Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Grammar

Taking a Stance in Classic English Fairy Tales

Author FengYuLing
Tutor WangTianHua
School Heilongjiang University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords evaluation Appraisal Theory fairy tale
CLC H314
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Fairy tale is one of the most important genres of children’s literature. It accompanies children’s growth and influences their life deeply. It is fairy tale that makes children know the good and evil in the world, and it also tells them how to behave themselves. Andersen’s fairy tales are indisputable classics all over the world. In spite of the avalanche of children’s literature, they are forever a must in children’s reading list. Therefore, the study of fairy tales is significant in terms of children’s moral education and the writers’literary creation for children.Appraisal Theory is a development of systemic functional linguistics (SFL), which was put forward by J. Martin and White in the late 1990s as the expansion of interpersonal function of SFL. It is a system of semantic resources to explore, describe and explain the way language is used to evaluate, to adopt stances, to construct textual personas, and to manage interpersonal relationships. Since its birth, Appraisal Theory has been applied to many different discourse domains. However, there are still many discourse domains to which this theory has not been applied, the fairy tale being one of them.The ten classic English fairy tales in this study are selected from Andersen’s official website. With software UAM CorpusTool, this study has conducted a detailed analysis of the evaluative features of these fairy tales in the following aspects. First of all, features of the three subsystems of Appraisal (Attitude, Engagement and Graduation) have been analyzed. Secondly, the major lexico-grammatical realizations of the three subsystems in these fairy tales have been identified. Thirdly, the Generic Structure Potential theory proposed by Hasan and the theory of Schematic Structure proposed by Martin have been applied to the analysis of generic structure of these fairy tales, and the distribution of Appraisal resources across generic structure has also been researched. To conclude, this tentative study of Andersen’s fairy tales within the framework of Appraisal Theory is of great significance. It will not only prove the applicability of Appraisal Theory in this particular discourse, but also shed light on the reading and writing of English fairy tales.

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