Gender and Behaviour

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An examination of emotive style in online begging discourse

Olusogo Alabi, Baba Tshotsho, Madoda Cekiso, Nhlanhla Landa


The online lingual environment offers beggars flexibility of expression and freedom, which allows them to use language freely to exhort prospective benefactors. This study examined the utilisation of emotive style in online begging discourse with the view to establishing the relationship between the style and the linguistic features marking it in relation to discourse issues. Adopting Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics, the study conducted a stylistic analysis of data that comprised forty purposively sampled online begging texts collected through document analysis from four websites;,,, and The study observed that emotive style in online begging relates to four major discourse issues; indebtedness, accommodation, medical, and education issues. As revealed by the data, this style is enacted in online begging discourse through the deployment of linguistic features, which include two main transitivity processes: material and relational, lexical repetition/reiteration, and lexical collocation (mainly relating to medical issues). It is revealed, therefore, that a close connection exists between emotive style and the linguistic resources that project it, thus providing an insight into the interpretation of online begging discourse.

Keywords: Online Begging, Emotive Style, Linguistic Features, Discourse Issue, Style.

AJOL African Journals Online