Evaluative prosodies in academic quality audit reports: An exploratory study

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the discourse of academic quality audit reports by drawing upon Appraisal Theory (Martin & White 2005). It focuses on the evaluative prosodies in the discourse leading up to the three main components of the reports, namely commendations, affirmations, and recommendations. These reports are prepared by the audit panels formed by the Quality Assurance Council of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong upon the completion of academic quality audit visits to each of the city's eight publicly-funded tertiary institutions. This paper argues that such evaluative prosodies, or the pattern of use of evaluative language, are strategically employed by the audit panels in an attempt to strike a balance between three needs: (1) to discharge their quality assurance responsibilities with their power vested by the Hong Kong Government through the University Grants Committee; (2) to maintain and/or reinforce a credible ethos for the panels themselves; and (3) to attend to the face wants of the institutions and the stakeholders concerned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-360
Number of pages25
JournalFunctions of Language
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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