Structure, content and functions of calls for conference abstracts

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This paper examines the pragmatic functions and structural organisation of 100 Calls for Conference Abstracts (CfCAs) in Biology, Computing, History and Linguistics. These goal-oriented communicative acts focus on the representation-dissemination of disciplinary values and goals. They comprise the communicative core, the invitation – textually marginalised – and various auxiliary, textually prominent moves: informative, regulatory and persuasive-argumentative (announcements, offers, orders and requests). These qualify the CfCAs as representative, directive and commissive texts. The CfCAs are structurally similar – they share moves appearing in typical sequences – but do not instantiate an identical text type or structure potential, as no functional component is common to them all. The individual CfCAs thus exemplify the genre to different degrees of prototypicality, which paves the way for generic innovation.


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