Evaluative Vocabulary Modality - 10.6 English 2014
EVALUATIVE VOCABULARY R E F E R E N C E H UM P HRE Y , S ., LOVE , K. & DR OG A, L . ( 2 0 1 1 ) . WO RKI NG GRAM MA R: A N I NT RO DU C TI O N FOR S EC O N DA RY EN GL I S H TE AC HE RS . VI C TO RI A: P EA RS O N EVALUATIVE VOCABULARY Evaluative vocabulary is used to express positive and negative feelings and judgements. Writers use evaluative vocabulary to: Influence the ways in which a reader responds to the text Influence reader opinions on issues or the facts expressed through the text Get the reader to empathise with characters Persuade the reader to take up a particular viewpoint.
Create an emotional and empathetic connection with the reader The use of evaluative vocabulary can significantly increase the power and emotional impact of a text. ATTITUDINAL ADJECTIVES (HUMPHREY ET AL., 2011, PP. 70-71) Attitudinal adjectives are adjectives which evaluate nouns explicitly. Noun groups often use a combination of classifiers, factual and attitudinal adjectives as in the examples below. e.g. beautiful (classifier) (attitudinal adjective)
polished (factual adjective) marble statues a terrific (attitudinal adjective) little (factual adjective) road movie (classifer)of a book Sometimes a number of attitudinal adjectives are used in the one noun group. This tends to build up the intensity of the judgement or emotion surrounding the noun being evaluated. e.g. a clever, moving and thoroughly engrossing story an elegant, eloquent and wonderful woman in her eighties a stony and stubborn and deafening silence
EXERCISE (VERBAL) (HUMPHREY ET AL., 2011, P. 71) Identify the explicit attitudinal adjectives which function as premodifiers in the noun groups below: Extract from Barack Obamas Inaugural Address delivered on 20 January 2009 On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation (Answers on next slide) What purposes are achieved/effects created by the use of all of these attitudinal adjectives in the speech extract? ANSWERS
Extract from Barack Obamas Inaugural Address delivered on 20 January 2009 On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation EVALUATIVE VOCABULARY ACROSS GRAMMATICAL CATEGORIES (HUMPHREY ET AL., 2011, P. 72) Evaluative vocabulary can be expressed across all grammatical
categories not just adjectives. Effective writers use resources from a range of grammatical categories to accumulate positive and negative evaluations of characters, issues or settings. e.g. After she left the mission, her brother let her know that her mum had died years before, a broken woman fretting for the children From Kevin Rudds Apology Speech Rudd uses adjectives and verbs to evaluate the feelings of Nanna Fejos mother when her children were taken away. (broken = adjective, fretting = verb) On the next slide is a table of evaluative vocabulary across some different grammatical categories. TABLE OF EVALUATIVE VOCABULARY (HUMPHREY ET AL., 2011, P. 72)
bitterly, safely, calmly, tenaciously, greedily, graphically Nouns fear, hope, terror, horror, sadness, honesty, beauty, destruction EXERCISE 1. Think of a noun. Using three evaluative adjectives (you can use ideas from the previous table if you like), write a sentence describing that noun. 2. Now write a sentence describing that noun using a combination of evaluative adjectives, verbs and adverbials. What are some different effects you can achieve through the varied use of evaluative vocabulary?
Reflection: How could the use of evaluative vocabulary change or improve your writing? EXTENSION EXERCISE (OR HOMEWORK) Identify a topic or object you are passionate about. Write a paragraph using evaluative vocabulary across all grammatical categories to convince the reader of your feelings about that object or topic. Read your paragraph to the class or a small group. Are you convinced or moved by each others writing? Why/ why not?
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