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Interpersonal Rhetoric in the Editorials of «China Daily»

A Generic Perspective


Liu Lihua

This book offers a critical review of three different approaches to Editorial Discourse Analysis (EDA). In a practical approach, each of the three – linguistic, discoursal and dialogistic – is applied to the analysis of China Daily editorials.
What are the social functions of China Daily editorials? How are these functions realized in the editorial texts? These are the questions the author focused on carrying out this study, which is aimed at exploring the reasons for the discourse practice of editorials of China Daily.
Beyond describing the language features of China Daily editorials, this book attempts to explain Interpersonal Rhetoric from cultural and social perspectives.


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2 Theoretical Foundations 17


2 Theoretical Foundations 2.1 Introduction In Chapters Two and Three, I shall devise an analytical model for concrete editorial discourse analysis (EDA), first building the theoretical foundations and then outlining the proposed framework. Since my research is focused on the constructive role of evaluation in shaping society, language functioning as action and affiliation will be accorded a paramount position. Following this theoretical approach to language study, I shall also make use of the ideas of CDA and genre theories, particularly the genre studies in systemic functional linguistics. All the above theories or approaches to language studies have the same task of finding out the dialectical relations between discourse and society even though there are different approaches and perspectives in the paradigms. 2.2 Language as action and affiliation The slogan “communication is action” has attracted particular attention in the last decade (Renkema 2004: 11). As early as about 390 B. C., Plato, in his famous Cratylus, pointed out that speech functions as a form of action and words as the instruments with which such actions can be performed. This notion of language communication as action was also developed by the Danish linguistic philosopher Otto Jesperson (1924), who suggested that the essence of language is human activity, that is, both speaker and listener have to undertake activity to make sure that they are understood and that they understand an utterance. The German philosopher and psychologist Karl Bühler (1934/1990) described language as a tool-Organon – in which the sign is viewed as a...

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