当前位置:首页 >> 农林牧渔 >>


Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions
The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction not be "used for any purposes other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.


Roger Fowler

'Power' is not a very satisfactory technical term, but its everyday usage will be adequate to gcl us going. Let us say Ihat power is the ability of people and institutions to control the hehavior ilnd nmterial lives of others, It is obviously u tnm:silivc cuncept entailing an asymmetrical rcl"tionship: X -is more powerful limn/has power uver Y. II is also a very genernl concept: un absinacliull picking out one feature in an indefinitely large number of very diVerse kinds of rciutillllship. When we talk about power we may be rcli.~I ...ing to relationship!> belwCCll purents and children, employers llod empluyees, doctors ami patients, a government and its subjects, lind !ll) on. Features ur the relationships, including those that contrihllte to h.lving or nol huving power, ure remarkably liiverse. 1L will clearly not be pUl>sihlc 10 djlicuss more limn u hundful of the specilic types of relationships involvl.'ll. These power relalionships lire not natuntlnnd objective; they are artificial, socially construcled inlcrsuhjective rClllitics. Peopk-Ihosc wilh power, mostly-may behave us if tlu.;:;c I'Clil(illllships arc il1l:vil'Ihk~ IIml imlllutable; but lhl~Y arc part uf the process t:allcd by Berger anti Luckman, in the titk their book (1976), "the sodal constructlun uf n:ulity," Frum our point uf view, the most irnpOl'tllllt insight. rel:ognilcd III S\}IllC c)j,lcnt by Berger mil..! Luckman, is Ihut IlIllguul:l~ is II lIli~il)l' Ilicchuliislll in this process of sociall:onstrLlcliull. It iii all 1\l1,lruOIclil fur clHlsolitiuling and manipulating concepls and rellillon~hlps ill the al'l!iI o/" !lowe;' 11111.1 l~ontrol . (as well as other areas of social unl.! ilknlogkal slluclllre). Wc call summari;l.e this by characterizing IHnguugc liS U :;ol:iul pi'll.:! icc. Nol ollly is it used lo enforce and exploit existing positions of authority anJ privikge



co~tmuo.usl constllules the statuses ami roles u I elr clulWSjg exercise power, and the statllses

Rogor Fowler




in th.e obvious wa~s (commands, regulations. etc.); the use of Ilinsuag}c on whic e Ie base lind roles which seem '10 require subservience. . Language is a reality-creating social praclice. We insisted on this view 111 Laflgulige and Control (Fowler, Hodge, Kress, & Trew. 1~79J not only because it emphasizes the necessity of studying language in rclution to power, repression, and inequality but 'Ibo because it corrects Ihe prevalent misformuJalion in traditional sociolinguistics. The laller theorizes lang~age an~ ~ociety as distinct entities. Sucial illstitutions, roles. slulu!oICs, and mequahtles ~re. reg~rded, incorrectly, as uriginating indcpendenlly of languuge. SoclolmgUlsts do not generally concern themselves with the means by which social formations arise. alld then:fore Ihey lend lu tak.e for granted such matters as socioecllllolllk cJassand onidal instilu.tlons: .. Variatio?s in !iilguistic structure lire ob!>erved and cu ....elalctl with differences III socml structure: UppcN:lass bpcakcrs in New York have mure Iris in their speech. bluck Amcril:llll speech does nul usc the copula is (amI its variants), scientific Englbh uses many passives with deleted agents, and so on. Social stl'ucturc lIml linguistic structurc IIrc sho~~ to :o~ary systematically and predictably. This kind of correlatiollal ~ocloh?gUlstJCS has been developed to a high dcgree of precision and ~ngenult~ by Labov (l972?) and Trudgill (1lJ74). Although it is very ~nfo.n~lUtlve about t~~ d~taJls of speech uf diffcrent classes of spcakers ~~ ~Jn7re,~1 com.mUnilleS, It .tends to be complacent muJ uncritical, accepting o~ticlaJ .verslons of socIety and not seeing lilnguugc as an instl'lllllent of lIlequ.tIlty. There is an illusory egalitarianism in correlation sociolinguistics. I<c)'cllreh such as Labov's seems to demonstrate thai membcrs of differcnt sOI.:iul groups speak different varieties. Attacking nolilllls of linguislic incl.juality and verbal deficit implied by social theorist!! ~uch us Basil Bernstein. Labov altempts to show that black Amcricall English is as udcquilte to ~onceptu:tl ~nd social needs as is middle-duss English (I972u). But even If all vanetles are as good as one another (d'. the technically correct assertion in most linguistic textbooks HUlt "Ihere arc no primitive languages"), it is an indisputable fact lhat some varieties and itcms arc as.soci~dcd ,wilh situations of prestige, success, and authority. and some With slluutlOns of powerlessness and dcprivuliun, Seeing lunguilge us II praclice thaI contributes to inequality, ralhcr than a!! an innocent medium that simply re/1eets inequality. forces linguisls to he more critical lind gives sodal purpose to their own investigations. {For further uisl.'ln'isioll sec Dittmar. IlJ76; Fowler el ?1/ ?? I1J79. ('hap. 10; HUlbon, IYMO.)

