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Trädgårdsboken som text 1643–2005
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Garden Book as Text 1643–2005 (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to shed light on the handbook as a multimodal resource from a reader perspective, with the material consisting of 32 Swedish handbooks on gardening from 1643 to 2005. The study draws theoretically on social semiotics and multimodal discourse analysis, as well as dialogism. There is an emphasis on the addressivity of the text, which is taken as a starting point for tracing signs of the intended text use in the design of the texts. The analysis is meaning-based, with the focus placed on functional features in the design of the texts.

The first part of the study considers the reading goals afforded by the thematizations conveyed in titles, headings and text type patterns. The core function of these texts turns out to be action orientation, although the more recent books often include sections oriented towards other goals, like shaping individual aesthetic taste. The second part illustrates how the multimodal cohesive patterns in the books afford non-linear reading paths and make the texts searchable, which is enhanced by the presence of devices such as indices and tables of contents. Concentrating on six of the books, the third part of the study maps out the role of the reader that is naturalized by the design of the text, drawing on appraisal theory, and shows the strong, authoritative role taken by the authorial voice. The evaluative patterns naturalize a fact-seeking reading. However, the most recent book, from 1996, emphasizes emotions to a greater extent, naturalizing a parallel reading that invokes sensory experience.

The conclusion drawn is that the core characteristics of the handbooks are action orientation, searchability and factuality. As different parallel functions in recent books are discerned, a tendency towards diversity and multifunctionality is described. The range of semiotic resources has also expanded, it is noted, and there is growing support for the view of a tendency towards the visualisation of written texts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2008. , 296 p.
Stockholm studies in Scandinavian philology, ISSN 0562-1097 ; N.S., 47
Keyword [en]
multimodal discourse analysis, social semiotics, text history, appraisal theory, instructive prose, text linguistics, Swedish, garden books
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8332ISBN: 978-91-86071-07-3OAI: diva2:200095
Public defence
2009-01-10, hörsal 7, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2008-12-12 Created: 2008-12-08 Last updated: 2013-02-07Bibliographically approved

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