This chapter explores the process of popularization of medical discourse on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) among people living in target areas in a changing world where cross-cultural contacts occur at an ever faster pace – which entails that the implied receiver of suchpopularized discourse becomes more and more difficult to identify. The aim of this study is to analyze the hybrid genre typology of videos for medical/health information and their overt and covert addressees, investigating issues such as cultural practices, gender and identity in a selected corpus of video-messages produced by both Western and non-Western organizations to awaken public opinion to the FGM problem. A phonopragmatic approach (Sperti forthcoming) is introduced here to investigate to what extent the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) varieties enable and simplify the accessibility of popularized medical discourse of FGM by the receivers. Moreover, it explores the possible illocutionary intentions (Searle 1969; 1983) of the speakers in such videos as they adopt strategies of (i) speech segmentation in pragmatic acts, (ii) prosodic segmentation of these acts into intonation units, and (iii) acoustic variations in their use of tense, aspect, modality, hedging, and in their simplification of terminology (e.g., substitution, paraphrasing, metaphor, metonymy, analogy – see Gotti 1996) and of technical discourse related to cultural policies (Guido 2006).
Sperti, S. (2013). A phonopragmatic approach to the popularization of the medical discourse on FGM. In The Popularization of Specialized Discourse and Knowledge across Communities and Cultures (pp. 221-237). Edipuglia.