Brown and Gilman's pioneering study of pronoun usage (1960/1972) is much bolder than the correlalional research 1 have just ulluded to in its willingness to interpret the varying dislJ%ution of linguhllic item::; in semantic and ideological terms. Thi::; is <tn account of the second-pcniOn pronouns used in addressing single individuals in some familial' European languages. Whereas mudern English invariably uses you (apart from specialized, archaic religious uses of duJU and thee), French, Gernmn, Spanish, Italian. Russian. HIllI other IUliguagcs proviuc II I.:hllice: betwecn III and vous in French. du and Sit· ill German. Anyone who hus Icamed one of these languages knows that this is nut a frec choice: Whether you say III 01' VOIlS depends on your relationship with the.: person you lire speaking to. Brown and Gilmun lried tu eSlIIblish what kinds of relulionships determined choice of pronoun for the dil'ferentlanguages. Parents. ulldrcss their children us Ill, soldiers nudress ufllccrs as vom. lIml 1m (lll. Hulhcr than simply listing such dyads in Ihe communities concerned. Brown ami Gilman postulated twu ubstraet underlying social principles from the intersection of which the socilll senmntics uf any particulur system cuuld be gcncmlcd. These they cull "power" Itnd "solidarity": the former has} the dimensions "superior". "inferiur", and "equal", the lulle.· "solidary" and "non-solidary." Given the Ihcoreticulterms, we can predict pronoun usage: equal and non-solidary (c.g., businessmen from two linns) predicts VOIlS; equal and solidary (siblings of similar age, lovers. munuul workers in the same trade) predicts tu. 'Puwer' in Brown and Gilmun's scheme matches our commonSCOl:ie usage of the term: 1l is an ubstntctillll from such relalionships us 'older than'. 'strunger than', 'richer than'. 'Solidarity' is bused on similurities that make for like-mindedness or slillilur behavior disposil illllS. AcconJing to Brown and Gilman, solidurity clln exist either between lllllividuais who urc equal on the power sculc. or between 110llCtlllUIs (superiur und "old family retainer" or "elderly rem .. lc servant whom he hlls known from childhood"). The idea of :mlidarily between noncquals seems to me to be based on a quaintly optimistic social theory. but fortunately 1 do not need to make any further reference to it. For present purposes we assume that Brown and Gilman's categories are broadly acceptable. upart from the detail just mentioned. In specific communities, they will gcncl'utc particular sucial configurations, relationships between individuals thut ure power-asymmetrical or solidary, and between institutions and imlividuHls. They will <liso gencrutc l.iystcms of linguistic items. like the pronouns. by means of which the social


Rogor fowler




distinctions arc articulated in discourse. NUl11cs umJ IHldress forms. for example. can predictably be related to the sume basic scI of socioselllantic distinclions (see Brown and Ford. 1964; Ervin-Tripp. 1972). We shull see below thaI power and solidarity arc IIrtkulutcd in many differenl parts or linguistic structure, not just obvious, uhservable closed systems like personal pronouns and titles.

In Language lIl/d Control we drew attention 10 Ihe two types linguistic process by which social control is exercised by the powerful; we called them "directive" and "constitutive" (Fowler 1'/ al., 1979, pp. 35-J6). Directive practices include explicitly munipulutive 1>peech acts (Cole Morgan, 1975; Searle, 1969) such as cOl1lmumls, requests, and proclamations, ami interpersonal practices whkh, while nOI speech acts, nevertheless carry clearly recognized social mCl.millgs in the area of power, like the pronominal usages just discusseu. Din:l.:tivc linguistic pructkcs are very clearly visible in face-to-fuce convcrslIlion, especiully in genres of discourse that arc directly implicated ill the Illlwcr structure, 1>lIch as interviews (Fowler et lIl .. 1979, Chap. 4), lIIH.1 ill wrilll.:n official discourse directed 10 a larger community (1979. Chap. 2). There is nothing I11me to be explained ubout directive pructiccs here; they will reappClll' in the linguistic checklist below. Constitutive practice needs a lillie more COllllllellt. Its basis is the ideu of the social construction of realily introum.:cl! ubovc. In (his c;use. what f \ are being constructed an: the institutions. wles. lind slatuses that pn:serve !hehicru.rchic str!l.~t ~r~_~f~.oci:~y,: gllanjiiiittfl~"cxp1i)irlv~ror.i)oi{t'i III ti~'sA'''' \ ~ of the ruhng classes and keepmg the lower orders 111 voluntary or mvoluntal y ) subservience. The role of language in this is to continuously articUlatCj ideology, to ..inslsroii~sYit~m.s.lJ.rb~lj~t:~ .. !haiTcgmlnate-t11e·'insrltutimfS' Language-shares Ihis t.as.k with uTlic~sCfiiidlic'~YSliHflS(~II~css7 the arts, sport. decor, etc.), but It IS the most IIlIpurlant system 01 Mgns in society. so richly impregnated is it with cOllventional meanings (cf. Barthes, 1967). There i::; nol enough space to explain in detail here how lunguagc constrllcts ideology, but the basis of the IlIcchiinism may be melltiollcd and illustrated at the level of vocabulary. One of Ihe rundamentul principles of modern linguistics, enunciated by Fcrdimllld de Suussure (sec 1974 edition). is that linguistic signs arc arbitrary: Theil: is no c:-sential connectiull between ideas or things outside languuge HIHI the words that de~igllale them. S,wssure and others (Leach, 1964; Supir. ItJ41); WhO/i', 11)56) have





