Verbal Techniques of the Language of Tourism Across Cultures: An Analysis of Five Official Tourist Websites

Verbal Techniques of the Language of Tourism Across Cultures: An Analysis of Five Official Tourist Websites

Elena Manca (University of Salento, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2930-9.ch006
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Abstract

This paper aims to analyse the verbal techniques which are more frequently used in tourism discourse, that is to say comparison, key words and keying, testimony, languaging, and ego-targeting (Dann, 1996). In order to do that, five official websites have been chosen for analysis, namely the websites which promote the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and Italy as tourist destinations. The linguistic content available on these websites has been downloaded and five comparable corpora have been assembled and analysed through WordSmith Tool 6.0 software for linguistic analysis (Scott, 2012). The methodological approach adopted combines the Corpus Linguistics approach with Cross-cultural studies models, in order to extract quantitative data and to interpret them from a linguistic and cultural perspective (Manca, 2016a). The aim of these analyses is to show that, although these techniques are all peculiar of tourism discourse, they are employed with different frequencies by the five languages/cultures with relevant implications for cross-cultural tourist communication.
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1. Introduction

This paper sets out to describe the verbal techniques more frequently used in the tourism discourse of five official websites, with the aim of identifying differences and similarities in the way the USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Italy are officially promoted as tourist destinations.

As suggested by Dann (1996: 171), the verbal techniques which characterise the language of tourism are several and comprise: comparison, key words and keying, testimony, humour, languaging and ego-targeting.

These verbal techniques have been variously analysed by tourism experts (Ernawati 2001; Pierini 2008; Mattiello 2012; Maci 2013; Cappelli 2013; Cesiri 2016, just to name a few) but what is innovative in the analysis proposed in this article is the contrastive linguistic and socio-cultural approach which will be adopted in the identification of such techniques. In particular, five official tourist websites will be considered: the website promoting the USA (www.italia.it).

The methodological approach adopted will combine the Corpus Linguistics approach with Cross-cultural studies models, in order to extract quantitative data and to interpret them from a linguistic and cultural perspective (Manca 2016a). The five corpora obtained by downloading the above mentioned websites will be analysed by means of the WordList, KeyWords and Concordance tools of WordSmith 6.0 software for linguistic analysis (Scott 2012).

The aim of these analyses is to show that, although these techniques are all peculiar of tourism discourse, they are employed with different frequencies by the five languages/cultures. Finally, a relation between the selection of techniques and cultural aspects will be hypothesized, on the basis of the theories of cultural models to advertising (Hofstede 1980, 2001; Hofstede and De Mooij 2010; Manca 2016a and b).

This study will have relevant implications for cross-cultural tourist communication: the identification of the features which are more commonly and more frequently used by a culture can be a starting point towards the development of a model for the creation of successful tourist products. The presence of key techniques will contribute to a more positive disposition on the part of consumers towards the products advertised, and to reach the final aim of tourist products, that is to say convincing readers to become actual tourists.

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