Appraisal (discourse analysis)

In Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), appraisal refers to the ways that writers or speakers express approval or disapproval for things, people, behaviour or ideas.[1] Language users build relationships with their interlocutors by expressing such positions. In other approaches in linguistics (including linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics), alternative terms such as evaluation[2][3] or stance[4][5] are preferred.

J.R. Martin and P.R.R. White's approach to appraisal regionalised the concept into three interacting domains: 'attitude', 'engagement' and 'graduation'.[1] Each of these has various sub-systems; for example, 'attitude' includes 'affect' (expression of emotion), 'appreciation' (evaluation of things/entities), and 'judgement' (evaluation of people and their behaviour), with different choices within these sub-systems.[1] In the case of 'affect', for instance, these more delicate choices relate to different types of emotion.[1][6] However, there is debate about the different sub-systems that should be recognised, and various researchers have since suggested modifications of the initial description.[7][6]

The analysis of appraisal has also become influential outside Systemic Functional Linguistics, in various types of discourse analysis.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Martin, J.R.; White, P.R.R. (2005). The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. Palgrave. ISBN 140390409X.
  2. ^ Bednarek, Monika (2006). Evaluation in media discourse: Analysis of a newspaper corpus. London: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-9126-8. OCLC 76941675.
  3. ^ Hunston, Susan (2011). Corpus approaches to evaluation: Phraseology and evaluative language. New York. ISBN 978-0-415-83651-7. OCLC 823552375.
  4. ^ DuBois, John (2007). "The stance triangle". In Robert Englebretson (ed.). Stancetaking in Discourse: Subjectivity, Evaluation, Interaction. John Benjamins. pp. 139–182. ISBN 978-90-272-5408-5. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  5. ^ Hyland, Ken; Guinda, Carmen Sancho, eds. (2012). Stance and Voice in Written Academic Genres. doi:10.1057/9781137030825. ISBN 978-1-349-33788-0.
  6. ^ a b Bednarek, Monika (2008). Emotion talk across corpora. Basingstoke [England]: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 160–178. ISBN 978-0-230-28571-2. OCLC 681926200.
  7. ^ "Appraisal Symposium 2013: Current Issues in Appraisal Analysis". Social Semiotics. 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  8. ^ Su, Hang; Bednarek, Monika (2018). "Bibliography of Appraisal". Research Gate. Retrieved 15 December 2019.

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