Evaluative Key: Taking a Stance
Our purpose in previous chapters has been to provide a general account of the resources of evaluation and intersubjective positioning as these operate within English. In this chapter we shift from this global perspective to a more local one. We are concerned with patterns in the use of evaluative resources within texts by which certain types of evaluation and stance are favoured or foregrounded while others occur infrequently only in restricted settings, or not at all. We report on preliminary findings which suggest that such patterns of use reoccur across groupings of related texts, and postulate the operation of certain conventionalised ‘styles’ or ‘regimes’ of evaluative positioning. We conclude that these styles or regimes can be related to particular rhetorical effects and construct particular authorial identities or personas. We demonstrate that in some discourse domains — for example that of mainstream ‘broadsheet’ journalism — particular text compositional conventions operate to strongly condition the evaluative styles employed by writers.
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