The Language of Appraisals in Articles About Ice HockeyJanja Sterle
, 2019, master's thesis
Abstract: Media articles, regardless of the media in which they are published (e.g. news, a report, a notification), are generally expected to be characterized by balance and objectivity as one of their most important and identifiable characteristics. However, the results of the analysis show that this is not entirely true for the articles about ice hockey analysed in this thesis. Thus, the presence of a certain degree of subjectivity has been determined. In the thesis, the article was considered objective when the writer wrote about the facts and data that could be checked and did not reveal his/her emotions, presence or opinion. At the same time, the article was considered subjective when the writer was present in the article in a way that s/he revealed his/her emotions or s/he evaluated what was going on and/or the hockey players. For the analysis, the appraisal model developed in 2005 by Martin and White was used because it turned out to be the most useful as their appraisal categories (graduation, engagement, and attitude) cover all lexical choices, with which one shows his/her attitude or engagement or graduates something. Appraisal can be a single word or a phrase that indirectly/implicitly or directly/explicitly expresses one’s opinion, judgement, or engagement. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (LDOCE), appraisal is “a statement or opinion judging the worth, value, or condition of something” (https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/appraisal), while the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD, 8th Edition) defines it as “a judgement of the value, performance or nature of sb/sth” (OALD 2010: 62). The analysis of the articles was carried out with Computer Assisted Text Markup and Analysis (CATMA) platform. Objectives of the thesis were to research the differences in the use of appraisals in the articles that describe the same event, i.e. the ice hockey match. Thus, it was researched how the author’s presence and engagement were reflected through appraisal, and how much of subjectivity was present in the articles that were supposed to be objective. Next, I was interested in how the writer is positioned in the articles which report about the winning team, and how in the articles reporting about the losing team. Finally, it was researched which types of appraisal were used in three articles which report about the same match and were published on the official web sites of Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche, and in the article that was published in a neutral web media FOX Sports. The results showed that the articles that were published on the official web sites of the teams tended to be more subjective as numerous instances of the writer’s presence and engagement were found. On the other hand, the article from the neutral web site turned out to be the most objective and unbiased, even though some instances of the writer’s presence and engagement were found as well.
Keywords: appraisal system, appraisals, ice hockey, graduation, engagement, attitude.
Published: 06.06.2019; Views: 239; Downloads: 37
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