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Old Communication – New Means: The Linguistic Study of Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Websites Open Access


Other title
linguistic model
multimodal discourse analysis (MDA)
Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
involvement phenomenon
New Media Design
Ukrainian Orthodox Church
communicative potential
Web usability
World Wide Web
Web architecture
systemic functional linguistics (SFL)
discourse studies
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Pankovskyi, Iaroslav
Supervisor and department
Lachler, Jordan (Linguistics)
Rolland, Peter A (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)
Examining committee member and department
Himka, John-Paul (History and Classics)
Verdicchio, Massimo (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies) (Chair)
Curry, Margaret Ann (Extension Faculty)
Manzo, John Francis (Sociology, University of Calgary)
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Slavic Languages and Literature
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This dissertation is concerned with the communicative potential of websites. The World Wide Web is a relatively new locale for communication on which an increasing number of users rely daily in Canada and in Ukraine. However, up to the present time there has been no unified framework for the analysis of communicative potentials of websites. The present study has developed an integral linguistic model that unifies the analysis under the overarching framework of systemic functional linguistics. Design, content, and navigation are examined within this framework in connection with three linguistic metafunctions: ideational, interpersonal, and textual. This perspective permits viewing websites as texts, albeit complex in structure and multimodal in nature. The model has been successfully applied to the analysis of four major websites of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and in Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine. The selection of these sites is explicated by two considerations: first, the necessity to study in depth Web use in the non-profit sector including religious organizations which has been indicated by previous research (e.g. Nelson, 2008; Strickland, 2004; Palmer, 2004); and, second, by the fact that Web use in this context renders communication a central concern. The research findings suggest that the communicative potentials of the websites under analysis are restricted with respect to all three linguistic metafunctions preventing them from communicating effectively with youth whom the Church seeks to engage. The Greek-Catholic websites, however, have been shown to be more efficient in terms of dialogic properties than the Orthodox sites. The theoretical value of the current research lies in developing an integral linguistic model for the analysis of communicative potentials of websites. The model can be used (a) to enhance certain features of the Churches' websites and thereby improve communication with communities via the Web and (b) to inform non-profit and educational institutions (e.g. secondary schools, Universities) how to better establish and maintain an effective dialogue with their respective communities. Thus, the proposed model has both theoretical and practical value and can be useful to religious, educational, and other non-profit organizations.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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