Lexis and grammar: Appraisal resources in writing

A Functional Grammar Guide for Writers - Derek Irwin

Derek Irwin [+-]
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
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Derek Irwin is the Head of School for the founding of the School of English at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. He completed his BA (Hon) in Theatre and Literature at the University of Guelph, his MA in English Literature at York University, and his PhD specializing in Canadian Literature and Textual Analysis at York University, Canada. He spent eight years as an ESL instructor in various locations before turning to systemic functional linguistics as a framework for language inquiry. He was a grammar and writing instructor at York University, and a founding faculty member of Lakehead University's Orillia campus, before joining the University of Nottingham, first at the Ningbo China campus and then on to Malaysia. He supervises PhD students in several areas, including second-language pedagogy, genre and text analysis, language modelling, language contact, identity and culture. His most recent critical work focuses on grammatical resources for lexical movement across languages, literary textual analysis, and writing for post-secondary students.
Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic [+-]
University of Toronto
Viktoria Jovanovic-Krstic is a sessional faculty member at the University of Toronto and a faculty member at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Jovanovic-Krstic teaches for the Writing and Rhetoric Program and The Faculty of Applied Arts and Science respectively. Her research interests are located in Appraisal Analysis, Business Communications and writing and rhetoric. She teaches courses in writing, rhetoric, and communications. She has published in the areas of war discourse, writing pedagogy, and reading and writing theory


Writers should be aware that their word choices have a profound effect on the way that the reader interprets the text. The same is true of a number of grammatical forms. This chapter looks at the resources for interpersonal interaction in language, particularly from the point of view of grammatical mood, modality and modalization, and systems which have been used to indicate appraisal in English as per Martin and White (The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English 2005). In particular, we will explain the expectations of academic work in terms of engagement, attitude and graduation so that writers will be able to effectively incorporate what some grammarians refer to as “hedging,” a necessary means of negotiating stance. By the end of this chapter, the reader will understand the various choices available to encode types of linguistic engagement (positioning of the participants in the dialogue), attitude (affect, judgement and appreciation qualities of the text) and graduation (increasing or decreasing the assertive force). They will be expected to understand how some clause parts (particularly Subject and Finite) fit together to provide grammatical mood, and what this means in terms of how the text is read.

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Irwin, Derek; Jovanovic-Krstic, Viktoria. Lexis and grammar: Appraisal resources in writing. A Functional Grammar Guide for Writers. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2023. ISBN 9781781792469. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26425. Date accessed: 24 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26425. Jan 2023

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