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Evaluation in media discourse

European perspectives


Edited By Ruth Breeze and Inés Olza

Despite the apparent novelty and fluidity of the media today, there is strong evidence that patterns are emerging which both reflect and extend the evaluative paradigms previously observed in the print and broadcast media. In this complex scenario, discourse analysis offers a rich and varied methodology for understanding the different types of evaluation conveyed through media texts and the way these project, reflect and develop their relationships with their audience. The chapters in this volume draw on a variety of analytical tools, including appraisal analysis, argumentation theory, multimodal approaches and corpus linguistics, to address the issue of evaluation in media discourse. The theoretical underpinning for these chapters ranges from corpus-informed discourse studies, through critical discourse analysis and semio-communicative approaches, to Bakhtinian perspectives. Although the chapters are all in English, the scope of the volume is broadly European, covering aspects of the British, Spanish, Dutch and German media in their traditional and online manifestations, as well as contrastive studies.

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Concession in evaluative argumentative discourse: The semantics, pragmatics and discourse functions of but and although (María de los Ángeles Gómez González)


← 46 | 47 →


Concession in evaluative argumentative discourse: The semantics, pragmatics and discourse functions of but and although

1.  Introduction

Concession, from the verb “concede” (i.e. ‘admit’, ‘acknowledge’, ‘allow’, ‘accept’, ‘grant’, etc.), has been described as a relation that involves some “background assumption”, “acknowledgment” or “expectation” (Spooren 1989; Blakemore 1989; Winter and Rimon 1994; Azar, 1997), usually annotated as P meaning ‘concession’, in addition to some sort of “counter-expectation” (Longacre 1983; Halliday and Hasan 1976), “contra-expectation” or “countering”, generally marked as Q and glossed as “denial of expectation” (Quirk et al. 1985: 1097 – 1098; Barth-Weingarten 2003; Taboada and Gómez González 2012; Gómez and González 2013, 2015). As an illustration, let us consider (1):

(1) [P] Although I enjoyed her character in the film since she kind of played the big-sister role for other characters as well as being flirtatious, [Q] I felt the character was underwritten. [M, no 1]1

In this example the finite although-headed concessive clause acknowledges the fact that playing the big-sister role and its being flirtatious could be regarded as positive qualities to like her character in the film (P), but the subsequent main clause establishes the counter-argument (Q), namely that the character is underwritten implying that the writer does not like it. ← 47 | 48 →

In the most widely spread semantic-syntactic approach, concessive constructions have been identified mainly on the...

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