LINGUIST List 14.1587

Wed Jun 4 2003

Books: Discourse Analysis: Lassen

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

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  1. paul, Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals

Message 1: Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals

Date: Wed, 04 Jun 2003 11:29:31 +0000
From: paul <>
Subject: Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals

Title: Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals
Subtitle: A survey of style and grammatical metaphor
Series Title: Document Design Companion Series 4
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: John Benjamins,		 
Book URL:
Author: Inger Lassen, Aalborg University 
Hardback: ISBN: 1588113620, Pages: xviii, 183 pp., Price: USD 77.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9027232040, Pages: xviii, 183 pp., Price: EUR 77.00


Accessibility and Acceptability in Technical Manuals is written for an
audience with a general interest in readability studies, linguistics
and technical writing. With the main emphasis on technical manuals the
book is primarily targeted at those who have a special interest in the
design and use of utility texts and how these texts are received and
understood by a multifaceted audience. Accessibility is not a new
research area and many explanations have been offered over the past
years as to why non-experts often have difficulties in comprehending
texts written by technological experts. This book offers a new
approach to accessibility studies by exploring not only style, but
also attitudes to style, by asking text consumers which style they
prefer for different parts of the manual. A key role is played by the
Systemic Functional Linguistics' notion of grammatical metaphor, a
stylistic choice that is commonly used in technical
literature. Grammatical metaphor - although apparently obstructing the
comprehension process of some readers - is a common element in the
preferred style that separates the 'insiders' from the 'outsiders'.
An explanation of this rather surprising result is offered by
resorting to Critical Discourse Analysis.

Table of contents

Preface xi 
Introduction xiii 
1. Research disciplines and methods 1-5 
2. Field, tenor and mode dimensions 7-16 
3. Register analysis 17-63 
4. Categorizing text through genre analysis 65-78 
5. Research methods and survey 79-126 
6. Information structure 127-143 
7. The technical manual as social semiotic 145-160 
8. Discussion and conclusions 161-167 
References 169-174 
Appendix: Survey of writing style in technical manuals 175-177 
Name index 179-180 
Subject index 181-183

Lingfield(s): Discourse Analysis
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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