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Working paper

Properties of the addressee in the speech genre "reader's letter to the newspaper"

Nikishina E. A.
In the article, properties of the addressee in the genre “letter to the newspaper” in the Soviet Union and in the emigration society are considered. As the data show, the most important for the issue under analysis is to distinguish the following three types of the addressee: the mass addressee, the formal addressee, and the principal one. The mass addressee includes the whole readership of the newspaper. The formal one is the editor-in-chief of the newspaper who the author of the letter addresses just to observe the courtesy norms. By the principal addressee I mean the person or the group of people whose attention or reaction is really important for the author and who are mentioned in the body of letter. Throughout the article I show in which manner these three types of the addressee interact and which language mechanisms serve to introduce them, the particular attention being given to the differences between the letters to the Soviet and to the emigrate newspapers. One of the important conclusions I draw in the end of the article is that the presence of the mass addressee in letters to newspapers leads to substantial shifts in communicative purposes of specific types of letters.