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Vijay K.


Genre analysis today

In: Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire. Tome 75 fasc. 3, 1997. Langues et littratures modernes - Moderne taalen letterkunde. pp. 629-652.

Citer ce document / Cite this document : K. Bhatia Vijay. Genre analysis today. In: Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire. Tome 75 fasc. 3, 1997. Langues et littratures modernes - Moderne taal- en letterkunde. pp. 629-652. doi : 10.3406/rbph.1997.4186 http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/rbph_0035-0818_1997_num_75_3_4186

Vijay . Bh 1 .

Genre analysis today

Introduction Although genre analysis is a relatively recent development in the field of Applied discourse studies, it has become extremely popular in the last few years. The interest in genre theory and its applications is no longer restricted to a specific set of researchers in any one field or in any particular section of the globe, but has grown to be of a much wider significance than what was envisaged at one time. Candlin (1993) rightly asks, What is it about the term and the area of study it represents that attracts such attention ? What is it that will bring together under one terminological roof literary scholars, rhetoricians, sociologists, cognitive scientists, machine translators, computational linguists and discourse analysts, ESP specialists and language teachers ? What is it... that will allow us to bring into the same fold, advertising copywriters, business communication experts and Plain English campaigners ? (Candlin : 1993) Clearly a concept , he points out, that has found its time. There are obvious attractions in the way the term has been variously used in recent literature. The very nature of generic framework is multidisciplinary. Genre theory extends discourse analysis from linguistic description to explanation, often attempting to answer the question, why do members of specific discourse communities use the language the way they do ? The answer takes into account not only socio-cultural but cognitive factors too, thereby attempting to clarify not only the communicative goals of the discourse community in question but also the cognitive strategies employed by its members to achieve these goals. This tactical aspect of genre construction, its interpretation and use is probably one of the most significant factors that accounts for its current popularity in the field of discourse and communication studies. One of the disadvantages of such a popularity is that the more popular a concept becomes, the more variations in interpretation, orientation and framework one is likely to find in published literature. Discourse analysts interested in genre theory find themselves in a somewhat similar situation today. In this paper, I would like to clarify the theory of genre analysis to see what is common in its various manifestations, to identify some of the important issues raised in recent literature, and to discuss implications of these issues for further development of the theory and its applications to the teaching and learning of languages. 2 . Genre analysis Genre Analysis is the study of situated linguistic behaviour in institutionalised academic or professional settings, whichever way one may look at it ; whether in



terms of typification of rhetorical action, as in Miller (1984), and Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) ; regularities of staged, goal oriented social processes, as in Martin, Christy and Rothery (1987) and Martin (1993) ; or consistency of communicative purposes, as in Swales (1990) and Bhatia (1993). Genre theory, in spite of these seemingly different orientations, covers a considerable common ground. Although I would like to resist the temptation of going into an exhaustive account of the overlap between these orientations, it is worth pointing out some of the important features which characterise these competing frameworks. The first one is the emphasis on conventional knowledge, which gives individual genres their integrity and all the three frameworks consider this as central to any form of generic description. The second one is the versatility of the generic descriptions, and the third one, though it may appear to be somewhat contradictory to the first one, is the propensity for innovation, which comes from the essentially dynamic nature of genre. Let me give substance to these three aspects of genre theory. 2.1. Conventional knowledge Genres are essentially defined in terms of the use of language in conventionalised communicative settings, which give rise to specific sets of communicative goals for specialised disciplinary and social groups, which in turn establish relatively stable structural forms and, to some extent, even constrain the use of lexico-grammatical resources. As indicated earlier, there are at least three interrelated aspects of conventions that have figured prominently in genre literature and all of them are crucial to our discussion here : (a) recurrence of rhetorical situations, (b) shared communicative purposes and (c) regularities of structural organisation. The first one is more or less directly related to socio-cultural context and situated in specific disciplinary cultures. In order to identify typical rhetorical situations one may need to characterise the relevant socio-rhetorical context in which a particular communicative event takes place. A good and adequate understanding of a typical rhetorical situation leads to an identification of the communicative purpose(s) which are mutually shared by the participants typically associated with a particular discourse community. Shared communicative purposes are thus embedded within the relevant rhetorical context. Taking it a step further in the direction of linguistic form, it is then possible to identify typical regularities of organisational and structural forms, which often give shape to a generic construct. For a number of applied concerns, especially language teaching, therefore, the concept of rhetorical situation is perhaps the most general one, which provides a necessary framework within which one can locate communicative purposes, which in turn are realised in somewhat typical uses of lexico-grammar and discoursal forms. For the study of genre, especially for applied linguistic purposes, all the three inter-related levels of generic description are important. I do not see any tension in these so-called competing frameworks at this stage. In fact, they appear to complement each other, providing not only support and useful



explanation but also validity to the deconstruction of generic constructs. The notion of communicative purpose seems to be more central to genre theory, in that it is embedded within specific rhetorical contexts, on the one hand, and invariably determines specific choices in structural and lexico-grammatical forms, on the other. Another important point to note in the three orientations is the emphasis in all of them on certain specific aspects of genre description, either in terms of recurrence, sharing or regularities, all of which highlight conventional aspects of genre construction and interpretation. Whichever way one may look at it (see Jamieson : 1973 ; Swales : 1990 ; Miller : 1984 ; Martin : 1985 ; DudleyEvans : 1986 ; Bhatia : 1993 and 1994), the most common denominator has always been the conventionalised, institutionalised and allowable (rather than the creative, innovative and exploitable) aspects of genre construction. To a large extent this is quite understandable also. As Swales (1990) maintains, genres are not created overnight. They evolve over a period of time and are not recognisable till they become somewhat standardised. In this context, genre theory has placed a strong emphasis on the institutionalised aspects of genre construction and interpretation. Fairclough (1989, p. 59) illustrates the importance of conventions by considering medical encounter between a male gynaecologist and his female patient. Often, the gynaecologist needs to reassure his patient in his soft and soothing voice at the time of internal examination, now relax as much as you can, I'll be as gentle as I can . Quite appropriately, Fairclough asks, what is there in this brief encounter that helps the patient to interpret it as a medical rather than sexual encounter ? . In answer he points out, ... the constraints on the settings of gynaecological examinations are of major significance in guaranteeing that the encounter is indeed a medical one... Such examinations can legitimately be undertaken only in medical space ~ a hospital or a consulting room which implies the presence of a whole range of medical paraphernalia which help to legitimise the encounter. Any attempt to overlook, ignore or undermine the power of conventions in such encounters can result in disastrous consequences. Obviously, generic conventions go a long way to maintain desirable communicative climate and social order in civilised professional communities. 2.2. Generic versatility The second most important aspect of genre theory is its versatility, which can be seen operating at various levels. It is a theoretical model for specifying the relationship between (a) text and context in a very narrow sense ; (b) what people do with language and what makes this possible, especially in the context of specific disciplinary cultures ; and (c) language and culture, in its broadest sense, on the other.



