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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


PASCUAL, Mariana. Evaluative resources and dynamics in Spanish: The discourse of collective memory in post-dictatorship Argentina. Rev. signos [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.105, pp.258-276. ISSN 0718-0934.

Studies focusing on interpersonal meanings have attracted the attention of many scholars since the development of the System of Appraisal (Martin, 2000, 2002; Martin & White, 2005; Hood & Martin, 2005) in the context of Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday, 1978; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2014). Though initially applied to the study of data in English, its application has widened considerably, proving useful for the analysis of discourse in a variety of languages. This study aims at presenting a proposal related to the lexicogrammatical resources that construe evaluative meanings in Spanish. It also establishes a correlation between the type of social reaction that took place in post-dictatorship Argentina (1974-1983) and a gradual, systematic development of appraisal meanings, which we define as Evaluative Dynamics (ED). The proposal derives from the analysis of Argentinian media discourse from the period 1984-2004, and the results indicate a diachronic transformation in the construction of values related to Judgement -social sanction as well as social esteem- which turn into and combine with values that are more closely related to the dimension of Affect. It seems that meanings of Judgement and Affect fuse in order to represent how Argentina faced its recent past and developed a collective memory. In line with these findings, it was observed that the clear dominance of explicit judgement values gradually gave rise to values of explicit Affect which, at the same time, evoke Judgement. The data analyzed allowed for the systematization of resources identified and for the proposal of a glossary of terms related to the evaluative dimension of discourses on traumatic pasts, collective memory and recent histories. The proposal may prove useful for the identification, systematization and interpretation of the discoursal construction of social reaction to traumatic phenomena, as after civil wars, military dictatorships, invasions, religious conflicts, forced immigrations and various other social conflicts that leave profound wounds in our societies.

Palabras clave : System of Appraisal; evaluative resources; Evaluative Dynamics (ED); recent past; collective memory.

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