Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
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History texts are not just disciplinary artefacts for describing, explaining or making arguments about the past. They play a key role in defining present-day group identities and their terms of affiliation. As such, they have generated a great deal of interest among functional linguists interested in how ideology is construed through language. But the ways history texts evaluate the past is not straightforward; they include a complex interplay of discourse participants putting forward a range of views toward the subject-matter. This article presents a framework for investigating evaluative meaning in historical discourse that aims to untangle this complex web of voices, showing how they work together to position readers to take up particular views toward the past. The framework brings together two prominent approaches to the study of evaluation: Martin & White’s (2005) Appraisal framework and Hunston’s (2000) notions of Status Value and Relevance. It posits four levels of evaluation (inter-, super-, extra- and meta-evaluation) that are grounded in insights from the field of historiography and reflect key disciplinary activities of historians.


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