The versatility of genre-based linguistic description can be seen at a number of levels of generic description. Using communicative purpose associated with a specific rhetorical situation as a privileged criterion, genre theory combines the advantages of a more general view of language use on the one hand, and its very specific realisation, on the other (Swales : 1990, p. 58 ; Bhatia : 1993). In this sense, genre analysis is truly narrow in focus and broad in vision. The concept of communicative purpose itself is very versatile. On the one hand, it can be identified at a fairly high level of generalisation, whereas on the other hand, it can be narrowed down to a very specific level. Also, it may either be a single communicative purpose or a more detailed set of communicative purposes. Depending upon the level of generalisation and detail at which one specifies communicative purpose(s), one may be in a position to identify the status of a particular genre and its use of generic conventions. Let me give some substance to this by taking up the case of what is commonly known as promotional discourse (see the following diagram). Genres identified in terms of communicative purposes I achieved through the rhetorical processes of description evaluation explanation



giving shape to products like promotional genres I reviews book Advertisements letters sales I applications job

blurbs book

TV commercials

print advertisements :

radio advertisements I I cosmetic ads

computer ads

book ads

airlines ads

car ads

I vacation ads

I ads for business travelers

Levels of Generic Description



Although genres are essentially identified in terms of communicative purposes they tend to serve, these communicative purposes can be characterised at various levels of generalisations. They can be realised in terms of a combination of rhetorical processes, which can also be considered as primary generic values. Halliday and his associates, working within a systemic orientation to genre description, have used this notion very successfully in teaching genres at school level (see Reid : 1987). In the case of professional genres, it is always possible to posit several levels of generalisation. To take the case of promotional genres, one may find at the highest level of generalisation promotional discourse in the form of a constellation of several closely-related genres with an overlapping communicative purpose of promoting a product or service to a potential customer. Some of the common examples of promotional genres may include advertisements, promotional letters, job applications (in the sense that their purpose is also to sell the services of the applicant to a potential employer, see Bhatia : 1993), book blurbs, company brochures, travel brochures and a number of others. All these and a number of other instances of this kind have a large degree of overlap in the communicative purposes they tend to serve and that is the main reason why they are seen as forming a closely-related discourse colony, serving more or less a common promotional purpose, in spite of the fact that some of them may also display subtle differences in their realisations. It is further possible for us to view any one of these genres, advertisements for example, at a lower level of generalisation and make distinctions between more specific realisations of this genre. Obvious examples will include print advertisements, TV commercials, radio advertisements and others. The differences between these are less discernible in terms of communicative purposes but more in terms of the medium of discourse and therefore as genres, they belong to the same broad category, popularly known as advertisements. Taking a step further, this time considering only print advertisements, it is further possible to view these in terms of categories like straight-line advertisements, picture-caption reminder advertisements, image-building advertisements, testimonials, pretend genres etc. (Kathpalia : 1992). Whatever the sub-category, all these advertisements serve the same set of communicative purposes, though most of them use different strategies to promote the product or service. Straight-line advertisements most often use product appraisal as the main persuasive strategy, whereas Image-building advertisements rely more heavily on establishing credentials as the main source of persuasion. Another variation one may find in the use of linguistic resources is that some types rely on verbal strategies (straight-line advertisements using product appraisal) while others, for example picture-caption advertisements, rely more on visual inputs. Once again, it is possible for us to take up straight-line advertisements and differentiate them further either in terms of their use of linguistic features for product evaluation, or maybe in terms of the kind of product they advertise, or even in terms of the audience they serve. In each case, we are sure to find subtle differences in the use of strategies for product description, evaluation, product differentiation, and these eventually giving rise to specific uses of linguistic



resources. But the interesting thing is that all these variations become distinctive genres only at a level at which they start indicating a substantial difference in their communicative purposes. The interesting thing about genre theory is that, whether one uses rhetorical situation or communicative purpose as a privileged criterion, it implies that so long as the communicative purpose remains the same, the texts in question are identified as closely related genres. As we move down from the top level to the lower levels of generalisation, we need to define communicative purpose(s) in an increasing order of specificity and detail, if we need at all to distinguish them as genres or subgenres. In other words, it is possible for a genre analyst to look for either similarities or differences between various members of a colony of genres. If one's interest is in looking for generic subtleties, he or she will be required to define communicative purposes at an appropriately lower level of specificity, whereas if one needs to distinguish a variety of specific realisations of the somewhat similarly related genres, he or she will need to specify communicative purposes at a higher level of generality. 2.3. Generic integrity v. propensity for innovation: In the preceding sections I have made an attempt to emphasise that genres are identifiable as a result of conventionalised and institutionalised discoursal practices of specific discourse communities. It is this conventionalised knowledge of the way genres are constructed, interpreted and used within a specific discourse community that gives its legitimate members an advantage over others who are outsiders. In other words, it is this knowledge of generic conventions which helps expert professionals to identify them (Bhatia : 1993). However, it is interesting to note that although genres are typically associated with recurring rhetorical contexts, and are identified on the basis of shared communicative purposes with constraints on allowable contributions in the use of lexicogrammatical and discoursal forms, they are dynamic constructs. Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) point out that ... genres are inherently dynamic rhetorical structures that can be manipulated according to conditions of use, and that genre knowledge is therefore best conceptualised as a form of situated cognition embedded in disciplinary cultures. Emphasis on conventions and propensity for innovation : these two features of genre theory appear to be contradictory in character. One tends to view genre as a rhetorically situated, highly institutionalised textual event, having its own what I have elsewhere called generic integrity (Bhatia :1993) ; whereas on the other hand, genres are also attributed with a natural propensity for innovation and change, which is often exploited by the expert members of the specialist community to create new forms in order to respond to familiar and not so familiar rhetorical contexts. This gives most genres a kind of dynamic complexity which is often attributed to the use of multi-media, explosion of information technology, multi-disciplinary



