Predication and propagation : a method for analyzing evaluative meanings in technology policy

Graham, Philip W. (2002) Predication and propagation : a method for analyzing evaluative meanings in technology policy. Text & Talk, 22(2), pp. 227-268.

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In this article I outline and demonstrate a synthesis of the methods developed by Lemke (1998) and Martin (2000) for analyzing evaluations in English. I demonstrate the synthesis using examples from a 1.3-million-word technology policy corpus drawn from institutions at the local, state, national, and supranational levels. Lemke's (1998) critical model is organized around the broad 'evaluative dimensions' that are deployed to evaluate propositions and proposals in English. Martin's (2000) model is organized with a more overtly systemic-functional orientation around the concept of 'encoded feeling'. In applying both these models at different times, whilst recognizing their individual usefulness and complementarity, I found specific limitations that led me to work towards a synthesis of the two approaches. I also argue for the need to consider genre, media, and institutional aspects more explicitly when claiming intertextual and heteroglossic relations as the basis for inferred evaluations. A basic assertion made in this article is that the perceived Desirability of a process, person, circumstance, or thing is identical to its 'value'. But the Desirability of anything is a socially and thus historically conditioned attribution that requires significant amounts of institutional inculcation of other 'types' of value-appropriateness, importance, beauty, power, and so on. I therefore propose a method informed by critical discourse analysis (CDA) that sees evaluation as happening on at least four interdependent levels of abstraction.

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ID Code: 26438
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1515/text.2002.009
ISSN: 0165-4888
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Walter de Gruyter
Copyright Statement: The final publication is available at
Deposited On: 22 Jul 2009 02:42
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2013 23:48

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