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Peer Bundgaard

The Double Feedback Loop and the Parameter Theory of Text Genres

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[This article has a double scope. First, we consider the dynamics inherent in the emergence of genres. Our view is that genres emerge relative to two sets of constraints, which we aim to capture in our double feedback loop model for the dynamics of genres. On the one hand, (text) genres, or text types, as we will interchangeably call them, emerge as a variation of already existing text types. On the other hand, genres develop as a response to the negative constraints or positive affordances of given situations: that is, either the exigencies of the situation or the new resources available in a situation. Accordingly, Section 1 is mainly devoted to a characterization of situations and of the dynamic relation between situational constraints/affordances and genres. Our main claim is that situations and genres stand in a relation of mutual scaffolding to each other so that the existence of a text type is not simply caused by the exigencies present in a given situation, but, once emerged, also feeds back into the situation, further stabilizing or consolidating it: hence, the use of the term “feedback loop”. Section 2 is a more detailed discussion of the dynamics of genres with a particular focus on the first feedback loop: the way genres develop as deviations from existing text types and then stabilize as text types proper with a normative import. The second scope of this article consists in developing a typological apparatus consistent with the dynamic approach to the emergence of genres. This is our parameter theory of genres which is presented in Section 3. Here we consider genres as governed by parameters external to them and intrinsic to the situations they are dynamically related to. Genres should thus be understood not simply in terms of inherent textual or formal traits, but also relative to a certain set of situational parameters and relative to the degree to which they are governed by them.]
TitelReflections upon genre : Encounters between literature, knowledge, and emerging communicative conventions
RedaktørerJan Engberg, Carmen Daniela Maier, Ole Togeby
Antal sider29
ForlagNarr Francke Attempto Verlag
ISBN (trykt)978-3-8233-6817-5
StatusUdgivet - 2014
SerietitelEuropäische Studien zur Textlinguistik

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