contexts in the world of work, increasingly competitive professional (academic as well ^as business) environment, and above all to the urge to be creative and innovative in professional communication. Genres are typically situated in specific socio-rhetorical contexts, and thus shape future rhetorical responses to similar situations ; they have always been viewed as sites of contention between stability and change (Berkenkotter and Huckin : 1995, p. 6). It may be that a person is required to respond to a somewhat changing socio-cognitive need, requiring him to negotiate his response in the light of recognisable or established conventions, since genres do change over time in response to changing socio-cognitive needs. This expertise to respond to novel rhetorical contexts on the basis of established generic knowledge also gives considerable tactical freedom to expert members of the discourse community in question to manipulate generic resources and conventions to express private intentions within the framework of socially recognised communicative purposes (Bhatia : 1993). However, as Bhatia (1995) points out, Genre conventions are often exploited by expert members of the discourse communities to create new forms ; however, such liberties, innovations, creativities, exploitations, whatever one may choose to call them, are invariably realised within rather than outside the generic boundaries, whichever way one may draw them, in terms of recurrence of rhetorical situations (Miller, 1984), consistency of communicative purposes (Swales 1990, and Bhatia, 1993), or arrangement of obligatory structured elements (Halliday and Hasan, 1985). It is never a free-for-all kind of activity. The nature of genre manipulation is invariably realised within the broad limits of specific genres and is often very subtle. A serious disregard for these generic conventions leads to opting out of the genre and is noticed by the specialist community as odd. Such is the power of genre, to which we shall come back in the later sections of the paper. However, at this stage, I would like to look at the complexities of the world of work and discuss how genre theory is likely to cope with these realities. 3 . Genre mixing and embedding In the present-day competitive professional and academic climate, genres are seldom seen to maintain static values. These are being increasingly exploited by expert professionals to create more hybrid genres, especially as a result of an overwhelmingly compulsive nature of promotional and advertising activities. It is hardly surprising that our present-day world of work is being increasingly identified as a consumer culture (Featherstone : 1991). The inevitable result of this is that many of the institutionalised genres, whether they are social, professional or academic, are seen as incorporating elements of promotion. Fairclough (1993, p. 141), referring to such changes in discursive practices, points out, . . . there is an extensive restructuring of boundaries between orders of discourse and between discursive practices ; for example, the genre of consumer advertising has been colonising professional and public service orders of discourse on a massive scale, generating many new hybrid partly promotional genres...



As an instance of such a hybrid genre, Fairclough (1993) discusses the case of contemporary university prospectuses, where he highlights an increasing tendency towards marketization of the discursive practices of British universities. Martin (1985, p. 250) rightly points out, ... genres are how things get done, when language is used to accomplish them . And, as demands on communicative practices become increasingly complex, expert professionals begin to respond to novel rhetorical situations by using established and more often, a number of innovative strategies to achieve a variety of complex goals. This process of exploiting the established generic values to create mixed or embedded generic constructs is always viewed by members of professional communities as tactically superior and effective. The exploitation of generic resources to create mixed or embedded forms is always based on whatever is already established in the professional community. It is almost like the advertiser's exploitation of the clich The shape of things to come in the following opening headline of an advertisement for a car. The shape of cars to come : Mitsubishi Cordia Or, the use of the famous statement about the British colonial empire in the Lufthansa advertisement, The sun never sets on Lufthansa territory, or in the following slogan for energy conservation, which says, Don't befuelish, where the whole idea of waste of energy is lost unless it is associated with Don't be foolish . The whole point about such associations is that they communicate best in the context of what is already familiar. In such contexts, words on their own carry no meanings ; it is the experience which gives them the desired effect. Therefore, the moment one deviates too much from the original experience, the effect can be lost. Again, if one is not familiar with the original, value of the innovation is undermined. Just as the advertiser makes use of the well-known and the familiar in existing knowledge, a clever genre writer makes use of what is conventionally available to a discourse community to further his or her own subtle ends. The innovation, the creativity or the exploitation becomes effective only in the context of the already available and familiar. As Fowler puts it, The writer is invited to match experience and form in a specific yet undetermined way. Accepting the invitation does not solve his problems of expression... But it gives him access to formal ideas as to how a variety of constituents might suitably be combined. (Fowler: 1982, p. 31) In fact, the notion of creativity is the very essence of the way genres are defined. It is clearly implied in the definition of genre in Swales (1990, p. 58) when he says, A genre comprises a class of communicative events, the members of which share some set of communicative purposes. Bhatia (1993, p. 13) associates this tactical aspect of genre construction with a clever exploitation of generic conventions by expert members of the professional community when



they mix socially recognised communicative purposes with their private intentions. Whatever the explanation, genres very rarely if ever serve single purposes ; they have a set of purposes, but the set, more often than not, is a mixture of complementary purposes. It will not be wrong to claim that these purposes themselves have generic values , if we can separately identify them. In a promotional genre, for example, the generic values of description and evaluation are used as one of the many persuasive strategies to achieve the right promotional effect. This use of description in a promotional genre is somewhat different from the one that is central to a book review. In a review, we often find a more balanced description of the book, (incorporating positive as well as negative aspects), whereas in the case of a promotional book blurb, it is invariably a positive description and evaluation that is used for a desired persuasive effect. In advertising, a partial description and positive evaluation of the product is always preferred, even where the product advertiser is required by law to include a balanced description, as in the case of cigarette advertisements or more recently, advertisements for investments, where one often finds in small print a mention of either a statutory warning Cigarette smoking is injurious to health or, Price and income of units can go down as well as up and past performance is no guarantee of future returns . Genres, in this sense, have a natural propensity for embedding and mixing, in that most genres have more than one generic value (see Bhatia : 1995). The following advertisement for a job, for example (p. 638), has two different but rather complementary generic values. The opening section from Scitex Corporation Ltd is a world leader... to the end of the first paragraph ending with ... for marketing and customer support has the promotional input (description and positive evaluation), which is very typical of the promotional literature. A good majority of promotional letters begin with such openings attempting to establish credentials of the company. It is true that such opening statements are not uncommon in job advertisements ; however, it is the size of the move rather than its presence or absence in this case which is the issue. Also, compare the space devoted to the job description, which is the main communicative purpose of the advertisement. There can be several explanations for the mixing of the two rather closely related generic values. A good reason for emphasising company credentials rather than job description may be that the company wishes to attract candidates by capitalising on the reputation of the company. The other reason may be that the company does not wish to disclose specific requirements of the job in question and by doing this they would like to keep initiative entirely within their own control. Yet another reason could be that the company has no detailed job specification in mind, but would not want to give a brief four-line advertisement, which might reflect adversely on the company credentials. Whatever the reason, the point is that there is a mixing of generic values. The mixing is done in a manner



that the promotional generic value reinforces the communicative purpose of job advertising.

