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CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH

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A Corpus-Based Study of Appraisal in the Face-Threatening Questions During the Prime Minister's Questions ×
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CORPUS LINGUSITICS RESEARCH Vol.4 No. pp.27-47
A Corpus-Based Study of Appraisal in the Face-Threatening Questions During the Prime Minister's Questions
Li Jialei1†
1 China Foreign Affairs University
Key Words : Prime Minister's Questions; the appraisal system; face-threatening discourse; the impoliteness theory; gender and impoliteness

Abstract

The Prime Minister's Questions has always been regarded as one of the most heated debates in Britain's political arena. As Teresa May stepped on stage, there has been a huge increase in the number of female MPs in the British Parliament. In this study, a corpus which has 10 sessions of PMQs held from October 2017 to February 2018 is compiled. This study has used the appraisal annotation scheme of the BFSU Qualitative Coder 1.2. (Xu & Jia, 2011) based on the appraisal system (Martin & White, 2005) to find out the differences in the appraisals used by the female and male MPs while raising questions. The results show that the most significant differences in the appraisals appear in the following categories: force (-)>proclaim (-)>entertain (-)>disclaim (+)>attribute (+). Among these discourse strategies, force, proclaim, and entertain are overused by the male MPs while female MPs tend to use more disclaim and attribute. We cannot simply say whether the female MPs or the male MPs are more impolite because numerous social and cultural factors can influence the results of the study. It's the different strategies used by the female and male MPs that count.
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