On some persuasive strategies in technical discourse: Cross-cultural analysis of directives in English and Czech technical manuals

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Abstract

The aim of the paper is to provide a cross-cultural analysis of selected linguistic realizations of persuasion in the language of technical communication represented by the genre of technical manuals (TM) and to identify the differences and similarities between the ways persuasion is expressed in this type of specialized discourse in English and Czech. More specifically, the paper attempts to discover which linguistic realizations of directives are applied to persuade the readers of the correctness of the instructions and the necessity of reading and following them. The results demonstrate that the main lexico-grammatical devices are quite similar in all the data. There are only minor frequency differences between English and Czech manuals, which are naturally reflected in their parallel Czech and English translations. The findings indicate that the quality of written instructions, including the degree of persuasiveness, is of great importance since it can influence prospective users of particular technical devices when making a choice about what to buy.

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