Tag Archives: : Modality

The Garden Party Will Go on or Not? Who Persuades Whom? : A Modality Analysis of Mansfield’s “The Garden Party (Published)

This paper seeks to analyze the modality in the interactive exchanges of language as the vehicle of persuasion amongst three characters –Laura, Jose and their mother Mrs. Sheridan- over the question ‘whether or not the garden party goes on’ in the legendary short story ‘The Garden Party’ by Katherine Mansfield. Laura’s strong impulse, on an ethical ground, to put off the party following an impecunious neighbor’s coincidental demise is asserted largely through ‘modality of desirability’. Nonetheless, in the realm of reality, their high ranking whereabouts in societal structure, trepidation of losing face to the already invited visitors, Mrs. Sheridan’s and Jose’s views on Laura’s proposition are outright negative and their reinforcement on the ongoing of the party is essentially demonstrated through their predominant choices of ‘modality of validity’ dedicated in their utterances. Ergo, the garden party does not correlate with the impoverished fellow’s death and it goes on. Fowler‘s (1985) proposed modality categories have been followed in examining how modality makes sense of ‘persuasion’ in terms of the characters’ conversations in the cited text. The outstanding excerpt from the aforesaid text that involves the argument over the settlement of either continuation or discontinuation of the party has been exploited as the data for this modality analysis and a purposive sampling of the data has been adopted.                          

Keywords: : Modality, Ideology, The Garden Party, persuasive, power relationship, social class

Modality versus Performativity in Ghanaian Newspaper Editorials (Published)

This paper takes a look at how modal and lexical verbs are used to perform speech functions in the editorials of two Ghanaian newspapers. It establishes what speech acts are performed by the editors using the modal elements the paper sets out to look at. The primary focus of this discussion is to establish which speech acts are performed with the modal elements under consideration for this study. The study has as its background theories such as Austin’s Speech Acts, and Context-Dependency and Lexical Specialisation of Kratzer (1981). The study examined three of the central modal auxiliaries and lexical verbs in thirty editorials of the two Ghanaian newspapers under review, The Daily Graphic and The Ghanaian Times from February to March 2016. This exploration was done with the aim of identifying the distribution of modal auxiliaries and lexical verbs and their speech acts in the data. An interesting finding is that the use of will, should, must dominate the other modals in expressing speech acts. The modal auxiliaries mostly help in passing on information. In some few instances, however, some strong deontic modal auxiliaries such as must and should were identified to be expressing a command.The most frequent being must expressing obligation. With regards the modal lexical verbs, the editors are indiscriminate in their choice. It is observed that every lexical verb is worthy enough to perform speech acts.

Keywords: : Modality, Ghanaian, Newspapers, Performativity

Ideology in News Reports: Al-Jazeera Reporters As Representative: A Critical Discourse Analysis (Published)

This paper adopts a critical discourse analysis approach to investigate the way reporters of Al-Jazeera English Satellite Channel use to covey events and actions during the Syrian crisis. The study aims to find out whether reporters are neutral in their coverage or they carry an ideology which accords with one of the warring parties of conflict. It also aims at finding out the ideological implications that reporters have in the news texts toward the parties of conflict in Syria. The study hypothesizes that news reporters of Al-Jazeera are not neutral, but rather they have a prejudiced and a one-sided ideology towards the conflicted parties. For the analysis of the data, the study follows Van Dijk’s (1998) model of ‘ideological square’. The analysis is limited to investigate some discourse features, among many others, for their importance and their abundance in the data under scrutiny. Finally, the study has come with some conclusions that validate the hypotheses.

Keywords: : Modality, CDA, Contrasts, Crisis, Ideology, Media, Topics, Transparency

Application of Multimedia Principles: Post Graduate Students’ Experience (Published)

This study was an empirical survey that used the survey design on a random sample of 120 (one hundred and twenty) doctoral students of the University of Port Harcourt, from two given sessions.  The instrument consisted of a 31-item Multimedia questionnaire divided into seven (7) sections.  This instrument met the indices of both content validity and reliability.  Some of the findings of the study were: texts still dominate most PowerPoint presentations; there is obvious difficulty in labeling complex graphics as such lines could intersect; occasional non reference to projected slides perhaps due to time factor, reading from slides in some cases; and the formal rather than conversational style of presentation, amongst other.  The recommendations made were strictly tied to these major findings.  

Keywords: : Modality, Contiguity, and personalization, coherence, redundancy, segmenting

Application of Multimedia Principles- Post Graduate Students’ Experience (Published)

This study was an empirical survey that used the survey design on a random sample of 120 (one hundred and twenty) doctoral students of the University of Port Harcourt, from two given sessions. The instrument consisted of a 31-item Multimedia questionnaire divided into seven (7) sections. This instrument met the indices of both content validity and reliability. Some of the findings of the study were: texts still dominate most PowerPoint presentations; there is obvious difficulty in labeling complex graphics as such lines could intersect; occasional non reference to projected slides perhaps due to time factor, reading from slides in some cases; and the formal rather than conversational style of presentation, amongst other. The recommendations made were strictly tied to these major findings.

Keywords: : Modality, Contiguity, and personalization, coherence, redundancy, segmenting

MODALITY IN STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES IN ARTS-BASED RESEARCH ARTICLE ABSTRACTS (Published)

This article explores the discourse functions of modality in statement of objectives in arts-based research article abstracts. For data, objective statements segments of three hundred abstracts of research articles obtained from the internet and purposively selected were analysed using insights from the linguistic tool of modality. Four categories of modal auxiliaries namely; possibility, necessity, prediction and permission modals characterised the data. Possibility modals are used in stating analytical scope and research goal in the abstracts; necessity modals are employed in stating analytical scope, presenting argument, seeking permission and/or making polite request; and prediction models are used in stating the researchers’ research missions in predictive form. Apart from complimenting the existing works in research discourse in general and research article abstracts in particular, our analysis has no doubt provided useful insights into the roles of modal auxiliary verbs in Statement of Objectives (SO) segment of the arts-based research article abstracts.

Keywords: : Modality, Discourse Function, Research Article Abstracts, Statement of Objectives