Exploring identity through Appraisal Analysis

A corpus annotation methodology


  • Michael O'Donnell Universidad Autónoma de Madrid




Appraisal Analysis, Identity, Corpus Analysis


This paper is concerned with how Appraisal Analysis (Martin and White, 2005) can be used to shed light on the identity that writers/speakers assume when they write/speak, and on the identity these text producers assign to the other voices that participate in the text. Further, we present a methodology of corpus annotation which best supports this approach to identity. The paper shows how Appraisal annotation can be used to reveal the social values held by a writer (and assigned to the other voices introduced into the text) and the affiliations of the writer.

Author Biography

Michael O'Donnell, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Mick O’Donnell is a lecturer in the Department of English Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.


Coffin, C. (2002) The voices of history: Theorising the interpersonal semantics of historical discourses. Text, 22 (4): 503–528. http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/text.2002.020

Delin, J. (2005) Brand Tone of Voice: A linguistic analysis of brand position. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2 (1): 1–44.

Derewianka, B. (2007) Using appraisal theory to track interpersonal development in adolescent academic writing. In A. McCabe, M. O’Donnell and R. Whittaker (eds) Advances in Language and Education, 142–165. London and New York: Continuum.

Don, A. (2007) An approach to the analysis of textual identity through profiles of evaluative disposition. Bridging Discourses: ASFLA 2007 Online Proceedings.

Kipp, M. (2001) Anvil – A generic annotation tool for multimodal dialogue. Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology (Eurospeech), Aalborg, September 2001, 1367–1370.

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

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

Müller, C. and Strube, M. (2006), Multi-Level annotation of linguistic data with MMAX2. In S. Braun, K. Kohn and J. Mukherjee (eds) Corpus Technology and Language Pedagogy. New Resources, New Tools, New Methods (English Corpus Linguistics, Vol.3) 197–214. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

O'Donnell, M. (2008a) Demonstration of the UAM CorpusTool for text and image annotation. Proceedings of the ACL-08:HLT Demo Session (Companion Volume) 13–16. Columbus, Ohio, June 2008. Association for Computational Linguistics.

O'Donnell, M. (2008b) The UAM CorpusTool: Software for corpus annotation and exploration. In Bretones Callejas, Carmen M. et al. (eds) Applied Linguistics Now: Understanding Language and Mind / La Lingüística Aplicada Hoy: Comprendiendo el Lenguaje y la Mente, 1433–1447. Almería: Universidad de Almería.

Ogren, P. V. (2006) Knowtator: A plug-in for creating training and evaluation data sets for biomedical natural language systems, Proceedings of the 9th International Protégé Conference, 7–76.

Schmidt, T. (2004) Transcribing and annotating spoken language with EXMARaLDA. Proceedings of the LREC-Workshop on XML based richly annotated corpora, Lisbon. Paris: ELRA.

Taboada, M. and Carretero, M. (to appear) Contrastive analyses of evaluation in text: Key issues in the design of an annotation system for Attitude applicable to consumer reviews in English and Spanish. Linguistics and the Human Sciences.

Tann, K. (2010) The language of identity discourse: Introducing a framework for functional iconography. Paper presented at the Free Linguistics Conference, October, University of Sydney.

White, P. (2012) Affinity, affiliation, alignment, bonding, communality, identity, individuation, persona, power, rapport and solidarity in mass communicative discourse. Paper presented in the Friday Afternoon linguistics seminars, University of Sydney, 27 April 2012. [Video retrieved on 10 September 2012 from http://www.socialsemiotics.org/vids/peter2PRES/]



How to Cite

O’Donnell, M. (2014). Exploring identity through Appraisal Analysis: A corpus annotation methodology. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 9(1), 95–116. https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v9i1.95