Skinder as gespreksgenre

Van der Merwe, G. S. (2005-04)

CITATION: Van der Merwe, G. S. 2005. Skinder as gespreksgenre. Literator, 26(1): 117-136, doi: 10.4102/lit.v26i1.222.

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Gossip as a discourse genre Gossip is one of the wide range of sub-categories of discourse genres in story-telling. It is one of the most common interactive forms of discourse in informal conversation, because it has its origin in the general inclination of man to show an intense interest in other people’s activities. Although the development of gossip differs with regard to the subject of discussion, the context and situation in which it is produced as well as the persons participating, it is possible to distinguish definite universal features of gossip. This article deals with the most prominent characteristics of gossip. The focus falls on the structure, the gossiping process, the content, the pejorative, evaluating nature of it and the social aspects involved in gossiping. Special attention is paid to non-verbal elements, which are frequently used when people gossip. In spite of the negative connotations gossip has, it is very important in the establishment of social identities and relations. It should therefore not be neglected in the study of language.

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