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Semiotics and media: a tensive approach to fait divers

Grant number: 09/18465-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2010
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Waldir Beividas
Grantee:Conrado Moreira Mendes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Based on the propositions of tensive semiotics, this thesis is concerned with analysing and theorizing the fait divers, a journalistic category that refers to fortuitous events. The corpus of the research primarily consists of the cover of the so-called Isabella Nardoni Case conducted by Brazilian television news program Jornal Nacional in March, April and May 2008. Other journalistic reports of the same nature also comprise the corpus of research, both those outlined in a short duration and those that impact on the media for a considerable period. Regarding the mentioned case, a theoretical question prevailed that refers to little if any lasting that a news report in this category usually has. Instead, it dragged on for months in the first half of 2008, whilst retaining a large thymic load. Thus, we tried to search in discourse mechanisms the strategies used by the enunciator "media" to "extensiveing" the intensity of Isabella Nardoni Case, which is anchored in an event structure and, by definition, should be very intense but little extensive. Therefore, the research employed the following analytical axes: concession and confidence, duration and intensity, the collective passion of the commotion and, finally, intertextual and interdiscursive relations with other texts/discourses that the text under analysis allows to establish. These analytical axes fulfilled the task of partially answer why, despite the passing of temporality, the intensity surrounding the focused case was lasting. From them, we could deduce an enunciatee marked by a tense wait, who wants to soften the impact of the event, while it reverberates or triggers new micro-events. The presence of an affected enunciatee was also observed, whose emotional state works in the manner of an amalgam, making him a part of a collective, social whole. The same enunciatee proved modalized by a want-to-know whose expectation was also overdetermined by other texts and discourses with which the case in question established intertextual and interdiscursive relations. He is, in short, an enunciatee that is configured in the tension and complexity of the axes of intensity and extent which explains the considerable duration of Isabella Nardoni Case. As for the semiotic reading of other faits divers, we could observe the following (in) variants: all of them are stand on a concessive basis, all pervaded by a passionate logic. However, not all are marked by a considerable duration. Through the recurrences observed in the corpus, marked out by a sine qua non relationship between intensity and extent, we inferred the categories duration (from least to most durative) and memory (from least to most memorable), and also the constitutive element passions. From this we could establish what was called tensive structure of the fait divers. Finally, the analysis of a durative, "rare", news report which through the discursive strategy "extensivize" the intensity demonstrated how an articulation of discursive regimes of the event and exercise from a tensive and therefore complex point of view may be possible. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MENDES, Conrado Moreira. Semiotics and media: a tensive approach to fait divers. 2013. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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