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Challenging Boundaries in Linguistics

Systemic Functional Perspectives


Edited By Stella Neumann, Rebekah Wegener, Jennifer Fest, Paula Niemietz and Nicole Hützen

Linguistics, like any discipline, is full of boundaries. However, in nature, as Ruqaiya Hasan points out, there are no clear cut boundaries. The participants of the 42nd International Systemic Functional Congress held at RWTH Aachen University addressed and challenged the notion of boundaries in linguistics in many creative ways. Twenty-one of the papers presented at the congress are collated in this volume. The six sections cover topics that challenge theoretical notions and stances, and explore historical, interpersonal and lexicogrammatical boundaries as well as those between languages and in language development. The volume presents a state of the art overview of systemic functional linguistic theorising with extensions into other theoretical frameworks.

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From Cosmogirl to Cosmovoter: Appraisal analysis of Cosmopolitan’s coverage of the 2014 US midterm elections (María Aloy Mayo)


María Aloy Mayo University of

From Cosmogirl to Cosmovoter: Appraisal analysis of Cosmopolitan’s coverage of the 2014 US midterm elections

Abstract: This study uses corpus-linguistic methods and a framework of analysis based on the systemic functional theory to reveal the presence of attitudes and semantic intensification and to compare this linguistic evaluation between the discourse of the articles and the comments of Cosmopolitan’s articles on the US midterm elections in 2014.

1 Introduction

This study uses corpus-linguistic methods to evaluate the presence of positive and negative polarities and semantic intensification in the new political contents introduced by Cosmopolitan magazine during the US midterm elections in 2014. The linguistic theoretical context in which this research is embedded is the application of the systemic functional linguistic theory. This theory, based on the analysis of meaning, provides a very suitable framework to analyse opinions, feelings and beliefs presented through linguistic features.

The present research is an application of this linguistic framework to a current media discourse with concrete characteristics that includes contemporary topics to be discussed in the format of a website platform. Cosmopolitan website and its brand new section about politics and women, Cosmovotes, is a perfect frame for the application of the Appraisal theory.

The main goal of our analysis is to reveal how positive and negative subjectivity is presented in Cosmopolitan’s series of articles on the US midterm elections. We also apply the Appraisal framework...

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