Proceedings of The 4th International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences
Attitudinal Meaning Between Language Use and Language Learning
Sami Abdullah Hamdi
Language users normally begin with a topic and, consciously or unconsciously, express their evaluative- attitudinal meaning toward that topic. When the topic includes an abstract term or is controversial, it becomes difficult for language users and learners to discern the implicit meaning. This study applies semantic or discourse prosody to identify implicit evaluative aspects using the topic of extremism as an example. A corpus of approximately 10,000 tweets was collected from Twitter using two Arabic keywords, “تطرف” and “متطرف,” corresponding to extremism and extremist. After the data had been processed, the Extended Lexical Unit (ELU) model was used as an analytical tool to identify discourse prosody. Instances of the corpus were analyzed to demonstrate the construction of the keywords and collocational relations. The results showed overall unfavorable prosody toward extremism based on subjective evaluation of the events related to extremism, such as associating them with a particular religion or social group. Language users seem more judgmental with opposing arguments and, accordingly, reveal more evaluative aspects. The implications of discourse prosody for language learning were explicated in light of the results.
keywords: Discourse prosody, Semantic prosody, Corpus linguistics, Social media, Extremism.