Expressions of Sensory Evidentiality in Journalistic Travelogues: Elements of Persuasive Narration

In most cases, journalistic travelogues do not only want to share an experience with the reader, they also want to persuade the reader to make the same journey. If this is the purpose, __evidence__ is needed for the truthful presentation of the description. Involving all senses in the description of the perception makes the representation more complete and might contribute to its persuasive effect. In order to analyze this representation linguistically, I have collected a sample of 50 travelogues published in Flemish (Dutch language) lifestyle magazines. I have singled out all instances of mental processes (cf. systemic-functional linguistics) concerning perception, in which the Senser is the journalist. I have categorized the sensory perceptions that are described (also in terms of frequency) and I have drawn up an overview of the linguistic-pragmatic communicative purposes these descriptions have, in relation with the contents being communicated. The corpus shows that in most cases, the journalist does not refer to him/herself as Senser in the processes described. However in some cases, this reference does occur (e.g. __A deafening shreaking of pelicans reaches me.__ vs. __The shreaking of the pelicans is deafening.__). My central research questions then, are how, when and why this reference is made explicit in travelogues. The discussion of the instances drawn from the corpus will show how persuasive narration can be one of the goals of the explicit mentioning of the Senser.

Author Information
Martina Temmerman, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2015
Stream: Humanities - Language, Linguistics

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