Daniel Pascual and Pilar Mur-Dueñas present a combined pragmatic and metadiscursive analysis of research Twitter accounts at MAG 2021

On the first day of MAG 2021, the 3rd edition of the Metadiscourse Across Genres Conference, organised by Universitat Jaume I and the IULMA Institute, Daniel Pascual and Pilar Mur-Dueñas had the opportunity to share their latest research on the digital communication of research projects in Twitter. In their talk, “Tweeting in EU research projects: Pragmatic functions and metadiscoursal realizations”, Pascual and Mur-Dueñas analysed, from a pragmatic perspective, a representative sample of our EUROPROtweets corpus, to observe the strategies research projects frequently display when disseminating information about their projects and trying to increase their visibility. Then, all the pragmatic strategies identified were explored in search for metadiscursive markers that contributed to expressing researchers’ intentions.

The study offered a revisitation of some of the traditional categories of the framework of metadiscourse with the aim of incorporating new features used in and triggered by digital environments. Interactional features were found to outnumber interactive ones, and the use of attitude markers, engagement markers and self-mentions was particularly fostered in promotional and interactional pragmatic strategies. Illustrative examples from the Twitter accounts were offered to further situate the overarching pragmatic strategies intended by research projects.

On the whole, the combined analysis exemplified new ways of delving into metadiscourse and framing this framework with other approaches, as well as hinted at the relevance of Twitter in the research genre ecosystem of international projects. Our InterGedi colleagues supported the conclusions remarked by Rosa Lorés in her plenary lecture at #MAG2021: we need to accept the challenge that the framework of metadiscourse needs to adapt and become more flexible to situated communicative events. This may be the only way in which we can continue to make use of it as a working tool for digital and multimodal discourses.