assumed that this semiutic urbitmrlness ulluws dilIercnt cultures tu chop up 'the worh.1' into unpredictably vllriublc conceptual categories. Cel1ainly semiotic urbitnlrincss is u precondition lor diHcrences in the wuy the world gels coded. In support thili claim, the difl1cullics of tnUlsiltling between hlllgllHges and Ihe markc,1 differences between IUIlMIIUI&CS in particular urcas of vocabulary slIch Uli killship termlnolugy uno color terminology have been cited. In Ihe light rccent psychulillguistic research, color terminology turns 011110 be It bi.lll ,",xnmpJe for Ihe 111I.:sls or 1i1ll~lIistic relativity: Some colurs arc mmc nUlllcliblc thllll uthers, uppun.:nlly becttuse the way in which Ill/mUll beings un; blolugically C~llIippcll lu perceive color mukcs some culors more suli\.:nllhull ulhers. These Illlllleubic colon. ure examples of naluml cliteguriU!i Ihul un; very likely tll be cOIjl,!d in diflcrent languages; other Iluillrul ClttCguriCN have heen proposed ill Ihe IlcJds of shapes, dimensions. directions, lugical categories (sec Clurk & Clark, 1977. Chap. 14). As far as nilluml categories arc concerned, then, the terminology is still arbitrury, but the concepts named tire ones that arise necessarily because of the wuy human beings are constructed. The vast remainder of the vocabulary, however, is ful/y urbitrary in the Saussurcan sense that meanings ure not natural but ruther chopped out of the flux of experience llccording to the needs of the community ot' speakers. Thus the vocabulary of u language could be considered u kinu of lexical ~ nmp of the preoccupations uf u culture. Whalevcr is important to It cullure ) is richly lexicalizet..l: Detailed systems of terms develop for the arcus of expertise. the fealUrcs of habitat. the institutions und n.:llllionships. IIn~.J the beliefs and values of H community. Possessing the terms crystulizes the relevant concepts for their users; using them in discourse kceps the ideus current in the communlty's consciousness. helps trunsmit them from group to group and genenttiun to generation. In Ihis way ideulugy is reproduced and disseminated within society-ideology in the neutral sense of a world view , a largely unconscious theory of the way the world works accepted as commonsense (see Fowler. 19M1, Chap. I). As we shall see below. it is nol only lexical processes (hal urc responsible for articulating ideology: Syntactic structures such ItS transitivity (see Trew, 1979<1, 1979b) and various syntHetic transformations (Fowler et (//., 1(79) may articulate sociul mCi.U1ings, and even tcull/res of pronunciation arc value laden.



The above argument for the reality-constituting power of language concurs with M. A. K. Halliday's theory or "'unguuge as social semiotic"