ELECTRONIC SUPPORT ENGINEERS . (4 POSITIONS) Scitex Corporation Ltd is a world leader in colour electronic prepress system for the graphic design, printing and publishing markets. The Company has an extensive range of products that includes creative layout and design systems, image digitizing scanners, color workstations for page assembly and retouching, digital proofers, imagesetters and communication devices. Regional subsidiaries in North America, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong are responsible for marketing and customer support. Our subsidiary in Hong Kong has an opening for 4 new positions for Electronic Support engineers. The suitable candidates must have a university degree in Electronics or Mechanical Engineering, with a minimum experience of 3 years in High Tech Electronic Systems. We offer attractive remuneration. Please send c.v. before January 15th to : Scitex Asia Pacific (H.K.) Ltd. 8/F Park Avenue Tower, 5 Moroton Terrace Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Kathpalia (1992), in a very detailed study of promotional genres, gives a good account of variation in communicative purposes in advertising and makes a strong case for generative power of genres. ...the varying communicative purposes of promotional genres like those in which the goal is one of establishing the company behind the advertised item, that of building an awareness in prospective clientele of the company or product name..., have given rise to subcategories like... the Pretend Genres which ape the format of other genres... This generative procedure of genre creation or development is more popular in... advertisements as copywriters are constantly vying with each other to be unique and innovative in a market which is flooded by competing brands of products and services and an equally large number of advertisements.... ( Kathpalia : 1992, p. 394) As against genre-mixing, as in the previous example, we also come across instances of genre-embedding in advertising, which has been referred to as pretend



genres (Kathpalia :1992), where we find two or more generic patterns, embedded one within the other. Let me illustrate this with the following example. OVERHEARD AT FANLING GOLF COURSE 1st PLAYER : 2nd player : 1st PLAYER : 2nd player : 1st PLAYER : 2nd player : 1st player : 2nd PLAYER : 1st PLAYER : 2nd PLAYER : 1st PLAYER : How was your trip to Indonesia ? Great. Got all the business done... and got in a spot of golf. Hear business is booming there ? Yes. We're very optimistic on the future, so we're opening an office in Jakarta next month. So you're heavily invested there ? Well, the company is. My investments are more liquid. I prefer to buy shares in funds. I thought you liked Indonesia ? I do. I've invested in the Barclays Indonesia Fund. It's up 60% over the past three years *. Sounds good. Know anyone there? Call my contact at Barclays, Sarah Robbins, on 826 1988, or your investment adviser can help." Thanks. I'll follow it up. By-the-way, you just played my ball. * Source Micropal 01/10/91 to 17/10/94

Dear Sarah, I recently heard about the great performance of the Barclays Indonesia Fund. Please send me information on how I too can benefit from Barclays' Asian expertise with as little as US$1,500. My business card is enclosed. Thanks. HK IFA BARCLAYS LOGO BARCLAYS BARCLAYS INTERNATIONAL FUND MANAGERS Level 16, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong Tel. 826 1988 Fax : 523 5128 It must be remembered that the value of shares and the income from them can decrease, as well as increase and the past performance figures shown are not indicative of future performance.



There are at least two other genres which are embedded within the advertising one. The main information about investment opportunities is conveyed in the conventional genre of conversation and then there is the other conventional genre of letter used to solicit more information. These two genres are then embedded within the conventional advertisement with the standard signature line, logo and the rest of it. The intention here is to attract the attention of the potential customer by strategies other than the conventional headings and pictures. Sometimes advertisers may resort to very clever and subtle use of suggestive headlines in an advertisement to convey private intentions within the socially recognised communicative purpose of promoting a product or service, as we find in the following headline for property finance. Uncommonly Flexible. International Property Finance From... It may appear to be a perfectly normal headline in an unmarked situation. However, in the immediate local context, it is neither innocent nor straightforward. This advertisement appeared a day after the government in Hong Kong imposed tighter controls over mortgage lending financial institutions, reducing lending ratios from 60 per cent down to 50 per cent to private property buyers for flats valued at more than $ 5 million. On the face of it, it was a perfectly allowable conventionalised strategy to offer services to suit the individual requirements of clients ; however the private intention was to drop a subtle hint to the clever clients that the bank in question is uncommonly flexible . Although it is true that of all the professional genres, it is the promotional ones, particularly advertising, which display maximum creativity in the construction and use of generic resources ; the other genres can be equally vulnerable. Sometimes this kind of creativity and variability results in tentativeness in the context of generic identification. The case of introductory genres which are often found on the first few pages of books is an interesting one. Introduction , preface, foreword and acknowledgements are all used in the publishing industry with a remarkable degree of flexibility, so much so that even the best of dictionaries give up when it comes to drawing a fine distinction between at least three of them, namely introduction , preface and foreword . Let me consider the following instances to see how practitioners manage to exploit them in various permutations and combinations. INTRODUCTION Discourse analysis examines how stretches of language, considered in their full textual, social, and psychological context, become meaningful and unified for their users... [It then continues with the discussion of the field, indicating its importance for language teaching] This book aims to explain the theory of discourse analysis and to demonstrate its practical relevance to language learning and teaching. Section one examines... Section two explores... [It then gives the description of the content of the book]



