Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age - Sheena Gardner

Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age - Sheena Gardner

12. Is this the End of Hypertext?: Hotel Websites' Return to Lineality

Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age - Sheena Gardner

Martin Kaltenbacher [+-]
University of Salzburg
Martin Kaltenbacher is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Salzburg, Austria. In his research, he applies methods of Systemic Functional Linguistics and corpus linguistics to media discourse, language of tourism and news commentary. He co-edited books on Multimodality (Ventola, E., Charles, C., Kaltenbacher, M. Perspectives on Multimodality, Benjamins) and on Discourse Studies (Gruber, H., Kaltenbacher, M., Muntigl, P. Empirical Approaches to Discourse Analysis, Peter Lang). For the past three years he has been collaborating on a corpus based, international project called Styles of Persuasion in Europe, the aim of which is to explore similarities and differences in newspaper commentary across more than 200 European newspapers from 13 different European countries.

Description

Perhaps the most outstanding quality of online texts is their network character, which is established through the linking of text or other modalities within a website and outside this website to other webs. It is this particular feature – this linking "in some way other than by the default sequential convention of ordinary reading" (Lemke 2002: 300) – that has shaped such texts as non-linear constructs and has created the metaphor of the internet as a three-dimensional web. While typical internet texts may still have a fairly clear beginning in the top left corner of the homepage of a website, they can neither be read along a pre-composed reading path, nor do they have a distinct end. Quite on the contrary, they are not even designed to be read as a whole and in a particular order but are composed as databases and networks containing much more information than necessary. Recent trends discernible in hotel websites, however, seem to reflect a turning point in this design strategy which results in a return in text composition to a traditional, more linear structure. This claim shall here be substantiated with the analyses of two different versions of two hotel websites: of Hotel Sacher in Vienna and The Sheraton in Salt Lake City, and of their corresponding representations on the hotel reservation platform booking.com.

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Citation

Kaltenbacher, Martin. 12. Is this the End of Hypertext?: Hotel Websites' Return to Lineality. Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 198-208 Nov 2016. ISBN 9781781792384. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26116. Date accessed: 12 Dec 2018 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26116. Nov 2016

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