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Textual and interpersonal differences between a news report and an editorial

By Anne McCabe and Karl Heilman


While news reports and editorials may center on very similar experiential content, obviously, their purposes are very different: to inform in the case of the report, and to argue for a particular line of thought on a given situation in the editorial. This paper demonstrates how systemic functional linguistics (SFL) can highlight just how these different ends are achieved linguistically, focusing on the textual meta-function through Theme choice and through the use of textual adjuncts, and on the interpersonal meta-function, through choices in the system of APPRAISAL, especially through the sub-systems of ATTITUDE and ENGAGEMENT. Results from analysis of a news report and an editorial show that the editorial indeed does make recourse to more overtly present interpersonal devices; this is not to say that the news report disguises the authorial presence entirely, as textual devices, such as conjuncts like however, indicate what a writer’s expectations of his/her readers are

Topics: Lenguaje periodístico, Gramática sistémico-funcional, Lingüística textual, Estructura temática, Noticias, Editoriales, Función textual, Función interpersonal
Publisher: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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