A genre analysis of argumentative talk shows on selected radio and TV stations in Kenya
Wamaitha, Mwai Loise
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The current study focuses on talk and the language in the media, specifically the talk show genre. It looks at the use of language as a resource for producing and maintaining argument on radio and TV talk shows. In the dynamic and interactional accomplishment of the talk, the study will describe the particular argumentative devices which are differentially available to the host, the participants and the audience, at different stages of the talk shows genre. The study will also seek to find out the communicative functions of each of the phases towards the construction of arguments. This will facilitate our analysis of the talk shows as a genre since a genre has a constituency structure inwhich each constituent plays a functional role in the whole and has specific functional meaning relations to other constituents on its own leveL Finally the study will find out why participants use language the way they do in the construction of talk on radio and TY.To achieve these objectives, the study will adopt a descriptive design and employ qualitative methods in sampling and data analysis. Non probability sampling will be used to select two radio stations and two TV stations from which the data will be drawn for the study. The data will consist of interview data on the hosts and the panelists as a follow up to establish the rationale for their use of language in the talk shows.Also, we shall analyze data from 6 hours of audiorecorded talk; that is, 3 hours from the two TV stations, and a total of 3 hours of tape recorded conversations from the two radio stations sampled. All these recordings will then be transcribed using standard orthography to allow for coding of utterances that constitute the aspects of argumentative talk under study. These codes will be analyzed using the SPSS computer software to generate tables of frequencies of occurrence of these aspects right from the opening of the talk through to the body and to the closing. This will allow for exemplification and discussion of emerging trends. The transcripts will also be studied and the hosts' participants' and audiences' choice of the said linguistic resources, at every stage of the talk discussed.Data will be collected and analyzed in light of three theoretical frameworks. First is Genre Analysis (Swales, 1990, 2004; Bhatia 2002) which views genre as a class of communicative events, the members of which is structured and whose members share some set of communicative purposes. The theory will therefore be used to establish if the talk shows sampled for the study constitute a genre going by the characteristics of a genre outlined in the theory. The second theory will also Conversational Analysis by Sacks and Sinclair and Coulthard (1975)which will be used to describe the various linguistic aspects of argumentative talk available to the host, participants and the audience. These are the resources that construct the talks and therefore, the theory will facilitate illustrations and discussion on both the structure and the functions ofthe various phases of the discourse. The theories will guide the explanations and interpretations of the patterns observed in the data. Finally, the Appraisal Framework propounded by (Martin 2000, 2003; Martin and White, 2005) will be used to enhance our discussion on how the speakers approve or disapprove others' contributions and how they position their readers to do likewise. The findings of the study are hoped to have implications for the producers and presenters of these programmes.