Judgement and adjective complementation patterns in biographical discourse: a corpus study

Su, Hang (2015). Judgement and adjective complementation patterns in biographical discourse: a corpus study. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis, drawing on insights from Appraisal Theory, Pattern Grammar and Corpus Linguistics, explores the association between grammar patterns and attitudinal meanings. Particular attention is paid to adjective complementation patterns and Judgement, i.e. the ethical evaluation of human behaviour and character. Using a corpus compiled of biographical discourse, this study addresses four research questions: 1) whether the current JUDGEMENT system is sufficiently comprehensive and systematic to deal with the Judgement resources identified in this corpus, 2) what insights a detailed scrutiny of adjective-in-pattern exemplars can offer into the description and characterisation of attitudinal resources, 3) how local grammars of evaluation can be developed with the help of grammar patterns, and 4) what local grammars of evaluation may be useful for. It is suggested that the original JUDGEMENT system should be refined so as to enable it to deal effectively with the Judgement resources found. Drawing on evidence from both personality psychology and corpus analysis, Emotivity is proposed as a new sub-type of Judgement to account for those resources which construe attitudes towards emotional types of personality traits. The examination of adjective-in-pattern exemplars in terms of Attitude shows that grammar patterns are of limited use in distinguishing types of attitudinal meanings but that grammar patterns are a very useful heuristic to investigate attitudinal resources. Further, it is demonstrated that grammar patterns are a good starting point for the construction of local grammars of evaluation, which is exemplified by the local grammar of Judgement developed in the current study. Lastly, it is argued that local grammars of evaluation, in theory, provide an alternative way to model attitudinal meanings, and in practice, offer some insights into the automation of appraisal analysis. Other related issues (e.g. local grammar analyses of some special cases, replicability of the methodology) are also discussed.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: Other
Other Funders: China Scholarship Council
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/6245


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