Developing and validating a visual questionnaire for the study of impersonalisation strategies

Breed, Adri and Chan, Jo-Ann and Van Olmen, Daniel (2021) Developing and validating a visual questionnaire for the study of impersonalisation strategies. South African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 39 (2). pp. 152-176. ISSN 1607-3614

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This article reports on an interdisciplinary, collaborative project grounded in linguistic theory on impersonalisation and visual communication theory on wordless visual narratives. The aims of this practice-based research project are to develop an alternative to existing methods of studying impersonalisation strategies through interdisciplinary collaboration and to test its usefulness for identifying not only the range of possible linguistic strategies of mpersonalisation, but also the preferred strategies for specific impersonal uses. The group of 18 collaborators consisted of two linguists, one graphic design lecturer and 15 final-year graphic design students. The students were responsible for designing visual prompts for the questionnaire that 1) should not limit the possible linguistic answers, 2) must be able to accommodate any impersonalisation strategy, 3) should not contain any limiting linguistic clues, and 4) had to comply with the criteria on the basis of which the 12 impersonal uses are distinguished from one another. The questionnaire was piloted in two phases. After each phase, the students adjusted and refined their visual prompts. A validation phase indicated that the finalised questionnaire fulfils its functions, since at least 16 different impersonalisation strategies can be distinguished, and preferable strategies for each impersonal use can be identified.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
South African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies on 29/06/202, available online:
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?? linguistics and language ??
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Deposited On:
07 Jun 2021 10:55
Last Modified:
09 Apr 2024 00:12