Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age - Sheena Gardner

Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age - Sheena Gardner

6. “We’re hearing from Reuters that…”: The Role of Around-the-Clock News Media in the Increased Use of the Present Progressive with Mental Process Type Verbs

Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age - Sheena Gardner

Ben Clarke [+-]
University of Portsmouth
View Website
Ben Clarke is a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Portsmouth, UK. His research interests include functional descriptions of language and grammar, the relationship between language and semiotic context, and multimodality – particularly the relationship between language and embodied forms of communication.

Description

Several studies have reported the diachronically increased use of the present progressive in English over the last century (e.g. Mair & Hundt, 1995; Levin, 2013). Working in a systemic-functional tradition, Clarke (forthcoming) shows that this general trend is true too with a sub-class of verbs which are classified as ‘mental processes’ in the same paradigm’s description of transitivity (Halliday, 1967-8; 1994), verbs which traditionally do not associate with the present progressive (Palmer, 1965: 95-97; Leech, 2004: 25-27). Leech (2004: 26; 29-30) has shown that this construction can be motivated by a desire to mitigate interpersonal pressures (cf. Brown & Levinson, 1987). But Clarke (forthcoming) argues that some instances of its use are semantically motived by a desire to represent events under discussion as emphatically current in the here and now. In this paper, one potential contextual explanation for the trend in question is explored; namely, the advent of twenty-four hour news media, their effect on the production of news and the increased importance of ‘recency’ as a news value (Bell, 1991; Gatlung & Ruge, 1965).

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Clarke, Ben. 6. “We’re hearing from Reuters that…”: The Role of Around-the-Clock News Media in the Increased Use of the Present Progressive with Mental Process Type Verbs. Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 99-119 Nov 2016. ISBN 9781781792384. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26125. Date accessed: 09 Dec 2018 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26125. Nov 2016

Dublin Core Metadata