There are several people 1 want to thank for their friendship and help... [The introduction ends with acknowledgments] (Cook : 1989) PREFACE It is arguable that the most crucial problem at present facing foreign language teaching syllabus designers, and ultimately materials producers, in the field of language for specific purposes, is how to specify validly the target communicative competence... [The introduction attempts to establish a niche for the book] In the preparation of this book I was influenced at the macro-level by the sociolinguistic writings of Dell Hymes and Michael Halliday, and at a more micro-level by the work of, in particular, Henry Widdowson, David Wilkins... [The introduction ends with acknowledgments] (Munby : 1978) FOREWORD This book, which is based on the teaching given in the Ordinary Course in Phonetics at Edinburgh University, is intended to provide an introduction to the subject as traditionally understood and practised in Britain: it deals. ..with phonetics as part of general linguistics... [// begins by describing the book positively and establishing its orientation] My debt to the great phoneticians of the English speaking tradition Alexander Melville Bell, Alexander J. Ellis, Henry Sweet, Daniel Jones, Kenneth Lee Pike must be apparent on nearly every page. 1 owe especial thanks to... [The introduction ends with acknowledgments] (Abercrombie : 1967) The three examples here display a remarkable degree of overlap in content and communicative intent, in that all of them begin with a good positive description of the book followed by the writer's acknowledgement of gratitude, but have been given different names. Although, as Swales (1990) rightly points out, the knowledgeable members of professional communities give genre names to classes of communicative events, these very generic constructs are often manipulated by the expert members of the community to reflect the changing realities of the world of work. 4 . Genre and authority In the preceding sections of the paper, I have claimed that genres derive their authority from conventions, which is based on the belief that all discourse forms, especially those used in institutionalised contexts are socially determined. As Bruffee (1986 : 777) points out, there is always a kind of consensus or an agreement among the members of specific disciplinary communities to structure knowledge in specific discursive forms. Goodrich (1987) also explains this institutionalisation of discoursal practices in terms of social authorship as against the more familiar subjective authorship. The right to a discourse is organized and restricted by a wide variety of means, to particular roles, statuses, professions and so on. Similarly the institutionalisation of discourse is limited in terms of its legitimate appropriation, and the restrictive situations of its reception church, court, school, hustings and so on.



Foucault (1981) also sees social authorship of discourse in terms of the institutional status of the speaker and the institutional sites from which the authorised speaker makes his discourse and from which the discourse derives its legitimate source and point of application , when he says : Who is speaking ? Who, among the totality of speaking individuals, is accorded the right to use this sort of language ? Who is qualified to do so ? Who derives from it his own special quality, his prestige, and from 'whom, in return, does he receive if not the assurance, at least the presumption that what he says is true ? What is the status of the individuals who alone have the right, sanctioned by law or tradition, juridically defined or spontaneously accepted, to proffer such a discourse ? Like other forms of discourse, genres are also socially constructed and are even more intimately controlled by social practices. Genres are the media through which members of professional or academic communities communicate with each other. They are, as Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) point out, ... intimately linked to a discipline's methodology, and they package information in ways that conform to a discipline's norms, values and ideology. Myers, (1995) likewise points out, Disciplines are like cultures in that their members have shared, taken for granted beliefs ; these beliefs can be mutually incomprehensible between cultures ; these beliefs are encoded in a language ; they are embodied in practices ; new members are brought into culture through rituals. (Myers : 1995, p. 5) The consensus is arrived at and negotiated through professional conversations and practices amongst the informed and practising members of a professional community. Interactions and conversations enable consensus, on the one hand, and have a regulatory or limiting effect on the other, as to what should or should not be admitted into a community's body of knowledge. Genres, thus, are socially authorised through conventions, and are embedded in the discursive practices of members of specific disciplinary cultures. These discursive practices, to a large extent, reflect not only conventions used by specific disciplinary communities, but also social conventions, including social changes, social institutions and social knowledge, all of which, in a way, could be seen as significantly contributing to what in genre theory is regarded as genre knowledge . Genres are products of an understanding or a prior knowledge of generic conventions. These generic conventions are responsible for regulating generic constructs, giving them what we have called generic integrity, and those members of the specialist community who have acquired such a right to appropriate generic forms alone have the power to not only to construct, interpret and use generic resources but also to exploit them to create new forms, to mix generic patterns and also to control responses of the outsiders. There can be no better illustration of the saying Knowledge is power than the one in the case of generic power. Power to use, interpret, exploit and innovate novel generic forms is



the function of generic knowledge which is accessible only to legitimate members of disciplinary communities. Although a good understanding of genre knowledge is a pre-requisite to any manipulation of generic resources, it is by no means sufficient to get such innovations and exploitations accepted in a disciplinary community. Kress (1987) mentions two significant ways in which generic innovations are accepted : they are backed either by a stable social occasion or by authority. Unless... there is a change in the social structures and in the kinds of social occasions in which texts are produced the new generic forms are unlikely to succeed. That is why childish innovations fail ; not because they do not constitute perfectly plausible solutions to particular textual/cognitive problems, but because they are supported neither by a stable social occasion, nor by authority . The latter is of course the case where a writer of authority creates a new generic form, which, seemingly because of the writer's authority alone, succeeds in establishing a new generic convention. (Kress : 1987, p. 42) He continues, Genres are cultural constructs, they are as culture determines. Challenging genres is therefore challenging culture.... (Dixon) and I are in a position to risk and perhaps to achieve that. However, it seems to me entirely inappropriate to ask those least able to carry that burden... (Kress : 1987, p. 44) How do these disciplinary communities maintain what we have called generic integrity in their discursive practices ? Let us look at some of the more familiar professional communities. 4.1. Maintaining generic integrity In some forms of academic discourse, especially the research articles, one can see generally two kinds of mechanism in place to ensure generic integrity : the peer review process, and the editorial intervention. Both these mechanisms, though operating at different levels, are actively invoked to ensure that all accounts of new knowledge conform to the standards of institutionalised behaviour that is expected by a community of established peers in a specific discipline. Although individual judgements can vary within the membership of specific disciplinary communities, a high degree of consensus is often ensured by selecting like-minded scholars from within well-defined disciplinary boundaries. For example, if one were to survey a few journals which regularly publish articles on discourse analysis, we will find that although all of them publish articles on various aspects of discourse, they have very different set of reviewers to certify accounts of knowledge claims for inclusion in the respective journals. If one encounters names like Cazden, Geertz, Goffman, Gumperz, Hymes, Milroy, Saville-Troike, Scollon, Tannen, and Zimmerman on the editorial committee of a journal, one could safely guess that they will be unlikely to accept articles outside a socio-linguistic orientation on discourse. Articles on other aspects of discourse are more likely to be discouraged and even rejected. If on the other hand, one finds names like Ackerman, Bazerman, Berkenkotter,



