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Analysing intersubjective resources in Persian and English newspaper opinion/editorials

Hossein Shokouhi and Fatemeh Akbarzadeh


This study is to uncover the persuasive means of inviting or restricting alternative voices in Iranian and American press. About 10,000 engagement tokens were gathered from 216 newspaper opinions/editorials written between 2005 and 2010 on the Iranian nuclear program in two Persian newspapers, Iran and Aftab-e-Yazd, two English newspapers written by Persian writers–Tehran Times and Keyhan International–and two American newspapers written by American writers– New York Times and Washington Post. The Appraisal theory based on “contract” and “expand” linguistic features (Martin and White 2005) was used to compare the lexico-grammar of the engagement tokens. Central to their engagement are the dialogic heterogloss which acknowledges the diversity of voices in discourse and the undialogized monogloss which disregards the diversity. The investigation has revealed that whereas the op/eds written in Persian took the lead in using “endorse” and “counter”, two micro linguistic features of “contract”, (e.g., terms such as although, never, etc.), the American op/eds opted for “entertain” micro linguistic feature of “expand” (e.g., perhaps, argue, etc.). Interestingly, the op/eds written in English by the Persians stood in the middle, between the Americans and those written in Persian. However, when using terms that involve national interest, the latter group echo the Persian writers’ voice.

Hossein Shokouhi School of Education Faculty of Arts and Education Deakin University 221 Burwood Highway, Melbourne Burwood Campus Melbourne, Victoria 3125 Australia


8 Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance they received from Dr Brian Doig at Deakin University for his statistical assistance and insights as well as his proofreading, and to Amir Hossein Rouhi from RMIT University and Navid Shokouhi at the University of Texas at Dallas for the right displays of the table and Excel calculations.


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Published Online: 2017-7-10
Published in Print: 2017-6-27

© 2017 Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland