"This property offers much character and charm": Evaluation in the discourse of online property advertising

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"Evaluation" may be expressed through varying context-dependent and, there-fore, often unpredictable lexico-grammatical operators. Its analysis relies, at least partly, on “local” grammars or categories (Hunston and Sinclair 1999). The aim of this paper is to outline a systematic approach to the identification of evaluative meaning in the discourse of online property advertising, which can be applied to the analysis of evaluation in other types of promotional dis-course. The online descriptions of three established estate agencies in the East of England are explored in terms of appraisal choices, specifically appreciation(Martin and White 2005). The appraisal framework is reviewed with particular reference to the study of property advertising carried out by Pryce and Oates (2008) and general advertising theories (e.g., Darley and Smith 1993). Re-vised categories of positive evaluation are identified in correspondence with different values of subjectivity, affect, and explicitness. The analysis reveals similarities and differences in the nature and distribution of the evaluative options across the three sets of descriptions. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings and approach are discussed in the final section.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-220
Number of pages26
JournalText and Talk
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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