Comprone, Doheny-Farina, Huckin, Linda Flower, Miller, or Odell, one would expect them to welcome papers with a strong rhetorical orientation. Similarly, if one finds names like Carter, Christie, Halliday, Hasan, Kress, Martin and Rothery, one will come to the inevitable conclusion that the journal will favour a more systemic orientation to discourse. After peer review, the second most important intervention comes from the editors, who enjoy all the power one can imagine to maintain the identity and integrity of the research article genre. Berkenkottor and Huckin (1995) document an in-depth and fascinating study of this kind of editorial control to maintain generic integrity. They point out that for the construction and dissemination of knowledge textual activity is as important as the scientific activity . The importance of knowledge dissemination as distinct from knowledge creation is also brought into focus in the importance given to the description of previous research in academic publications. In order to become acceptable to the specialist community of fellow researchers, one must relate his or her knowledge claims to the accumulated knowledge of the discipline, without which his or her claims in the field are unlikely to find recognition through publication. In this context it is hardly surprising that literature review occupies an importance place in the researcher's repertoire of skills in most academic disciplines. Referring to the importance of citation in scientific research activity, Amsterdamska and Leydesdorff (1989) point out, In a scientific article the new encounters the old for the first time. This encounter has a double significance since articles not only justify the new by showing that the result is warranted by experiment or observation or previous theory, but also place and integrate innovations into the context of old and accepted knowledge.... References which appear in the text are the most explicit manner in which the arguments presented in the article are portrayed as linked to other texts, and thus also to particular body of knowledge. (Amsterdamska and Leydesdorff: 1989, p. 451) 4.2. Maintaining solidarity within a professional community One of the most noticeable characteristics of any professional or academic discourse community is the availability and typical use of a range of appropriate genres, which their members think serve the goals of their community. The recurrent use of such discoursal forms creates solidarity within its membership giving them their most powerful weapon to keep the outsiders at a safe distance. Hudson (1979) rightly claims, If one wished to kill a profession, to remove its cohesion and its strength, the most effective way would be to forbid the use of its characteristic language. (Hudson: 1979, p. 1) In this context, it is hardly surprising that most of the attempts by the powerful reformist lobbies in many western democracies to introduce plain English in legislative contexts are seen as imposition from outside and have been firmly rejected by the professional legal community. In order to look at the context in



which legislation is drafted, interpreted and used, we may need to adopt essentially an ethnomethodological perspective and view this genre in its terms. The main purpose of legislation, as Bhatia (1993) points out, is to govern the behaviour of individuals and institutions in society through the use of rules and regulations. In order to keep control firmly in the hands of the legislature rather than the judiciary in a parliamentary democracy, statutory acts are written not only clearly, precisely and unambiguously but ail-inclusively too. This rigour and adequate specification of scope in legislation helps the legislature to control a totally subjective and idiosyncratic interpretation of the statute book. This concern on the part of the drafting community has always been of great importance. All other concerns, especially those of ease of comprehensibility have played a secondary role in the construction this genre. Various attempts, therefore, to reform legislative language, including the ones by plain English campaign (see Thomas : 1985 ; Eagleson : 1988 ; Kelly : 1988), have to a large extent met with very limited success, for the simple reason that they are seen as transgression of the generic integrity of the whole tradition in the legislative process. Although the plain English movement has been quite effective in influencing the redrafting of general commerc ial and administrative documents, including insurance policies, residential leases, tax return forms, social benefit claim forms and other papers for better accessibility and usability by a larger section of society, when it comes to legislative provisions, it has not been able to soften the attitude of the parliamentary draftsmen significantly in many of the Commonwealth countries. The argument for the preservation of the generic characteristics of legislative discourse is that the real legislative power in all parliamentary democracies must rest with the legislatures and not with the judiciary. This is one of the important reasons why clarity, precision, unambiguity. and all-inclusiveness are so highly prized in the British Legislative discourse, which gives a relatively high degree of transparency to legislative intentions. Although, as Fairclough (1992, p. :221) points out, a growing pressure for dmocratisation of discursive practices in a number of other professional contexts is leading an increasing fragmentation of discursive norms and conventions , similar pressure to write legislation in plain English is consistently and quite successfully being resisted by the legal community almost globally. The reformist lobbies in many countries, especially in the United States, are becoming extremely aggressive, but are unlikely to make any significant dent in the so-called integrity of legislative genres, at least not in the foreseeable future. The legislative community has been very successful in resisting any attempts by outsiders to undermine the generic integrity of some of their most prestigious discursive forms. Obviously, members of the legal community value their discursive practices and use them to maintain solidarity within the community. 4.3. Privileged access to discursive practices If, on the one hand, generic conventions give suitable expression to the communicative intentions of genre writers (who are members of a particular



discourse community), on the other hand, they also match their intentions against their intended reader's expectations. This is possible only when all the participants share, not only the code, but also the knowledge of the genre, which includes the knowledge of its construction, interpretation and use. A necessary implication of this shared genre knowledge is that it is not routinely available to the outsiders, which creates a kind of social distance between the legitimate members of a discourse community and those who are considered outsiders. Although this creates conditions of homogeneity between the insiders, it at the same time increases social distance between them and the outsiders, sometimes resulting in disastrous consequences for the one who does not have access to such shared knowledge. This knowledge could reside in the form of linguistic resources used to construct a generic form, or it could be in the awareness of the rules of language use, some of which are socially learnt, as the ones associated with classroom discourse and other academic genres, while others can be legally enforced, such as the ones associated with courtroom procedures. Courtroom is a highly formalised setting in which negotiation of justice crucially depends on the contributions made by witnesses ; however, all forms of behaviour, including who says what, questioning and responding strategies of the participants, and even the content of questions and answers, are tightly controlled by the rules of the game, from which most of the witnesses are routinely excluded. Very few of them have any insider knowledge as to how their contributions are received, interpreted and used by the authorised players. Allen and Guy (1989) (citing a personal communication from Worthington : 1984) report an excellent example of this kind of lack of shared knowledge from an instance of courtroom encounter. An off-duty policeman in a store had shot and killed an intruder. Investigation had shown a set of burglar tools at the back of the store. The prosecutor was trying to show that there was no ground for presuming criminal intent, and that this was cold-blooded murder. The victim's wife was testifying for the prosecution. Here she is being crossexamined by the defence. Defence Lawyer : Wife : Could you tell the court and the jury what your husband's occupation was ? He was a burglar.

