Stance and Positioning in Email Scams

Isioma M. Chiluwa


he study of internet scams has received attention from different scholars. Particularly within the field of linguistics, studies have examined the classifications, linguistic and discourse pragmatic features of email scams; however, very little attention has been paid to discursive strategies that scammers employ to position themselves and influence readers in scam emails. Using Hyland’s model of stance studies, this article analyses stance-taking in fraudulent emails with particular focus on the Nigerian situation. Scammers position themselves as victims of circumstances with deceptive narratives that invoke pity on their readers. Identification of stance markers such as self-mention, boosters and attitude markers in fraud mails would assist net users to stay abreast of deceptive skills of scammers.

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