New Benjamins Book: Heyd - Email Hoaxes

Paul Peranteau paul at
Thu Jun 19 17:31:41 UTC 2008

Email Hoaxes
Form, function, genre ecology

Theresa Heyd
Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf

Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 174

2008. vii, 239 pp.

Hardbound 978 90 272 5418 4 / EUR 95.00 / USD 143.00

How genres emerge and evolve on the Internet has become one of the 
central questions in studies of computer-mediated communication 
(CMC). This book addresses the issue of genrefication by giving an 
in-depth analysis of email hoaxes as a candidate for digital genre 
status. Email hoaxes are deceptive messages that spread in digital 
social networks; they are a fascinating object for discourse 
linguistics as they exemplify a major pragmatic tendency in CMC, 
namely deceptivity and a lowering of sincerity standards. This study 
examines formal and functional aspects of email hoaxes and provides 
ample evidence both from a systematized corpus and in situ data 
collected online. Besides a structural and microlinguistic analysis, 
it identifies key issues such as pragmatic duality, narrativity and 
textual variation and change in email hoaxes. In conclusion, a 
digital genre model is outlined that bridges both the old/new and the 
formal/functional gaps and may be applied to many other digital genre 


Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Introducing the data
3. Formal aspects of EHs: A microlinguistic analysis
4. The dynamics of EH transmission: Chronological aspects
5. The pragmatics of EHs
6. Narrativity in EHs
7. A genre study of EHs
8. References
9. Appendix

Paul Peranteau (paul at
General Manager
John Benjamins Publishing Company
763 N. 24th St.
Philadelphia PA  19130
Phone: 215 769-3444
Fax: 215 769-3446
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