1887
Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

This article deals with those aspects of language that can be seen to carry out a primarily “interactional function” in that they are used to “establish and maintain social relationships” (Brown and Yule 1983: 2 and 3). Such aspects have been variously referred to as performing an “expressive” (Bühler 1934), “emotive” (Jakobson 1960), “social expressive” (Lyons 1977) or “interpersonal” (Halliday 1994) function or, more recently, as performing the function by which “social roles and relationships are constructed” (White 2002: 2). In this article such aspects are referred to in very general terms as ‘attitudinal’ or as carrying ‘attitudinal meaning’ or expressing ‘attitude’. It is widely accepted that the interaction generated through language has a strong pragmatic dimension, that is, it can hardly be appreciated out of context. This article is particularly concerned with highlighting the significance and the all-pervasive nature of such pragmatic dimension in the case of the interaction engendered between writers and readers through the medium of Letters to the Editor published in the English and Italian print media. The following three questions arise: 1) At which linguistic level can specific attitudinal resources be identified and compared? 2) To what extent may the extra linguistic context play a role in the specific case of Letters to the Editor? 3) Are similar attitudinal resources and strategies used in the English and Italian letters? How may any differences be explained? In order to answer these questions the article firstly explores the nature of attitudinal meaning as outlined in previous studies. The second section focuses on the cultural context in which the letters are produced with particular reference to the role of language, argumentation, the press and the genre Letters to the Editor in England and Italy. The third section deals with the argumentative structure of the letters and the specific attitudinal meanings associated with the various components of such structure. The method of analysis is illustrated through examples from the English corpus. The main findings are presented and a comparison is drawn between the two corpora. The findings are further assessed in the light of the contextual framework set out in the preceding section.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/prag.15.1.03pou
2005-01-01
2019-11-17
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Ambrosi, E. , and M. Tessardo
    (1991) Dalla parte del lettore: Ricerca sulla posta dei quotidiani italiani. Rome: Edizioni lavoro.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barker, H
    (2000) Newspapers, politics and English society 1695-1855. Singapore: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Biber, D. , and E. Finegan
    (1989) Styles of stance in English: Lexical and grammatical marking of evidentiality and affect. In T.A. Van Dijk (ed.), Textvol. 9.1. The Hague: Mounton De Gruyter, pp. 93-124. doi: 10.1093/applin/10.1.36
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/10.1.36 [Google Scholar]
  4. Brown, G. , and G. Yule
    (1983) Discourse analysis. London: CUP doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511805226
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805226 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bühler, K
    (1934) Sprachtheorie. Jena.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Carlson, S.B
    (1988) Cultural differences in writing and reasoning skills. In A. Purves (ed.), Writing across languages and cultures. London: SAGE Publications, pp. 227-260.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Colombo, F
    (1995) Ultime notizie sul giornalismo. Rome: Laterza.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Connor, U. , and J. Lauer
    (1988) Cross-cultural variation in persuasive student writing. In A. Purves (ed.), Writing across languages and cultures. Written communication annual, vol 2. London: SAGE Publications, pp. 138-159.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Cresti, E
    (2002) Modalità e illocuzione. In P. Beccaria , and C. Marello (eds.), La parola al testo. Scritti per Bici Mortara Garavelli. Torino: Edizioni dell'Orso, pp. 133-145.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Corazzi, M. , and L. Jin
    (2000) Evaluating Evaluation in narratives. In S. Hunston and G. Thomson (eds), Evaluation in text: Authorial stance and the construction of discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 102-119.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Corbett, E.P.J. , and R.J. Connors
    (1999) Classical rhetoric for the modern student. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Dardano, M
    (1981) Il linguaggio dei giornali italiani. Bari: Laterza.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Fairclough, N
    (1995) Media discourse. London: Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Finegan, E
    (1995) Subjectivity and subjectivization: An introduction. In D. Stein and S. Wright (eds.), Subjectivity and subjectivization. Linguistic perspectives. UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-15. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511554469.001
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511554469.001 [Google Scholar]
  15. Fisher, A
    (1988) The logic of real arguments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Foley, W.A
    (1997) Anthropological linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Fowler, R
    (1991) Language in the news. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Halliday, M.A.K
