Modality can be expressed through: ; modal verbs -?? can, could, must, might, ill, shall, should, would ; modal adjuncts -?? probably, possibly, certainly, perhaps, maybe ; other expressions such as adverbial or adjectival phrases: ‘It is highly probable’. Gauging the certainty or probability of descriptions included in news reports is interesting in incidences where the facts may not be 100% certain. It is certain that after the tribunal, scheduled for later today, the player will face suspension for his actions.
Note that this degree of certainty seems to indicate an opinion that the player will definitely be punished for actions. This is ‘before’ the results of the tribunal. Is it fair for a news media text to report in this manner? Why/why not? How could the modality be altered to reflect less certainty about events? Verb groups: Note how choice of verbs can affect meaning. It has been alleged that the suspect acknowledged his role in the crime. Versus It is reported that the suspect boasted about his role in the crime. Which description of the subject positions an audience to view the suspect less favorably?
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How does verb choice contribute to this? Evocative language Language that has been specially crafted to evoke a specific experience/ emotion in the reader or listener. The unprovoked attack seriously injured the young father of three, who now is unable to work for up to three months. The above sentence conveys feeling of anger for the father who was injured. Intensifiers Note the role of intensifiers such as ‘very, ‘extremely’, ‘completely, ‘totally’, ‘really, ‘somewhat’ and ‘quite’ in affecting meanings. These adverbs modify adjectives and other adverbs.
The suspect is armed and extremely dangerous. What level Of concern does the intensifier stimulate in the audience? Netter opting clause/phrase A subordinate clause or phrase that interrupts the main clause. Unlike an embedded clause, it adds information that is non-essential and, in written news texts, is sandwiched by commas. It can be removed and the main clause will make perfect sense. In news texts, an interrupting clause may provide some indication of opinion. The offender, a calculated and callous con man, robbed countless pensioners of their life savings.
How do interrupting clauses affect audience responses to the people being described in the sentence? Which parts of the sentence convey facts? Which parts of the sentence convey opinion ions? Which words indicate this? STEREOTYPING This is a simplistic generalization, imposing a standardized mental image on a person without considering individual characteristics. Stereotyping Can be based on gender, racial, ethnic and class differences. Goths wear black clothes, black makeup, are depressed and hated by society. All blonds are unintelligent. All Asians are good at math.
All Asians like to eat rice and drive slowly. How do these examples of stereotyping affect audience responses? Embedded clauses: Embedded clauses are subordinate clauses that are attached to a noun group to provide essential information. Often embedded clauses function as a leafier in a noun group. The relative pronouns who, whom, whose, which and that often introduce an embedded clause. Sometimes, a relative adverb such as when, where or why can introduce an embedded clause. However, in news articles relative pronouns are often elided (left out).
An embedded clause is not ‘sandwiched’ with commas. A convicted thief [who was] dubbed a ‘remorseless referenda’ was sentenced to 10 years jail late yesterday. Note that ‘who was’ is elided in the example. Note that the embedded clause is essential in defining this particular thief. How does this embedded clause affect audience response to the thief? Are facts or opinions used in the embedded clause? Engage feature Active vs. passive voice Active voice clear rely depicts the subject Of a clause as the ‘actor’ or ‘doer of a verb.