Invoking attitude: the play of graduation in appraising discourse

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Revista Signos, 2005, 38 (58), pp. 195 - 220
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meaning, at each stratum of language, that is, in the phonology, the lexicogrammar, and in the discourse semantics. Analyses of interpersonal meanings in the lexicogrammar have foregrounded the "inter" dimension of interpersonal meaning in the negotiations of meanings in selections for `mood' and `modality'. In this paper we approach interpersonal meaning through discourse semantics, and offer a complementary perspective that foregrounds the "personal" aspects of the interpersonal. Here our attention is to the ways we express values or attitudes, to the resources we have for doing so directly or indirectly, and to the ways we adjust such expressions through grading them up or down. We begin by elaborating systems of ATTITUDE and GRADUATION, as they are represented within the broader discourse semantic system of appraisal (Martin, 2000a). We then explore the role of ATTITUDE and GRADUATION in one particular register _that of academic discourse, where we consider important implications for the ways in which writers choose to encode values
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