Lay metalanguage on grammatical variation and neutrality in Wikipedia's entry for Che Guevara
|Lay metalanguage on grammatical variation and neutrality in Wikipedia's entry for Che Guevara|
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|Keyword(s)||Critical linguistics, Grammatical variation, Idealized reader, Metalanguage, Neutrality, Wikipedia|
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This paper examines the editorial discussion of Wikipedia's policy of "Neutral Point of View" during the collaborative authorship of the entry for Che Guevara. Such data provide a rare source of unprompted lay metalanguage on the relationship between the lexicogrammatical form of a text and its evaluative orientation and make possible an inductive approach to exploring this longstanding issue in critical linguistics inquiry. The paper illustrates this inductive approach in selecting a stretch of text identified by the editors themselves as problematic and relating their metalinguistic commentaries to the lexicogrammatical features of both the original text and the variations proposed. However, recognizing that naturally occurring metalanguage is itself situated within its own social practice, the paper considers ways in which the editors' readings are a function of their role as Wikipedia "prosumers" and goes on to discuss the need to theorize specific reader types within critical linguistic approaches to discourse analysis.
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