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This is an accessible and wide-ranging account of current research in one of the most central aspects of discourse analysis: evaluation in and of written and spoken language. Evaluation is the broad cover term for the expression of a speaker's - or writer's - attitudes, feelings, and values. It covers areas sometimes referred to as 'stance', 'modality', 'affect', or 'appraisal'. Evaluation (a) expresses the speaker's opinion and thus reflects the value-system of that person and their community; (b) constructs relations between speaker and hearer (or writer and reader); and (c) plays a key role in how discourse is organized. Every act of evaluation expresses and contributes to a communal value-system, which in turn is a component of the ideology that lies behind every written or spoken text. Conceptually, evaluation is comparative, subjective, and value-laden. In linguistic terms it may be analysed lexically, grammatically, and textually. These themes and perspectives are richly exemplified in the chapters of this book, by authors aware and observant of the fact that processes of linguistic analysis are themselves inherently evaluative.
The editors open the book by introducing the field and provide separate, contextual introductions to each chapter. They have also collated the references into one list, itself a valuable research guide. The exemplary perspectives and analyses presented by the authors will be of central interest to everyone concerned with the analysis of discourse, whether as students of language, literature, or communication. They also have much to offer students of politics and culture.
Susan Hunston is a senior lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham and author of numerous articles on Evaluation and on Corpus Grammar. She has taught EFL/ESL in the Philippines and in Britain, and has taught Applied Linguistics at the National University of Singapore (1983-90). She has also worked as a grammarian at Cobuild (1993-5).
Geoff Thompson is a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Liverpool. He has previously taught English as a Foreign Language, Language Teaching Methodology, and Applied Linguistics at schools and universities in Germany, Algeria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, and China.
Release date NZ
November 23rd, 2000
Edited by Geoffrey Thompson
Edited by Susan Hunston
Country of Publication
figures and tables
Oxford University Press
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