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Dr Levis Mugumya

Home country: Uganda

PANGeA partner: Makerere University

Year of enrolment: 2011

Graduation date: March 2013

Department: English and African Languages

Supervisor: Prof Marianna Visser

Dissertation title: The discourse of conflict: An appraisal analysis of newspaper genres in English and Runyankore-Rukiga in Uganda (2001-2010)

Abstract:  This study explores generic properties of hard news reports and editorials and the nature of linguistic devices invoked by journalists to communicate issues of conflict in Uganda. It describes the textual architecture of a hard news report and an editorial unfolding in the Ugandan print media, and the features that define English-language and Runyankore-Rukiga hard news and editorials. The study further explicates the nature of overt and covert linguistic resources that news reporters and editorialists employ to communicate issues conflict in English and Runyankore- Rukiga across government and private newspapers. It also examines strategies that news reporters employ to establish their stance towards the news event being communicated and seeking to align or disalign with the issue in a manner that seeks to enlist the reader to do likewise. The study employs the multi-dimensional and multi-perspective approaches of discourse analysis to examine news stories and editorials that communicate issues of conflict. Using genre-theoretic and appraisal–theoretic principles, the study explores a diachronic corpus of 53 news reports and 27 editorials drawn from four selected newspapers, Daily Monitor, The New Vision, Entatsi and Orumuri. It therefore, involves a cross-linguistic comparison of English and Runyankore-Rukiga news texts across government and privately-owned newspapers. The investigation demonstrates that news reports in Runyankore-Rukiga and English in the Ugandan print media exemplify similar generic properties and textual organisation to the Englishlanguage hard news reports obtaining in the Anglo-American world. The editorial texts also largely exhibit rhetorical moves similar to the ones employed in the English-language editorials. Nonetheless, a chronological development of news segments occurs across a considerable number of hard news reports in English and Runyankore-Rukiga. This is evident in the use of markers of cohesion such as anaphoric references, time adjuncts, or a mere positioning of events of similar nature in adjacent segments, which leads to some of them hanging together. Consequently, this feature constrains reordering of segments without causing textual unintelligibility. In particular, the Runyankore-Rukiga news reports display a lengthy and value-laden opening whose elements are usually at variance with the body components or even the actual news event. The interpersonal meanings are actuated via metaphors, implicit judgement, non-core lexis, and occasional proverbs. While both government and private newspapers restrain from overt judgement of human conduct, news reporters from the private newspapers invoke implicit attitudes to assess the behaviour of news actors and occasionally highlight the negative actions, particularly of the police, army, or other government agents depicting their conduct as inappropriate. The government leaning newspapers often assess their conduct in positive terms or avoid mentioning events in which their conduct would have hitherto been construed as negative. The study also established that some of the news reports display affect values activated via the description of circumstances or negative actions of the agents on the affected. This description often involves expressions that trigger in the reader feelings of pity, empathy, or pain for the affected while at the same time evoking anger or disgust for the agent. The study demonstrates how news reporters invoke non-core lexical elements or proverbs to intensify the interpersonal value, thus endorsing the attitudinal value expressed by the locution(s).

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