RogtJr fowler

5 Power


(to qUOle the title of one of his books, 197M). In lIlany respects, I-Iullidayan systemic-functional linguistics is the most suilable for our purpose (sec also Halliday, 1978; Kress, 1976). HaHiday daims that "the partkular form taken by the grammatical system of lunguHge is closely related to the social and personal needs that language is reqllired to serve." (Halliday, 1970, p. 142). Obviously this extreme statcment orIinguistic functionalism has to be tempered to accommodate natural categories, and the univl:rsal constraints on syntactic forms claimed by Chumsky, but Halliday's ar· gument, like mine, is that the major part or linguistic structure cun be explained as responding to the needs of the society that uses the languageincluding, most importantly, the ideologicul needs referred to in the previous section. The major finding of dialectology and sodolingubtics is that Illnguages are not unitary: that different groups, and Jilferent speech situatiolls, employ different "varieties" of English, Nllrwl.·gian, and so un (011 Norwegian, sce Blum & Gumperz, 1972 for an l~.\elllplllry study). If it is difficult to talk about "varieties" in some cases of sm:iulinguistie vuriution, at least we can see that certain linguistic items uppear characteristkallY in certain contexts-curtilage in est age agents' house dl:scriptiuns, (lxii/a in doctors' notes on patients (see Hudson, IIJHO). Sociolinguistic vuriatiull is to be expected when a language serves a hierardlically stratifh.:d sodety, further divided into many areas of specializeu interest and expertise, like ours. Halliday's claim is that sociolinguistic varieties ('registers')' are not simply ditrerent sets of linguistic forms but dill'erent "ranges of semantic potential" (1978). The language of ditTel'enl groups, and of individuals in different social roles, articulutes !,;huracteristically different social meanings; and of course this is the ca~e bccullse ditTerent groups need to allirm different ideologies, and, as we have seen, linguistic pruclice is the most powerful way of articulating expcricllce. beliefs, alld villues, This notion of ditTerential ideology within II lilnguage can easily bl} relalc!d to power and its necessary antithesis, sulidarity. A solidary group or dyad is based on "Iike-mindedness," as Brown iLnu Gilman so ul:lIlc1y express it; in our terms, on community of ideology: a shared system of beliefs about reality. Linguistic practice, the continual speaking and writing of the value-laden sociolinguistic variety, and the repeated utterance of characteristic single linguistic items, affirms und reconstitutes the group's values and the inuiviJual's status and rolcs. By these means, the inner coherence of the group in maintained and its boundaries clearly defined (outsiders do not use the characteristic forms).

'Register' is Halliday's term: 11 is not equivatent 10 'vallely'. but I do not wunl tu lIel into a langle expluining details of terminology unnccc~~l1rily.

Examples are obvious but far from trivial. Professional groups like lawyers, doctors. sports commentators, and disc juckeys have extensive technical terminologies that arc not just the tools of thcir trude but also badges of identity and hurdles for the novice. The educated middle class is taught formal and complex syntax for writing ami reuding, whereas others do not achieve these skills. Working-class men express solidarity with their peers, and an ideology of masculinity, by accents that are markedly those of the region amI not of the tmnsregional middle-class variety, whereas their wives overcorrect in the direction of middle-class norms, expressing admirution for the values of a higher class and by linguistic practice seeking to achieve lhe attendant opportunities rrrudgill, 1974). These expressive practices relate tu power because (I) solidarity entUiltS exclusivity, reluctance to admit to It liubcommunity whose vulues ure prized; (2) variety-diffcrentiuted grollps ure not simply hurilOlltally distinct, but also vertically stmtitied: They arc tied to economic and constitutiunal circumstances that confer power and opportunity differentially. A luwyer earns more money than a laborer, is IIlIthorized to intervelle in the latler's affairs, has greater skill and opportunity to ~rolJl~lte his ()~n interests in public, and so on. Language-the rnystenous ,1argun lit the law, the elaborate syntax-is an importunt instrument in maintaining the power differentiul between the two classes, the authority of the one and the powerlessness of the other. The powcr advantage enjoyed by the professional classes (doctors, lawyers, teachcrs, etc.) is Iinguisticlllly munuged both by directive devices (naming, commands, etc.) and by constitutive structurcs. Here the linguistic construction of ideology works toward having the realities of the two classes accepted as natural, unchangcuhlc. Lawyers amI luborers speak} dilTerently because they occupy different worlds. HIIlI ill order thllt they should continue to occupy dilferellt worlds. It is to the udvantagc of the lawyers that linguistic practice! manugcs the reproduction of this situation: so there is an affirmation of the rightness of distinct worldviews. Of course from my point of view this has to be regarded as an undesinlble situation and one that a critical linguist ought to expose. Finally, the most mussive and pervasive linguistic practice working to maintain power differentials is the imposition or iucology by official and public institutions. The French Murxist theorist Louis Althusscr has identified the instruments of this process: what he calJs "ideological slate apparatuses" such as the church, the luw, education, which, along with "repressive state aPPlIfalllscs" (the urmed forces, the pulice), work to reproduce the existing power structure (1971). The ideological state apparatuses have the function of legitimating the existenL~e und behavior