    (1994) An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Harris, M. , and A. Lee
    (eds.) (1986) The press in English society from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. London: Associated University Presses.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Jakobson, R
    (1960) Closing statement: Linguistics and poetics. In T.A. Sebok (ed.), Style in Language. Cambridge: MIT, pp. 350-377.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kaplan, R.R
    (1972) Cultural thought-patterns in intercultural education. In K. Craft (ed.), Readings on English as a second language. Cambridge: Winthrop, pp. 246-262.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Lemke, J
    (1998) Resources for attitudinal meaning. Evaluative orientations in text semantics. Functions of Language 5.1: 33-56. doi: 10.1075/fol.5.1.03lem
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/fol.5.1.03lem [Google Scholar]
  23. Lo Cascio, V
    (1991) Grammatica dell'argomentare. Firenze: La Nuova Italia.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Lumley, R
    (1996) Peculiarities of the Italian newspaper. In D. Forgacs and R. Lumley (eds.), Italian cultural Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 199-215.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Lyons, J
    (1977) Semantics, vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Martin, J.R
    (1995) Interpersonal meaning, persuasion and public discourse: Packing semiotic punch. Australian Journal of Linguistics15: 33-67. doi: 10.1080/07268609508599515
    https://doi.org/10.1080/07268609508599515 [Google Scholar]
  27. Martin, J. R
    (2000) Beyond exchange: Appraisal system in English. In S. Hunston and G. Thomson (eds), Evaluation in text: Authorial stance and the construction of discourse.Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 142-175.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Martin, J.R. , and D. Rose
    (2003) Working with discourse. Meaning beyond the clause. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Martin, J.R. , and P.R.R. White
    (2003) Appraisal: The language of attitude and intersubjective stance. Palgrave.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Migliorini, B
    (1966) The Italian language. London: Faber and Faber.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Murialdi, P
    (1998) La stampa italiana. Dalla liberazione alla crisi di fine secolo. Rome: Laterza.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Ochs, E. , and B. Schieffelin
    (1989) Language has a heart. Text9.1: 7-25.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Pellegrini, M
    (1997) Stampa italiana. Backhill, Rivista della Comunità Italiana,February.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Pounds, G
    (2003) An investigation into the dimensions of attitudinal meaning in the light of a comparative analysis of English and Italian grammar and Letters to the Editor. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of East Anglia, Norwich.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Rainaud, S
    (1992) Su alcune funzioni pragmatiche dei verbi modali. In G. Gobber (ed.), La linguistica pragmatica. Atti del XXIV Congresso della Società di Linguistica Italiana, Milano, 4-6 September 1990. Rome: Bulzoni, pp. 125-140.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Ramat, P
    (1993) L'italiano lingua d'Europa. In A. Sobrero (ed.), Introduzione all'Italiano contemporaneo, vol. 1: Le strutture, vol. 2: La variazione e gli usi. Roma: Laterza, pp. 3-39.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Simone, R. , and R. Amacker
    (1977) Verbi modali in italiano. Lisse: Peter De Ridder Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Sobrero, A
    (ed.) (1993) Introduzione all'Italiano contemporaneo, vol. 1: Le strutture, vol. 2: La variazione e gli usi. Roma: Laterza.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Strevens, P
    (1987) Cultural barriers to language learning. In L.E. Smith (ed.), Discourse across cultures: Strategies in world Englishes. Hemel: Prentice-Hall International, pp. 169-178.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Thomson, G. , and S. Hunston
    (2000) Evaluation: An introduction. In S. Hunston and G. Thomson (eds.), Evaluation in text. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-26.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Toulmin, S
    (1958) The uses of argument. London: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Toulmin, S. , R. Rilke , and A. Janik
    (1979) An introduction to reasoning. New York: Macmillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Tunstall, J
    (1996) Newspaper power. The new national press in Britain. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Van Eemeren, F.H. , and R. Grootendorst
    (1992) Argumentation, communication and fallacies. A pragma-dialectical perspective. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Van der Auwera, J. , and P. Dendale
    (2001) Modal verbs in Germanic and Romance languages. Belgian Journal of Linguistics14.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. White, P.R.R
    (2002) Appraisal. Handbook of Pragmatics. Electronic version: www.benjamins.nl/online/hop.
  47. Wierzbicka, A
    (2003) Cross-cultural pragmatics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110220964
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110220964 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/prag.15.1.03pou
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Argumentation , Attitude , Certainty , Emotion , Evaluation , Letters to the editor and Normativity
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error