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postgraduate thesis: Evaluation in newspaper discourse : a corpus-based study

TitleEvaluation in newspaper discourse : a corpus-based study
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Hyland, KL
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ngai, B. J. [魏寶雲]. (2017). Evaluation in newspaper discourse : a corpus-based study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractAbstract of thesis entitled ¬¬ Evaluation in Newspaper Discourse: A Corpus-based Study Submitted by NGAI Bo Wan Jonathan for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Hong Kong in April 2017 Evaluation refers to the expression of a speaker/writer’s attitudes, feelings and values. It is a central feature of many different discourses. It figures prominently in the construction of newspaper discourse, where it expresses opinion, maintains writer-reader relations, organizes the discourse and constructs news values. Evaluation is genre-specific, playing a pivotal and yet dynamic role in constructing newspaper genres. However, how this works has not been adequately addressed in previous research. This thesis is a corpus-based study of the expression of evaluation in newspaper discourse. It explores the ways in which evaluation contributes to the construction of hard news stories, editorials and feature articles. The data come from a specialized corpus of 900,000 words from the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong. The framework of analysis comprises five dimensions (e.g. goodness/badness and certainty/doubt) and has been developed to unpack the role of evaluative language in constructing newspaper texts. Evaluations along the different dimensions were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition to frequency and collocations, this thesis has sought to study the structure of newspaper genres by creating positional sub-corpora (e.g. headlines and introductions) and utilizing complete texts or sections as a unit of analysis. Results show that evaluation contributes vitally but in rather different ways to the construction of hard news stories, editorials and feature articles. In each newspaper genre, how evaluation works to construct texts is bound up with its communicative purpose, and this is amply borne out by the factor most instrumental in its construction. In hard news stories, evaluation has a major part in story design, as reflected in how it is used to grab attention and summarize; to establish and develop the news angle; and to attribute information to sources. In editorials, evaluation drives argumentation, and this is evident in how it is employed to state the main theme; to represent news actors; to comment on news events; and to make recommendations. In feature articles, evaluation is crucial to the construction of human interest, and this is manifest in how it is used to compose headlines; to craft leads; to dispense advice; and to represent people. A common thread running through the three genres is how different dimensions of evaluation work – often in different textual positions – to serve different discourse functions. The present study has illuminated the ways in which evaluation contributes to the construction of hard news stories, editorials and feature articles. Using a new analytical framework with a strong orientation to news values, this study has broadened our understanding of the semantics and pragmatics of evaluation, especially in newspaper discourse. It has also thrown light on how to build a specialized corpus, identify authorial evaluations and carry out structural analysis. Finally, the study has implications for the teaching of ESL/ESP courses by offering insights into the use of newspaper texts from the perspective of evaluation. (473 words)
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectNewspapers - Language
Discourse analysis
Corpora (Linguistics)
Dept/ProgramApplied English Studies
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/253235

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHyland, KL-
dc.contributor.authorNgai, Bo-wan, Jonathan-
dc.contributor.author魏寶雲-
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-14T02:02:27Z-
dc.date.available2018-05-14T02:02:27Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationNgai, B. J. [魏寶雲]. (2017). Evaluation in newspaper discourse : a corpus-based study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/253235-
dc.description.abstractAbstract of thesis entitled ¬¬ Evaluation in Newspaper Discourse: A Corpus-based Study Submitted by NGAI Bo Wan Jonathan for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Hong Kong in April 2017 Evaluation refers to the expression of a speaker/writer’s attitudes, feelings and values. It is a central feature of many different discourses. It figures prominently in the construction of newspaper discourse, where it expresses opinion, maintains writer-reader relations, organizes the discourse and constructs news values. Evaluation is genre-specific, playing a pivotal and yet dynamic role in constructing newspaper genres. However, how this works has not been adequately addressed in previous research. This thesis is a corpus-based study of the expression of evaluation in newspaper discourse. It explores the ways in which evaluation contributes to the construction of hard news stories, editorials and feature articles. The data come from a specialized corpus of 900,000 words from the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong. The framework of analysis comprises five dimensions (e.g. goodness/badness and certainty/doubt) and has been developed to unpack the role of evaluative language in constructing newspaper texts. Evaluations along the different dimensions were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition to frequency and collocations, this thesis has sought to study the structure of newspaper genres by creating positional sub-corpora (e.g. headlines and introductions) and utilizing complete texts or sections as a unit of analysis. Results show that evaluation contributes vitally but in rather different ways to the construction of hard news stories, editorials and feature articles. In each newspaper genre, how evaluation works to construct texts is bound up with its communicative purpose, and this is amply borne out by the factor most instrumental in its construction. In hard news stories, evaluation has a major part in story design, as reflected in how it is used to grab attention and summarize; to establish and develop the news angle; and to attribute information to sources. In editorials, evaluation drives argumentation, and this is evident in how it is employed to state the main theme; to represent news actors; to comment on news events; and to make recommendations. In feature articles, evaluation is crucial to the construction of human interest, and this is manifest in how it is used to compose headlines; to craft leads; to dispense advice; and to represent people. A common thread running through the three genres is how different dimensions of evaluation work – often in different textual positions – to serve different discourse functions. The present study has illuminated the ways in which evaluation contributes to the construction of hard news stories, editorials and feature articles. Using a new analytical framework with a strong orientation to news values, this study has broadened our understanding of the semantics and pragmatics of evaluation, especially in newspaper discourse. It has also thrown light on how to build a specialized corpus, identify authorial evaluations and carry out structural analysis. Finally, the study has implications for the teaching of ESL/ESP courses by offering insights into the use of newspaper texts from the perspective of evaluation. (473 words) -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshNewspapers - Language-
dc.subject.lcshDiscourse analysis-
dc.subject.lcshCorpora (Linguistics)-
dc.titleEvaluation in newspaper discourse : a corpus-based study-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineApplied English Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991043962677703414-

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