May 27th was the day that the 3rd edition of the Metadiscouse Across Genres (MAG2021) took off. The conference revolved from the beginning around the pressing need to revisit the framework of metadiscourse as we have traditionally used it, and to adapt it to new communicative contexts. Many of the speakers highlighted the special pertinence of refining metadiscursive analyses in the case of digital genres and media.
In a very similar vein, our project coordinator Rosa Lorés gave a plenary lecture entitled “Recontextualizing research for the general public(s): Making the most of metadiscourse”, in which she further emphasised the flexibility and reconceptualization in the framework of metadiscourse to exploit its potential as a valid analytical tool for the analysis of digital settings. She dealt with the recontextualisation processes that research outputs go through when hosted in the different components of genre ecosystems, and she exemplified this phenomenon by the focusing on the ‘digest’.
As an innovative digital practice that is gaining ground, Lorés provided a detailed conceptualisation of the genre that enabled to get to understand its rationale and main communicative purposes, as well as its structure and affordances. Later on in her speech, she shared the metadiscursive analysis of an exploratory corpus of digests that made evident the existence of polyphonic voices in the texts. Experts’ voice and the mediator’s voice intertwine in the digest and this is reflected by different sets of interactional and interactive features.
The talk was a really good opportunity to delve into a genre that needs further exploration because of the role that it plays within the genre ecosystems of research practices. Final reflections were offered as for the next steps to be taken in the reformulation of the metadiscourse model that may allow discourse analysts and linguists to encompass the establishment and evolution of new media and modes in our studies.
In all, the #MAG2021 has been a great research experience! The InterGedi research group would like to thank the organising committee for offering such an insightful venue to keep on reflecting on metadiscourse.