysis: An exploratory study

TitleA chronotopic approach to genre analysis: An exploratory study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsCrossley, S
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Pagination4 - 24

This paper will examine Bakhtin's theory that a genre's unity is defined by its chronotope [Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). Forms of time and of the chronotope in the novel. In M. Holquist (Ed.), The dialogic imagination: Four essays (pp. 84-258). Austin: University of Texas Press] and assume that, if this is true, the rhetorical unity within a specific genre could also be defined by its chronotope. Central to this theory will be the idea that the individual [`]moves' [Swales, J. M. (1981). Aspects of article introduction. Birmingham, UK: University of Aston Language Studies Unit] within genres are defined by their use of time and space. In this way, the chronotope can be used as a device to analyze specific genres that are of interest to ESP composition, and can then be used as an instructional tool for the teaching of these particular genres to students within the ESP community. A corpus of L1 and L2 cover letters will be reviewed and linguistic markers of time and space will be compared to establish chronotopic move markers and chronotopic generic differences. The research summarized will consider what the pedagogical and semantic implications of these generic differences might be.