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Transitivity in the New York Times Reports on China’s Exchange Rate

Author: LuZuo
Tutor: LiuJinMing
School: Hunan University of Science and Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: English Economic News Discourse Critical Discourse Analysis Transitivity Ideology
CLC: H315
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 79
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Abstract


As an important and new approach in discourse analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), absorbing the study methods and findings in linguistics, sociology, psychology and mass media, etc., has drawn more and more attention from different research fields. Critical Discourse Analysis aims to unpack and analyze ideology hidden in discourse which has been normally taken for granted. Systematic functional grammar focuses on the functional roles of language, explaining how language is used and what the metafunctions of language are. Three metafunctions have been very important analytical tools for Critical Discourse Analysis.As the core part of ideational function, transitivity is a fundamental and powerful semantic concept in Halliday’s systematic functional grammar and an essential tool in the analysis of representation. When people wish to represent action, event and state of affairs or relationship, there is always a choice among different transitivity processes, and the selection is ideologically significant.Through analyzing eight sample reports on China’s exchange rate in The New York Times, the author finds out that the English economic news discourse which is claimed to be neutral, accurate and objective is ideology-loaded. In English economic news discourse, reporters generally use material process, verbal process, relational process and mental process to express their own attitudes and viewpoints, which influences the readers’understanding in a covert way.Through a statistical analysis of different transitivity processes, the author also finds out that there is a dominance of material process, followed by verbal process, relational process and mental processes in all the sample reports. The distribution of mental processes is relatively bigger than that in the previous study on transitivity in economic news discourse, which might be ascribed to complicated background of China’s exchange rate in 2010. For the reason that the functions of existential and behavioral process are not coordinated with English economic news discourse, there is no distribution of those processes in eight sample reports.This thesis conducts a preliminary analysis of transitivity in English economic news discourse from a CDA perspective. Through exploring and analyzing the process of transitivity, the author hopes to provide a way of interpreting the economic news language so as to find out how it is utilized by people and to reveal its hidden ideology. Meanwhile, it can help people develop their critical language awareness to better understand the ideology embedded in economic news discourse.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric
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