Roger fowler

5 Power


of the ruling authorities. They perform this function by buthing society in onidal discourse: laws, reports, parliamcnlury debates. sermons, textbooks. lectures. In this practice the state-controlled agencies arc happily joined by commercial enterprises thaI benefit from acquiescent public attitudes: b.mks, estate agents, manufacturers. ami especially cunccl'lls that control the dissemination of ideas-publishers of books. magazines and newspapers, radio and television compullics. All these urc speciulists in the production of ideological discourse. working in language, visual images, behavioral sign systems such as dunce um.l sport. This dh.course functions in exactly the constitutive fashioll described earlier: By constructing and reiterating certain selectcd signs, it insists upon U liet or concepts that make up a certain reality-une that is favorable lu the groups for whom the ideology is constructed. Thctlc processes have been identified and attacked in many studies of advertising, politicu) lnnguage. and news reporting: Orwell's trenchant cxposilions in 1984 (1949/1959) and "Politics and the English LanguHgc" (1946/1960) arc well known and suggestive pioneering commentaries, There has been a flood of popillar writings on the media following the eKample of Orwell. but it is only recently. with the maturity of semiology und linguistics, thut we huve begun 10 be able to analyze with some prcch,illfl the sign structures that can prescnt warped versions of reulity Wllrthes. 1972; Tn:w, I971)1I. 1979b; Williamson. 1978),

lexical Processes What concepts are furnished with nmnes in the discourse of 4i particular sodal group is of the utmost importance. since vocabulary relIects and expresses the interests of the group. Provision of a term for a concept is called 'Iexicalization'. Other relevant lexical processes include 'overlexicalization' and 'underlcxiculi1.ution' (Hulliday, 197M. Chap. 9), over~ lexicalization is the availubility of muny words for one concept. and it indicates the prominence of the ~on~ept .in II con:n~ullity's belie.fs and inlellectual interests (e.g., words lor (Jod In a ChnstHlIl commullIly), It is a special case of a more general process, the presence in a sociolinguistic vilriety of extensive sets of lexical item!! for systems of rcl"ted concepts: technical jargons, the slangs of in-groups. und the like. Underlcxkuli1.ulion is a converse process: luck of 11 lel'lll Ihut would Ilcutly encode Ii cuncept; this is communicativt:ly ami sociully signilicant when II s[leuker luburiously expresses a concept thut is nul fully in hilS power by u drcumillculion. Several distinctions between vOl.:ubull.lry items that have been InuJitionally notked by stylisticians ure of relevunce to the topic of Inngunge and power. Referentially. words may bc abstract (cogllitiol/. ,Ielllo('rt/cy) or concrcte (spade, brid,) , geneml Uiwd, IIIl1lerilll) or specifiC (rke, silk). Etymologically, the origins of wonls may be foreign (bdg,', AflN,\'/, semi%J:Y) or native.(rt'Cld, kiIlSIIIIIII). Morphulugil.:i.llly. Icxkal items IIlIIy be complex (rel'isiolli.wl. I'lIihU.I'IIIII!.\'.I') ur IIhnplc (upp/e. /'I'd). II would be broudly true to say Ihat, for each uf thellc oppositions, the flrsl culegory is ussociatcd with more formul s\)tlings nlld rcl4ltionllhlps. with ICHrl1ing and with institutional power. Transitivity This is Halliday's-rather untrmJitionul-term for the kinds of processes and participants that occur in cll.IUSCS (see Kress, 1976, Chap. II). A somewhat different analysis uf the Sl;lme phenomena hus been proposed by Fillmore (1968), and students might find it useful to ..dopt aspe~ts of and ternlS from both theories. Halliday and Fillmore focus on the predIcates (usuully verbs and adjectives) that cummunicate actiun. processes, stntes, and so on, and the roles performed by the entities parlieiputing in these processes (usually designated by /lOIIIIS). There ure Home fumlUluental distinctions made at the level oJ'lrullsillvily, between, fill' instllllce. ugents deliberately performing actions-.Iohn opened Iht' door or .10/111 rail, objects undergoing processes-The door OIJefteclur .101111 Ji:II. il1str~ments being used to effect Ilctions-A key opetlt'd tlte (/oor, cxpcnenccrs undergoing mental states and mental processes-Alice \i'as .wd or Alldrew lislened tlttelilively, and so 011.

So far. there have been few studies of langunge concentrating un its implicatiori in the power structure of socielY. (Some sociolinguistic studies of other aspects of discourse may, with cUlItion. be reinterpreted 10 shed light on language and power.) Ideally we need a series of studies of the linguistic practice of power in different genres of discourse; in the meantime, the beginning has to be informal and fragmentary. Often useful at this stage of a developing branch of descriptive linguistics is an informal checklist of items, or categories of stl1lclUrc, that seem to figure li'cqllclltly in the practices under investigation. The checklist il:t desigllc\J tu tliree students' attention toward parts of langllllgc that will probubly repay closc examination. I should emphasizc lhal il hus been compiled lIlI Ihe basis of my own fragmentary observations HIllI reintcrpretatiolls ulher people's work, and that the structure or the list is nol signillcuI11--iI has no special theoretical status for the Iillguj~1 ics uf power. Fur sil1lilllr checklists sec Fowler, 1981. Chap. 2; hlwkr c/ til., 1!J7l), Cfwp. 10; Leech and Short, 1981, pp. 75-82.



~ ~---------------


Roger fowler

5 Power


Transitivity has in recent years been of incrclI~ing interest to students of literary stylistics. Halliday and others huve claimed that, in fiction .. l writings, different choices of transitivity struclUre in clauses will aUll lip to different world views, perceptibly different prescntations uf the wllrld of the fiction (Cluysenaar, 1976, pp. 90-92; Fuwler, 1977, pp. IOJf"; Halliday, 197/; Leech & Short, 1981, Chup. 6). A predominance of, :my, agent-aclion structures or of experienccr-mcntal processes will give rise to a characteristic perception of the fictional wurld liS, perhups. a world of controlled <lctivity or an introspective, rcllcclivc wurld, respectively. But there is no reason to believe that these effects of transitivity ure restricted to litemry fictions. They arc in fact a fUlluamental part of the linguistic constitution of reality; thereli.)re they contribute to the Ii.)rmalion of relations and differentials of power. (For preliminary studies sec Fowler et al., 1979, Chaps. 2, 6, 7.) In analyzing transitivity. it is important to note not only what rules of participants go with what predicates, but "Iso what kinds of entities are categorized as performing certain rol!!s. For instance, a newsplIper reporting street disturbances might implidlly blame the young peup/l! the are;.t by consistently characterizing them as agents while exculpating the police by not attributing agency 10 them. Or 1.1 government might play down its responsibility by sheltering bdlillJ abstract terms lIseu as pseudoagents: Circumstances dictate the raisillg c~j' Ia,,\('j' thoroughly mystifies the practice of power.

tially-and equally easy to imugine why u government would prefer the nonspecifying syntax. It is impossible to Ireut all the relevant arcus or syntactic vuriability here, j mup out three broml culcHlll'lcs and melltion some important structures in each.

Deletion. There are numerous conventions for leaving out purls of' constructions. In ellipsis, a truncated second scntence n:lies fot' its interpretation on the implication thut /iume words from u preceding sentence urc relied on to complete the mClIning (Hulliday & Ha~",n. 1976. Chap. 4):
Who {Ire you t(lIking about'!
[J'ttl Illlking about] John.

Where did ht' go? [He weill] to tlte ,\'Iation. Ellipticnl styles are clearly linked to ranges of sol:iolinguislic vulues (different according to context): these include brusqueness, emphasis (power) UIlU intimacy, shared knowledge (solidarity). Two sociolinguistically important constructions that permit deletion are nominalization and passive. Nominalization is a renllering of thecontent of a verb in the form of u noun: raisillg is (In example in the sentence invented earlier. Nomimllizations arc endemic in nuthorituriandiscourse of <III kinds: olliciul publications. academic Writillg, h:gallunguage: Failure /0 display thi.\' flOtice will /'esult ill prosecutioll, NOlllillulizatioll is a renderillg . ... Nominulizations have two ideologicully practical consequences. First, they are a source of new nouns, codillgs of expcricnce'l tlUlt can be Iransmitted to the appropriate: sodul groups by prupuganda 01' education. Second, they permit deletiun of both ugclley ltlll.l mudality (words like must, shall: sec beluw). thus Illuldng mystcriulis t/II': purlicipants, ubligations. and responsibilities spoken uf by Ihe discoufl;\.l, Pus~ivc permits ugent-deletion. though not deletion or modality, so it Is possible 10 fuil to specify the cause of un evcnt-John WtlS /II///'(/er,'d. Passives and nominalizations are prominent, anll inlcrucl, in v<lriclic.~ of lunguase that practicc 1.111 ideology of impersonality, such as scientific writing and constitutional documents (sec Fowler & Kress, 1979. Chup. 2).
Sequencing. A passive Hllows u different ordering of purticipunl nouns than its active equivalent: BI'II/lls killed Cae.!'ar ~ Caesar IVas killed by Bmllls. It is one of a number of reordering transformations thai are used to determine the order in which information is released 10 an addressee, and to focus attention 011 topics uf rclutivdy great impol'lullCc. Topical imporlance may be signaled by hiking II noun phrusc out of illl normal