This supported the defence's contention of criminal intent, and secured acquittal for the policeman. If only the wife had been slightly more familiar with the conventions of the courtroom examination, the task of the defence lawyer would not have become that easy. Another example of the use of insider information to get access to information can be illustrated by the following headline from an advertisement for The Schroder Singapore Trust , which reads, The Schroder Singapore Trust Has Grown Over 60% In 3 Years



The information being given here can be extremely misleading, except to those who are well aware of the discursive practices of the professional community of financial managers. Anybody trying to make sense of this statement should know that this 60% growth in three years on its face value could be misleading, to say the least. Although it carries the usual statutory disclaimer in the form of a note in small print saying, Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance, the price of units may fall as well as rise and cannot be guaranteed , a lay person might still be led to think that his investment will probably get him close to 60% return. The fact, on the other hand, could be that the unit value might have declined by 100% in the last one year or so, and may still be showing the downward trend at the time of the advertisement. There could be several other possible scenarios which will only be accessible to those with the inside knowledge of the way these genres functions rather than to outsiders. If the power of genre can be seen as a legitimate force often used to maintain solidarity within a disciplinary community, whereas on the other hand, it is used to keep outsiders at a respectable distance. On the one hand, it empowers some people, the insiders, while at the same time, it tends to silence others, especially the outsiders. 4.4. Gate-keeping function of discourse communities Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) in their study of gate-keeping at an academic convention present an interesting instance of the power of generic control in welldefined contexts. On the basis of the analysis of abstracts submitted for the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), they claim that the high-rated abstracts... addressed topics of current interest to active, experienced members of the rhetoric and composition community and were seen by experienced insiders as novel and usually projected more of an insider ethos . Based on their study of CCCC abstracts for four years between 1988-92, they find two main levels of gate-keeping : (a) the external reviewers and (b) the program chair. We have observed many cases where the reviewers rated an abstract Excellent and yet it was not included in the program. Presumably, the chair disagreed with the reviewers' judgments.... In short, each convention bears the stamp of its principal gatekeeper. (Berkenkotter and Huckin : 1995, p. 115) They further point out that, In one particularly unfortunate case, a very interesting abstract was submitted to the Technical Communication area one year, where it received an Excellent rating from a reviewer and the program chair but was not included in the program (presumably because of a bad fit ). It was revised slightly and resubmitted the following year to the Discourse Analysis area. Again it received an Excellent rating, but again it was not included in the program. The author of this abstract probably never knew that she had written an outstanding abstract. All she would have been told was that her paper had been rejected for the program. (Berkenkotter and Huckin : 1995, p. 1 15)

648 5 .


Hegemony and World Englishes Another important aspect of generic control raises the issue of hegemonic attitude to maintain generic standards, which in much of contemporary discourse and genre studies, are dominated, and even determined, by essentially western conventions. Although it is true that English is the most dominant and widely used global language for academic as well as professional purposes, it is no longer the sole property of any one community of people, be they English, American, Australian or any other. Like cricket, English has also become more universal not only in usage but also in its character. True to the reality of present-day variation in English, one needs to think in terms of world Englishes, rather than English as a single monolithic variety of English. This variation in the use of English across the globe is getting increasing recognition in the sociolinguistic literature in the last decade or so, however in some of the genres, especially used in the academia, the power to control and maintain generic standards can be and often are interpreted in terms of the dominant community, which undoubtedly happens to be western community. Any thing which appears to be different from the norms set by the dominant community is viewed as deficient and in need of correction. In some areas, genre writers have become increasingly sensitive to local knowledge and have started constructing, interpreting and using genres in forms which display such sensitivities, especially in the case of advertising and some other business genres, where it has become an established practice now to develop local teams to act alongside the expatriates in most of the multinational advertising companies. The reason for such sensitivities is also not difficult to understand. In the case of academic genres, especially in research publication, the politics is still controlled by those who have the power. Much of academic discourse still fails to acknowledge the sources of variations, especially those of marginality and exclusion, giving the impression as if there is, or should be, no variation in the way genres are constructed, interpreted and used. 6 . Implications for language teaching What are the implications of all this for language teaching ? Applied genre analysis, unlike many other analytical frameworks, is neither static nor pres criptive. Potentially, it is dynamic and explanatory. It is for the language teacher to use it the way one would like to use it, for innovative exploitation of generic resources or for a limited exposure to standardised generic contexts. Although it is essential for the learner to be familiar with specific generic conventions associated with a particular professional setting, it is neither necessary nor desirable to restrict the experience of linguistic behaviour to just the conventionalised and standardised aspects of genre construction and use. How can one bring in creativity in genre-based language teaching and learning ? Since genre analysis gives a grounded description of linguistic behaviour in professional settings, it is possible to bring in a fair amount of creativity in



language teaching by adjusting communicative purposes, the nature of participation in a particular communicative setting, the social and professional relationship between the participants taking part in a particular genre-construction exercise, and above all, by bringing in variability in the use of generic strategies to achieve the similar communicative purposes. There are two schools of thought, I should say : those who believe in the explicit teaching of genres, especially the regularities of textual form and typifications, and others who see this as too constraining and advocate free express ion. The truth, however, rests somewhere in the middle. All genres, primary as well as secondary, involve regularities and hence, these regularities must be learnt by anyone who has even the slightest ambition of being part of any specialist disciplinary community. As Bhaktin (1986, p. 80) points out, genres must be fully mastered to be used creatively. However, in order to make this happen, the first pre-requisite is to have an awareness of the conventional knowledge that is situated within a specific disciplinary genre or a system of genres . Bazerman (1993) attempts to resolve this tension between institutionalised expression and individual expression when he points out : ... the individual learns to express the self against the compulsive society... We are not ourselves because we set ourselves apart from each other. We become ourselves as we realize ourselves in relation to each other. The social is everything we do with each other and what we become as we do it. We individuate by identifying ourselves on a social landscape, a landscape come to know as we interact with it. We discover and create ourselves and others by what we do with each other. (Bazerman : 1993, p. viii) There are at least three things which stand out clearly from the foregoing discussion. Firstly, language learners need to become aware of the conversations of the disciplinary community to which they aspire to be members of, which could be done through centripetal participation in the learning curriculum of the ambient community (Lave and Wenger : 1991, p. 100). Secondly, acquisition of genre knowledge, which leads to an understanding of generic integrity, is necessary but not sufficient for any subsequent exploitation or manipulation of generic conventions. And, finally, genre knowledge should be best viewed as a resource to exploit generic conventions to respond to recurrent and not so recurrent rhetorical situations, rather than a blueprint for replication. 7 . References Abercrombie (D.), Elements of General Phonetics (Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 1967). Allen (Donald E.) and Guy (Rebecca F.), Non-routine conversation in operational crisis , in COLEMAN (H.), ed. Working with Language : A Multidisciplinary Consideration of Language Use in Work Contexts (BerlinNew York : Mouton de Gruyter, 1989). Amsterdamska (O.) and Leydesdorff (L.), Citations : Indicators of Significance? , Scientometrics, 15 (1989) pp. 449-471.



