A Comparative Genre Analysis of Memorial Cards in English and Funeral/Memorial Announcements in Persian

Authors

1 Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics, Department of English Language and Literature, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.

2 PhD. Candidate of Applied Linguistics, Department of English Language Teaching, Imam Javad University College, Yazd, Iran.

3 MA Candidate of TEFL, English Department, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran.

Abstract

As covert socio-cultural relations have significant effects on language, these norms are reflected in linguistic and generic structure of public death notices as a distinctive genre. This study intended to identify the different genres of death notices (e.g. memorial advertisements, obituaries, funeral announcements/posters, memorial cards, etc.) and to conduct a comparative genre analysis of memorial cards (MCs) in English and funeral/memorial announcements (FMAs) in Persian using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The data included 22 English MCs and 40 Persian FMAs (average 80 words). The results of bottom-up analyses of different moves and steps in the 2 genres in focus revealed that, there were more similarities between English MCs and Persian FMAs than differences. Both languages introduced the deceased person, included literary or religious texts, signatures, names of the clergyman invited and included the date, time, and address of the memorial ceremony in their MCs and FMAs. While English MCs included the dates of birth and death of the deceased person and a word of acknowledgement, the Persian FMAs distinguished different types of ceremonies and named and invited the relatives, friends, or acquaintances. The results can benefit L2 writers to master the predominant structural patterns and the reflected cultural differences.

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