Genre- and culture-specific aspects of evaluation: Insights from the contrastive analysis of English and Italian online property advertising
Issue: Vol 6 No. 1-3 (2010)
Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences
The distinction between evaluative and non evaluative meaning in discourse is problematic. Many expressions may be purely factual in some contexts and evaluative in others. As argued by Hunston (1999:199--201), the criteria for evaluation rely in part on shared assumptions that form part of the message of any texts. Evaluation is, therefore, often expressed in ways that are highly implicit and discourse-dependent. The aim of this paper is to illustrate how detailed manual contrastive linguistic analysis comparing equivalent genres (online property descriptions in this case) produced in two different contexts of culture (England and Italy) may be used to: a) explore the fine variation in the subjective force of evaluative expressions, which might escape automated larger-scale analysis and, thereby b) distinguish with some precision between genre- and culture-specific aspects of evaluation. The theoretical framework for the analysis is derived from Appraisal Theory (Martin and White, 2005) and from the author’s earlier adaptation and application of the framework to the analysis of English property descriptions (Pounds, 2011). The significance of the findings is discussed with particular reference to further research into genre- and culture-specific evaluative patterns.
Author: Gabrina Pounds
Bednarek, M. (2006) Evaluation in Media Discourse. London: Continuum.
Darley, W. K. and Smith, R. E. (1993) Advertising claim objectivity: Antecedents and effects. Journal of Marketing 57 (4): 100–13. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1252222
Fu, C-S and Wu, W-Y. (2010) The means-end cognitions of web advertising: A cross-cultural comparison. Online Information Review 34 (5): 686–703. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14684521011084573
Hall, E. T. (1976) Beyond Culture. New York: Doubleday.
Her Majesty’s Government. (1991) Property Misdescriptions Act (c. 29 Sections 1–7). http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1991/ukpga_19910029_en_1 (accessed 7 July 2009).
Hermeking, M. (2005) Culture and internet consumption: Contributions from cross-cultural marketing and advertising research. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11 (1): 192–216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.tb00310.x
Hodgson, J. (1994) The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991. Structural Survey 12 (1): 26–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02630809410041741
Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverley Hills, CA: Sage.
Hunston, S. (1999) Evaluation and the planes of discourse: Status and value in persuasive texts. In Hunston, S. and Thomson, G. (eds) Evaluation in Text, 176–206. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Hunston, S. and Sinclair, J. (1999) A local grammar of evaluation. In Hunston, S. and Thomson, G. (eds) Evaluation in Text, 74–100. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Katan, D. (2004) Translating Cultures (2nd edn) Manchester: St Jerome.
Liao, H., Proctor, R. and Salvendy, G. (2008) Content preparation for cross-cultural e-commerce: A review and a model. Behaviour and Information Technology 27 (1): 43–61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01449290601088424
Lorenzo-Dus, N. (2006) Buying and selling: Mediating persuasion in British property shows. Media, Culture and Society 28 (5): 740–61. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443706067024
Manca, E. (2008) From phraseology to culture. Qualifying adjectives in the language of tourism. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 13 (3): 368–85. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.13.3.07man
Martin, J. (1999) Beyond exchange: Appraisal systems in English. In S. Hunston and G. Thomson (eds) Evaluation in Text, 142–75. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Martin, J. and White, P. R. R. (2005) The Language of Evaluation. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave.
Park, C. W. and Young, S. M. (1986) Consumer response to television commercials: The impact of involvement and background music on brand attitude formation. Journal of Marketing Research 23 (1): 11–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3151772
Pounds, G. (2011) ‘This property offers much character and charm’. Evaluation in the discourse of online property advertising. Text and Talk 31 (2): 195–220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/text.2011.009
Pryce, G. and Oates, S. (2007) Pathos and patter in real estate parlance. SHEFRN. Discussion paper. http:// www.gpryce.com and www.shefrn.org (accessed 12 July 2009).
Pryce, G. and Oates, S. (2008) Rhetoric in the language of real estate marketing. Housing Studies 23 (2): 319–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673030701875105
Shaw, P. (2006) Evaluative language in evaluative and promotional genres. In G. Del Lungo Camiciotti, M. Dossena and B. Crawford Camiciottoli (eds) Variation in Business and Economics Discourse: Diachronic and Genre Perspectives, 152–65. Rome: Officina Edizioni.
Shimp, T. A. and Preston, I. L. (1981) Deceptive and non-deceptive consequences of evaluative advertising. Journal of Marketing 45 (1): 22–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1251717
Swales, J. M. (1990) Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Taboada, M and Grieve, J. (2004) Analysing appraisal automatically. In Proc. of AAAI Spring Symposyum on Exploring Attitude and Affect in Text, 158–61. Stanford. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/text.2011.011
Taboada, M. (2011) Stages in an online review genre. Text and Talk 31 (2): 247–69.
Tellis, G. J. (2004) Effective Advertising. London: Sage Publications.
Usunier, J-C. and Roulin, N. (2010) The influence of high- and low-context communication styles on the design, content and language of business-to-business websites. Journal of Business Communication 47 (2): 189–227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0021943610364526
Woods, N. (2006) Describing Discourse. London: Hodder Arnold.
Würtz, E. (2005) A cross-cultural analysis of websites from high-context cultures and low-context cultures. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11 (1): Article 13.