Bakhtin (M.)., The Problem of Speech Genres, in Emerson (C.) and Holquist (M.), eds. Speech genres and Other Late Essays (Austin : University of Texas Press, 1986), pp. 60-102. Bazerman (C), Foreword to Blyler (N. R.) and Thralls (C), eds. Professional Communication : The Social Perspective (London : SAGE Publications, 1993), pp. vii-vm. BERKENKOTTER (C.) and HcKIN (T.N.), Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication -Cognition I Culturel Power (New Jersey : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995). BHATIA (V.K.), Applied Discourse Analysis of English Legislative Writing. A Language Studies Unit Research Report (Birmingham : University of Aston, 1983). BHATIA (V. K.), Analysing Genre. Language Use in Professional Settings (London : Longman, Applied Linguistics and Language Study Series, 1993). Bhatia (V. K.), Generic Integrity in Professional Discourse, in Gunnarsson (B.L.), LlNELL (P.) and NORDBERG (B.), eds. Text andTalkin Professional Contexts (Uppsala: ASLA's skriftsrie, 6, 1994). Bhatia (V. K.), Genre-mixing and in professional communication : The case of "private intentions" v. "socially recognised purposes" , in BRUTHIAUX (P.), BOSWOOD (T.) and BERTHA (B.), eds. Explorations in English for Professional Communication (Hong Kong : City University of Hong Kong). Bright (W.), The view from the editor's desk: 30 years of Amer ican Linguistics . A talk given at the City University of Hong Kong (1996). BRUFFEE (. .), Social Construction, Language and the Authority of Knowledge : A Bibliographical Essay , College Composition, 48 (December 1986), pp 730-790. CanDLIN (C.N.), Preface to BHATIA (V. K.) : Analysing Genre Language Use in Professional Settings (London : Longman, Applied Linguistics and Language Study Series , 1993). COOK (G.), Discourse (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1989). DUDLEY-EVANS (T.), Genre analysis : an investigation of the introduction and discussion sections of M.Sc. dissertations , in COULTHARD (M.), ed. Talking about text (Birmingham : University of Birmingham, English Language Research , 1986). Eagleson (R. D.), Efficiency in Legal Drafting , in Kelly (D.), ed. Essays on Legislative Drafting : In Honour of J Q Ewens, CMG, CBE, QC (= The Adelaide Law Review Association, 1988), pp. 13-27. Fairclough (N.), Language and Power (London : Longman, 1989). Fairclough (N.), Discourse and Social Change (London : Polity, 1992).


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Fairclough (N.), Critical discourse analysis and the marketization of public discourse : the universities , Discourse & Society, 4 (1993) 2, pp. 133168. Featherstone (M.), Consumer Culture and Postmodernism (London : Sage, 1991). FOUCAULT (M.), The Archaeology of Knowledge (New York : Pantheon Books, 1981). FOWLER (.), Kinds of Literature (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1982). Goodrich (P.), Legal Discourse (London : Macmillan, 1987). HALLIDAY (M.. A. K..) & HASAN (R.), Language, context, and text : Aspects of language in a social-semiotic perspective (Victoria : Deakin University Press, 1985). HUDSON (K.), The Jargon of the Professions (London : The Macmillan Press, 1979). JAMIESON (. .), Generic constraints and the rhetorical situation , Philosophy and Rhetoric, 6 (1973), pp 162-170. JAMIESON (K.M.), Antecedent genre as rhetorical constraint, Quarterly Journal of Speech, 61 (1975). Kathpalia (S. S.), A Genre Analysis of Promotional Texts (National University of Singapore : unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, 1992). KELLY (D. L.) (ed.), Essays on Legislative Drafting : In Honour of J Q Ewens, CMG, CBE, QC (University of Adelaide : The Adelaide Law Review Association, 1988). Kress (G.), Genre in a social theory of language : A reply to John Dixon , in REID (I.), ed. The place of genre in learning : Current debates (Geelong : Deakin University Press, 1987). LAVE (J.) and V/ENGER (E.), Situated Learning : Legitimate Pe ripheral Participation (Cambridge, MA : Cambridge University Press, 1991). Martin (J. R.), Process and text : two aspects of human semiosis , in BENSON (J.D.) and Greave (W.S.), eds. Systemic perspectives on discourse 1 (Norwood, NJ : blex, 1985), pp. 248-274. MARTIN (J. R.), A Contextual Theory of Language. In The Powers of Literacy A Genre Approach to Teaching Writing (Pittsburgh : University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993), pp. 116-136. Martin (J. R.), Christie (F.) and Rother y (J.), Social processes in education : A reply to Sawyer and Watson (and others) , in REID (I.), ed. The place of genre in learning : Current debates (Geelong : Deakin University Press, 1987). MILLER (C. R.), Genre as social action , Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70 (1984), pp.151-167. M UNB Y (J.), Communicative Syllabus Design (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978).



MYERS (G.), Disciplines, Departments, and Differences , in Gunnarsson (B.L.) and Backlund (I.), eds. Writing in Academic Contexts (Uppsala Universitet, 1995), pp. 3 -11. REID (I.), ed. The place of genre in learning : Current debates (Geelong : Deakin University Press, 1987). SWALES (J. M..), Aspects of Article Introductions (University of Aston in Birmingham : LSU Research Report, 1981). SWALES (J. M.), Genre Analysis - English in Academic and Research Settings (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1990). Swales (J. M.), Genre and Engagement , Revue Belge de Philologie at d'histoire, 1993. THOMAS (R.), Plain English and the Law , Statute Law Review, 9 (1985) 3, p. 144.