Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Writing and Rhetoric > Of Stylistics

A Contrastive Study on News Discourse: A CDA Approach

Author JinYanLi
Tutor LiuZuo
School Northeastern University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) the Appraisal Theory Presence and Absence Ideology
CLC H052
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
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News is a practice, a product of the social and political world on which it reports. Although mass media may not have the power to dominate what people think, it can indeed influence what people think out and how they prioritize information. News media language is always a major part in establishing the systems of ideas or theories which human beings impose on the world. Ideology is frequently mystified and concealed behind the literal expressions in news reports.Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) which aims to reveal the complex relationship between language, ideology and power in media discourse, as a new approach to discourse analysis, is an essential method to do research on news discourse. Its main purpose is to enhance people’s language awareness and their capability in appreciating and criticizing various discourses, so that they can better handle the increasingly wide intervention of language in social life.Since there is no theoretical framework of its own, CDA employs any available theory to do research. In that case, there appeared many different orientations within CDA, as a consequence, CDA has made the study of language into an interdisciplinary tool and can be used by scholars in various fields. Among the different schools within CDA, one of the most important branches is the school whose study based on Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL).The Appraisal Theory, as an extension of interpersonal meaning of SFL, has established itself as an important tool to analyze attitude in discourses in recent years. Its purpose coincides with that of CDA. In that case, it applied CDA an efficient method to reveal covert attitude and ideology behind news discourse. Consequently, with the appearance of the Appraisal Theory, some linguists call for the employment of the theory in CDA. However, few researchers really apply the theory to news analysis from the perspective of CDA.The research here is an attempt to make a contrastive critical analysis of two pieces of news discourse concerning the torch relay event of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing through the Appraisal Theory and the Presence and Absence theory proposed by Fairclough. The ultimate goal of this paper is to reveal the covert attitude and ideology in the two news reports.This paper consists of five parts. Chapter one offers an introduction to the background, objective and methodology of the study. Chapter two reviews the related literature which mainly includes applications within CDA and related studies by employing the Appraisal Theory. Chapter three is a theoretical foundation for the study which will discuss the Appraisal Theory in detail. Chapter four is the main body of this paper, contrastive study of two different news reports concerning the torch relay of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing is done through the Appraisal Theory and the Presence and Absence theory from the perspective of CDA. And then findings are stated. Chapter five conclude the research of this paper, furthermore, suggestions for future study is suggested in this part.

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