Chapter 3. Informal talk in formal settings

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Rather than a one-to-one correspondence between varieties and contexts, hybridity is often observed in communicative settings due to the plurality of sociolinguistic resources speakers draw upon to shape the particular style of talk which will best serve their communicative intent. This seems to be the case with Greek parliamentary discourse: although the parliament constitutes a highly institutionalised, formal setting, where logical and legal argumentation is expected to prevail, Greek parliamentarians employ oral humorous narratives to persuade the voting audience and create and maintain bonds with them. The wider cultural and political context plays a significant role in determining parliamentarians’ stylistic choices: orality and respective practices are highly valued in Greek culture, where story-telling in particular is often used for argumentative purposes.


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