Pascual, Daniel: “An intercultural and intergeneric analysis of speech acts in travel blogs”
(Travel) blogs constitute an up-to-date widespread instance of digital discourse opening up new paths for interaction thanks to its potential dialogicity, informality and immediacy (Boyd 2006). Certain speech acts are pragmatically useful (Searle 1985) to ensure bloggers’ closeness and interaction with their intended audience. To observe and identify the most prominent speech acts in travel blogs, I compiled a corpus of 18 entries (travel blog post, comments and author’s responses) from 6 different travel blogs in English by both native and non-native speakers. This presentation aims to show how and why speech acts are strategically used in travel blogs from a two-fold standpoint: first, the difference in frequency and use of those speech acts depending on the linguacultural background of the digital users; second, the intergeneric analysis that contrasts speech acts in the travel blog posts vs comments. Moreover, an attempt will be made to identify the most typical linguistic and discursive realizations enabling those speech acts to be communicatively effective for a global virtual community (Herring 2008). From a linguacultural perspective results indicate significant differences in the textual manifestations of specific speech acts; from an intergeneric perspective some specific speech acts –such as, asking, thanking, criticising and praising, ordering, adding emphasis, and recommending (Searle 1985)– are used differently in travel blog posts and their corresponding comments. The presentation will highlight the rationale of these speech acts regarding the nature of digital communication and travel blogs, and to the communicative purposes of the analysed sub-genres hosted in them.