Traditional stylistics aSsumes that allCrnaliv!! syntactic phrasings are available to express essentially the samc mClIu!ng, with perhups minur but stylistically significant variations of foclis. perspective, ur emplmsis (see Leech & Short, 1981, Chaps. I, 4 ami Hcfs.). This view IIWY be supported by the early version of transli.lfIlllltjullal'-gellerative grammar; it is very uifficull, however, to give a precise till!orcliL'allingui!>li\! characterization of this insight. It seems, nevertheless. \0 be one of the necessary main working assumptions of the sudoJinguistics of langlwgl! and power. My invented example CirCUII/,I'IOllc"'s dictate Ihe mi,\'illJ.: (~r taxes mystifies not only by the pseudoagency cir(·llIIlsttlIlC(,S. but ulso by the syntactic options taken in the remuimicl' of the sentenl:c. In this example. the salient feature is the deletion uf nouns designating participants: dietale has no object, raising nO subject, (11Xl'S is not linked to ,my specification of who hi taxed. It is very easy to irnuginc syntactic pamphm~es that woulJ spell out the participanls, for cXitllIplc. Circul1ls/(lIIC1'J did/II" I/wl 11'(:' shollld raise your taxes, without alledll!:: the statement slIb1>lan-




Roger fowler




position anu placing it in an unusual and therefore especially noticeable position, for instance an object noun phntse ill the beginning of a sentence: Ford!. I find parlicularly reliable. Interruptiuns of sequence by parenthetically inserted phrases are also worth studying. All of these fildlities for syntactic reordering are strictly speaking rhetorical; thilt is, devices for manipulating the addressee's attention.Complexity. In popular attitudes und in sm:iolinguistics, syntactic complexity has traditionully been seen as relateu tu social distinctions involving power and prestige. For example, Basil Bernstein's well-known anu COIltrovcrsiuJ theory of restricted and elaborated speedl coues imputes syntHl.:tic complexity to the middle class and simplicity to the working cl<lss memstein, 1971). This theory is so loosely and tendentiously fonnuluted thut it otTers no useful basis for further work. But there is 1\0 doubt that complex syntax is a property of the discuursc of knowledge und <luthority. Syntactic complexity can be crudely measureu in words per sentence, but it is much more revealing to study what kiJll.b or clauses and phruses occur in what relationships. An importanl fundamentHI uistinclion is between subordination and coordination of c1<1uses~ A high ratio of subordinate clauses per sentence implies complexity of logical relationships among the clauses that modify one ,molher: coordination (I/"d , ?. (/1/(1, lhell . . . Ihell) implies a sequence of sepamte propositions all of the same kind. There is an old distinction between hypotactic amI pal'lltaclic styh.:s founded on subordination and coordilliltion, respectively: The laller is traditionally associated with naive or primitive modes of discourse, for instance, medieval chronicles, chilliren's 1>lorytdling, simple descriptive language. Complexity of noun phrases in terms of what lind how I\lany pi'emouiliers and post modifiers occur is uho un index of stylistic lind cognitive complexity. Modality

pal:!.-Qt: the_J!n!~~ic~s bj'J!I~~ns~of which claims to authorit~ ~~~e~~.r!j(;ulflted and legitimated authority is exprciiscd:~-- . __.. --.-- ..... "'-MolhlliiYlssignific(f i'il~i rl,ngc'0t;linguistic forms: centrally, the modal auxiliary verbs flU/y, sh,,/I. IIlIiS/, lieI'd, and others; sentence auverbs such as probably, certaillly, rt'grt'lIl1b1y,' adjectives such as lIe('t!~·sary, IIIUi)/'llIIUltt', certaill, Some verbs, and Illany nominalizations, arc essentiuJly modal: pt'lmil, preLlid, pro!'?'; obliga/io/l, likelihood, desirabilily, allllwl'ity. The other side of the coin is the modulity of deference. An inferior aduressing a superior hus many con~tructions avuiluble for signaling deference, lack of overconfidence, ucquiescence: softencrs such as sort oj; YOII knoll',' tentative and unconfident use of past tense-I was wont/aillg (f . .. , tag questions-111t! gal/elY opells a/lell, dut'SI/'1 il'!, rising intonation patterns signaling unassertiveness, and so on (see Halliday in Kress, 1976, Chap. 13; Lakoff. 1975.) Speech Acts


The term 'modality' subsumes a range of dcvkcs that indicate spctlkers' altitudes to the propositions they uller. and to some degree 10 their addressees. These attitudes fall into the IIreas of validilY-lhe speaker expresses greater or less confidence in Ihe truth of his pmpllsitions; predictability-the future events referred 10 ~Irc more or less likely 10 happen; desirability-practical. moral, or ae~thetic judgments: obligatiollspeaker's judgment that another person is obligated to perforlll some action; pcnnis~i.Q!!-speaker allows addrc!<'!<'cc to pelform some action. The connection of these last two modal meanings with power is obvious, but the first three arc also significantly illlplkilteu: Frequent and conlilient judgments of validity. predictability. and (ullldesirability arc un illl[").ltrJallt.

