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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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6 Editorial as Social Action 145


6 Editorial as Social Action 6.1 Introduction In this chapter, we will focus on how evaluation in editorials functions as social action, influencing and changing the world in certain ways from a discoursal perspective. In Martin’s definition of genre, culture is mapped as a system of genres – with genre described as “how things get done, when language is used to accomplish them” (Martin 1985: 250), and defined as “a staged, goal-oriented social process”, “social, because we participate in genres with other people; goal-oriented because we use genres to get things done; staged because it usually takes us a few steps to reach our goals”. (Martin and Rose 2003: 7–8). As far as the characteristics of the editorials are concerned, they are authoritative, directive, dignified in attitude and normally comment on very important affairs (Wu 2001: 158–159). Locating editorials in the concept of genre, we can say that editorial is a kind of staged, goal-oriented social process and its final purpose is to influence public opinion. From a typological perspective, editorials published in China Daily are classified into five types as explaining, criticizing, praising, celebrating and calling-on editorials, although there is some overlap between these different categories. In the following discussions, the hypothesis is advanced that there are three stages in editorials. The first is initiating; the second is interpretation; and the last is appealing or rounding-up. Editorials engaged in explaining, criticizing, praising and celebrating normally employ the generic structure of initiating ^ interpretation ^ rounding up; while for calling-on editorials,...

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