Modality Analysis of the Newspaper Articles about the Scottish Ship RMS Queen Elizabeth

Puteri Zarina Binti Megat Khalid


Newspaper articles are commonly devoid of any authorial presence as they normally attempt to provide the aura of objectivity (McCabe and Heilman, 2007, p. 148). Bearing this in mind, this study was conducted to examine the traces of authorial subjectivity in four categories of news articles published in Scotland. These articles were published in 1938 in three news broadsheets. The traces of authorial subjectivity were analysed from the use of modal verbs by the authors. I am particularly interested in examining the modal markers through the use of modal verbs that writers use to inject their subjective voices into the texts with the purpose of ‘entertaining’ dialogic alternatives with the readership. To serve this purpose, the appraisal framework propounded by Martin and White (2005) and Halliday’s (2004) notion of Mood and modality system were employed in the analysis of the resources of ‘engagement’. In the lexico-grammatical analysis of the newspaper articles, it was found that the Mood and modality systems expressing the interpersonal meaning of the texts were present in both independent clauses and dependent clauses in all four categories of news in the corpus. It was also found that all the clauses are in the declarative, suggesting an informative nature of the texts. In addition, the news writers also employed numerous modal verbs in presenting their subjective authorial positioning in the otherwise neutral journalistic texts.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n9p458

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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