Browsing by Subject "Appraisal Framework"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-2 of 2
  • Myllyoja, Markus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This Master’s thesis explored the British national identity in the early phases of the Brexit process in the years 2017–2018. The aim of the study was to examine whether a new non-EU British identity which could be detected in the speeches by Prime Minister Theresa May and what kinds of linguistic devices were employed in the construction of such identity. I approached these questions with a triangulating method which finds its home in Critical Discourse Analysis. The data consisted of transcriptions of May’s three speeches: the first one was given in London in January 2017, the second one in Florence, Italy in September in 2017 and the third one again in London in March 2018, as a storm prevented May from traveling to Manchester. I attempted to observe the respective temporal and spatial contexts, as well as the imagined audience in my analysis. I first conducted a quantitative analysis of the data by employing the Appraisal Framework developed by Martin and White. This framework is designed to recognise value positions encased in a text. It is based on Systemic Functional Linguistics and Bakhtin’s ideas on dialogic language. I.e. it views language as a semiotic system of inter-referential signs which is constructed in interaction. I applied the framework to the extent of Engagement. This category of the framework is specifically concerned with dialogic utterances. In the qualitative analysis, I applied several social scientific approaches and concepts related to questions of nation and national identity. In terms of dialogic language, the results displayed that over time May’s speeches began to contain less contractive utterances in which one would exclude other positions from the discourse. At the same time, there was an increase of expansive utterances in which one would allow other positions to seem plausible or neutral. In other words, May seemed to opt for a more conciliatory tone as Brexit visibly decelerated. When it comes to national identity, it would seem like a crucial concept for a state looking for less integrated international co-operation especially if pursuit of national sovereignty is presented as the main reason behind the endeavour. However, this study implies that May’s speeches did not offer elements which a new national identity could have been built upon. In the light of previous research on national identity, they would have evidently needed to contain more emotion-laden language.
  • Mackay, Claire Louise (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The language of evaluation enables us to share opinions, cement values, and create interpersonal meaning. It is a fundamental aspect of both social media communication and political discourse. This study uses Martin and White’s (2005) Appraisal Framework to investigate how political actors use evaluation to express emotions and confer judgement in their attempts to increase support on social media. Drawing on a corpus of 1,212 tweets from Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn during the 2019 British General Election campaign, this study focuses on how the individual politicians use ATTITUDE to build positive-self and negative-other evaluations. The analysis then considers the wider performance of populism in political discourse by examining positive appraisals of the people, presented against negative judgements of a corrupt elite. Finally, the thesis explores how specific Twitter features can be incorporated into the Appraisal Framework to better capture evaluation in tweets as complete objects. Contrary to expectations about the prevalence of negative messaging in electoral campaigns, the findings show that both candidates preferred to post positive evaluations on Twitter. Corbyn favoured judgements of his party that empathised their moral superiority (PROPRIETY), and Johnson praised his party for their ability to negotiate a departure from the EU (CAPACITY). Both candidates performed elements of populism, but the presentation and evaluation of the people was very different, with Johnson performing an exclusionary form of populism and Corbyn presenting a more inclusionary form. Whilst there are challenges in applying the Appraisal Framework to online campaigning, the results give a much more nuanced understanding of the evaluation inherent to this discourse than automated sentiment analysis is able to, particularly in identifying the interplay of positive-self and negative-other evaluation. However, Appraisal reaches beyond the text, and many features were present in the media attached to the tweets, and future studies would benefit from incorporating these aspects into the analysis. The evaluative force of other resources, such as emoji and hashtags, and Twitter practices, such as retweeting, should similarly not be underestimated, and this study concludes by suggesting how these aspects can be brought into the Appraisal Framework.