Linguistics Discourse Analysis Old Delhi Walking Tour

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Assessment Type

Case Study

Word Count

4400 words


Applied Linguistics


8 Days

Assignment Criteria

Task: 3000 words of analysis and interpretation of interpersonal meaning in your chosen text.

Your analyses will draw on the theorization of interpersonal meaning using the system of appraisal  – as attitude and as graduation.

Criteria: To critically deconstruct the discourse, demonstrating in the process:

  • a familiarity with the theoretical models introduced in the subject;
  • an ability to apply the tools introduced in the subject in the accurate analysis of texts;
  • an ability to interpret the analyses with reference to the social context;
  • an ability to represent the analysis and interpretation in a clear and comprehensible way.

Further guidance

Review key readings on SFL and discourse analysis, especially on interpersonal meaning. Have these resources handy as you work on your analyses. Many of them contain useful examples of analysis and tables of examples to assist you in making theoretically sound decisions. Give yourself plenty of time to do the analyses.2.

You will be provided with a model of analyses of attitude and graduation in another text, for a similar but different genre. I will provide guidance in analyzing the text as a genre –so that you can refer to that structuring of the text as you interpret patterns of interpersonal meaning in the discourse.3.

There are a number of ways forward:

In relation to appraisal, the aim is to be able to discuss preferences and patterns in the language of the texts that work to express particular kinds of relationships and values (relationships between participants in the text and relationships with us as the reader/viewer). In this subject, that means being able to identify preferences and patterns in the kinds of attitudes that are expressed, and in relation to what is being appraised. It is also about how values are graded up or down- to make them more or less intense. You can consider what the impact is on you as a reader when they are graded up or down.  It is also about how we can imply or 'invoke' attitude – that is express it less overtly – by grading non-attitudinal meanings. We refer to this as 'flagging' and attitudinal interpretation, rather than expressing it explicitly. How does this work in the discourse you are analyzing.

Don't forget there are 2 important parts to your task:

  • analyse the texts an describe what you find – and patterns that you see.
  • Interpret the choices and patterns of interpersonal meaning the kinds of values it expresses and the kinds of relationships it sets up with you the reader.

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Assignment Solution


The present paper analyses and interprets interpersonal meaning from the perspective of the system of appraisal in one instance of discourse. The given text is named as 'Old Delhi walking tour, India: A feast to overcome 'Delhi belly' fears' by Julie Miller published on February 27, 2015 at 3:30 PM. It is a report presented by J. Miller where she recounts her Delhi visit with a friend; and demonstrates how her tourist guide wanted to show that there was no reality in the myth of street food sold on the Old Delhi roads. She narrates it in a bit of discussion with the dialogues used by the guide, but eventually, it is noted that it is all her experience and way of presenting the story that we as readers get. The title itself suggests that the following text is going to recollect the author's experience of a walking tour in Old Delhi, India with loads of food. The author was able to find out the deliciousness of the street food and was also able to explore that it was safe and contained no health issues. The catchy title gives an absolute apt beginning where the options of food were restricted by the author; and I would later describe the phases of the genre the text went through.

The expressions in the text show the mood and purpose of the author that would be analyzed by attitude. I would particularly be interested in the expressions of emotional levels during the interaction with the guide. I would begin by describing the theoretical background that informs the analysis, and then I would analyze the genre of the text. This text would be analyzed in terms of attitude and graduation. The further section discusses the analyses, and the detailed text analysis is attached to the paper as appendices.


The analysis of the present text is based on the theoretical framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics, widely known as SFL. This approach shares concerns that have been the basis of much work in interactional sociolinguistics over more than two decades. But there has been an important underlying distinction related to the question of place in interpersonal meaning. It has been debated whether this is modeled outside of language or within. Gumperz (1982) discusses interpersonal meanings as related to the pragmatic interpretation of intention and perception in interactional sociolinguistics. Whereas in SFL we already see that language is modeled in three realms as interpersonal, ideational and textual at the same time. The SFL theory discusses three metafunctions, or general realms of meaning in discourse analysis: interpersonal meaning, through which we 'enact relationships'; ideational meaning, through which we 'represent experience'; and textual meaning through which we 'organize text' into a message (Martin &Rose 2007: 7). My paper is concerned with the interpersonal meaning of the text in discourse. It studies how interpersonal meaning from the point of the reader is achieved in the present text. I would be using appraisal theory which is the system in SFL theory for analyzing interpersonal meaning. The appraisal theory further draws on three dimensions: attitude, graduation, and engagement (Martin & Rose 2007); among which my aim is to study the attitude and graduation for the present text.

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