An Analysis of the Evaluations in a Discourse on Confucius


  • Fang Yan Tsinghua University (retired)



appraisal, commentary, Confucius, context, discourse


This paper adopts a ‘top-down’ analytical model for analyzing a commentary text on Confucius. It will first analyze the features of the context of culture and of the three variables of the context of situation concerning the discourse in order to set the analysis against a clearly-defined background. Then it focuses on discussing the evaluative orientations of the text by applying Appraisal Theory as developed by Martin and his colleagues, with particular concern for the interaction of appreciation, judgment, engagement and graduation, or for the way the evaluation is established, amplified, targeted and sourced.

Author Biography

Fang Yan, Tsinghua University (retired)

Fang Yan taught at Peking University and then at Tsinghua University until retirement in 2004.


Bakhtin, M. M. (1981) The Dialogic Imagination. C. Emerson and M. Holquist (trans.). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Hasan, R. (1985) Language, Context and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-semiotic Perspective. Australia: Deakin University Press.

Hood, S. (2004) Appraising Research: Taking a Stance in Academic Writing. PhD Dissertation, University of Technology Sydney.

Martin, J. R. and Rose, D. (2003) Working with Discourse. London and New York: Continuum.

Martin, J. R. and White, P. P. (2005) The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Webster, J. (ed.) (2002) Linguistic Studies of Text and Discourse, Volume 2 in the Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday. London and New York: Continuum.



How to Cite

Yan, F. (2015). An Analysis of the Evaluations in a Discourse on Confucius. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 10(1), 69–82.