Sawalmeh, Murad (2015) Ceremonial Arabic Writing: A Genre-Based Investigation of Wedding Invitation Cards and Obituary Announcements in Jordanian Society. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The objectives of this thesis are fourfold: First, I will offer a detailed analysis of rhetorically functional text component moves of the genres of Jordanian written wedding invitation cards and newspaper obituary announcements at the macro-structural level. Second, I will provide a comprehensive analysis of salient linguistic features that characterize the genres at the microlinguistic level. Third, I will find out how socio-cultural and religious beliefs and practices are reflected in the generic formulaic structure of these genres. Fourth, I will show how sociolinguistic variability and dynamics are evident in the genres. In order to explore the discourse of these genres, a move analysis was carried out upon a corpus of 500 wedding invitation cards, and another 500 newspaper obituary announcements. The analysis of macrostructural
and micro-linguistic features is influenced by the work of Bhatia (1993) as it profitably illuminates the relationship between social practice and written discourse. The findings of the study are fivefold. First, the study demonstrates that eight and eleven communicative moves exist in wedding invitation cards and obituary announcements respectively. Each move performs a specific communicative function and contributes to the general communicative purpose of the entire genre. Second, the genre analysis indicates that the generic organisational structure of the genres is highly conventionalized and structured in terms of form, content, positioning and functional values, with some variations in frequency and order of moves. Third, the writers of Jordanian wedding invitations and obituary announcements use a number of linguistic resources the way they like to generate some special effects and express private and organisational intentions within the framework of culturally recognised purposes. Fourth, the generic structure of the genres uncovers many socio-cultural and religious messages about Jordanian society.
Finally, the findings showed that, besides religion, other sociocultural factors such as family, gender, and socioeconomic status have massively impacted the way these genres are structured and interpreted. It is hoped that the results of this study will be of great help in further understanding the socio-cultural perceptions, attitudes and values that shape these two communicative events as well as aiding in efforts towards intercultural communication.

Final thesis - SAWALMEH.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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