Introduction to Textual Analysis. Descriptive CategoriesFields of Study Sound SystemPhonetics and Phonology Word FormationMorphology Sentence StructureSyntax.
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Descriptive CategoriesFields of Study Sound SystemPhonetics and Phonology Word FormationMorphology Sentence StructureSyntax Meaning of WordsSemantics
Discourse Analysis Identifying linguistic features particular choices of features Relating linguistic features to contextual factors why the author make these choices what the author mean by the choices made
How would you label each text? (e.g. editorial, legal writing, horoscope, weather forecast, letter to personal advice column) For each text, identify one/two linguistic feature(s) (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, sentence construction/type etc.) which you think is the most significant to explain your choice.
If you were to describe an event to someone, you would have to say whether the event has taken place, is taking place, or will take place sometime in the future. (a) Ali hates to jog.[present tense] (b) Ali hated to jog.[past tense] At the time when (a) is uttered, Ali still hates to jog. On the other hand, at the time when (b) is uttered, this may not be the case.
In other words, when you are describing an event to someone, you would have to locate the event in time, usually using your time of utterance as a reference point. That is, the time at which a sentence is uttered is taken to mark the present time, and events are considered to take place in the past or future relative to the time of utterance.
Tense is the location of some event or situation in time (past time, present time, or future time).
Aside from locating an event or situation in time, you could be focusing on different parts of an event or situation. For example, you could be focusing on the end-point of an event so that the event is essentially considered over or completed, or you could be focusing on the ‘inside’ of the event, treating it as though it is on-going or continuous.
Therefore, even though both (a) and (b) are in the present tense, they have different aspects. (a) Tim has eaten. [present tense, perfect aspect] (b) Tim is eating. [present tense, progressive aspect] At the time when (a) is uttered, the eating event is already over. On the other hand, at the time when (b) is uttered, the eating event is still going on or ‘in progress’.
When you focus on different parts of an event, you are looking at the event structure. This is essentially what aspect is about. We say that in (a), which focuses on the completion of the event, the aspect is the perfect. On the other hand, in (b), which treats the event as on-going, the aspect is the progressive. The grammar of English has only these 2 aspects.
When you describe an event to someone, you may want to indicate how certain you are of the event. Would you want to indicate that the event definitely took place? Or would you want to indicate it only probably took place? In other words, you would have to decide just how committed you are to the content of your utterance.
For example, in one sense, the sentences here all have the same content in that they all have to do with raining. However, they express different degrees of certainty or commitment that the speaker attaches to the content. (a) It may rain. (b) It must be raining. (c) It can’t be raining.
The degree of certainty that you attach to the event is part of what we call modality. Basically, modality is the indication of the speaker’s attitude towards the content of his/her utterance.
One is concerned with necessity and possibility; it involves the speaker’s attitude towards what is likely or not likely to happen. This is known as epistemic modality, where what is expressed is the speaker’s assessment of the state of affairs in the world. Hence, epistemic modality involves notions like probability, ability and prediction.
The other type of modality is concerned with permission, obligation and prohibition; it involves the speaker’s view of whether something is allowed to happen or should happen. This is known as root modality. (a) You shall finish your work. (b) You must not open the door. (c) You can go home now.
How language is used to talk about time Tense How language is used to talk about event structure Aspect How language is used to express the speaker’s attitude towards the content of his/her utterance Modality
English has: Two types of tensepresent and past Two types of aspectperfect and progressive Two types of modalityepistemic and root