J. L. Austin and J. R. Seurle huve shown how ulteranccs not only communicate propositional meanings but also tlchicvc tu;lions through speech: promising, requesting, cornmunding, warning, and more (Austin, [%2; Cole & Morgan. 1975: ScU/'le. 1969). These speech ucts work in relation to the- communicative cuntexts in which Ihey arc ullercd; unless the circumstam:es arc uppropriatc, they misfire, as when, for example, 1 appeal' to promise but promise something my auuressee docs not uesire, or warn when I have not the sl.Itus relative 10 my uudressce to permit warning, Many of the conditions l·urJhe.succe.ssf~L[I.~!:rormance or speech ~lcls rclate to -thc-;:(~ClUny u~crrr~~~ roll;s. andstjllll~~'·.~.~t~p,~I~~r~_~~ l1CUfci~.s~~i-it is unu~rs(ullduble thut speechtlcts arc cC!1.I!:"II)'i~1.lJ.:JI9!!t~ in establi"shingand l11uinluining pOWer relationships. --'f'orsonle speech acts, ullerum:c of exactly specliil1d words is essential (buptizing, naming ships. etc.), bul i'ot' lllher~ cl.Illsidemhlc vuriubility in phntl'ling is possible. S~!.!IUi.JWL!!L1.l!!<_J.!W~~sJ.jI!!llilJ:.!JHlCe for the articuhltionoi' power.relatiunlihip:i, There lire, for CXlllllplc, many <linclY-~Ii~l.:rilllinaled forHls fur IIl1lldng 1\ request, ",ruded uccording < degrees and nuances plllil~!ncsS or peremptorilless (sec Fowler Kress, 1979, Chap. 2: Scurle, I':J7.5 ,J 1\


tor &j,;<

?? "

Implicature The term, introuuced by H. P. Grice (1975), refers to unstateu proposilions '"between the lines" of discourse. Grice shows how implicatures are produced, often by apparent breaches of conventions for Ihe cooperative conuuct of convcrsi.ltioll (e.g .? ilPPilrently irrcJevunt remarks that become


Rogor Fowlor




relevant when interpreted in the light of sOllie unsluleu proposilion). Two points can be made about implicature in this conlext. First. an implicature is not accidental, but the product of an inlcntiullul tiel. Presumably there are conventions governing who hus ihe "right III implicate" in term:; of status and authority. Second, the propositiuns Ihut ure implicated in any context may be consistent with one another und add up to iI semanlic system. a set of ideological commitments invokc-d 10 underpin the uiscourse-this would be a way in which one speaker imposes un ideology on another. On underlying propositions as a refen.:ntial basis for discourse. see Labov and Fanshel (1977).

Tu show convincingly the rclutiollNhip between IUlIgUlIgC lind power in a given sample of discourse would require u grelll lleul of reseun;h and much space for exposition. The diflicul!y is nol in uescribing the linguistic construction of the texts (though Ihat is it complex skill) but in relating textual structure to sociul theory and to social context. The fact is thaI there is no invuriunt relationship between textual structure and significance in context-you cannot nrgue that slich a structure has slIch a social meaning but can only describe the lext and its context and suggest interrelations. Experienced discourse analysts arc aware of ten~ dencies for certain structures and certain contexts 10 correlate, for example, nominulizHtions and legal discourse, but this does not affect Ihe principle: Nominalizalions prominent in a uilicourse CUll liignify anything; lim I is, one cannot "read otT" a specific slgni/lcunce by observing a specific structurc. The social context uf the discourse needs un initially independent uescription into which Ihe linguistic description is to be reintegnlted. I have luken a shortcut hcre by treuting u piece of discourse the sOI.:iul. economic, lind political parumelers uf which are pretty familiar to anyonc who knows u little about the Urilish Health Servicc lind about British newspapers. It is a report in the Sunday 1/1II(,S, February 5, 11)78, concerning the delays_ encountered by large numbers of people waiting for surgical treatment in hospitals. It quotes a brief Parliamentary statement of November 22, 1977. by the then Secretary for Social Services, David Ennuis, to the effect that only people who do not huve un urgent need for surgery have to wait. while "urgent cascli" receive pwmpl treatment. In a piece of "investigative journalism." the SlIlIday 1'illU's reunalyzes the statistics on the basis of which Ihe claim was made. interviews a number of politicians, doctors, ami others involved, and suggests that the situation is worse than Mr. Ennals claimed: thaI there is inadequate surgical provision in general, and that patients ure waiting long periods for operations though suffering from acute and painful comJitions. The connections between Ihis discourse and power differential arc elear, once mentioned. Mr. Ennals was at that time a cabinet minisler; his words were uttered in the House of Commons and reported in 1I111l.wrd (the official printed record of Parliamelllury proceedings); the Sunday Times is a respected serious newspaper. Many of the olher protagonists are also in positions of greal powe .. : surgeons, administraturs. polilicians. By contrast. the countless elucr!y p~ltiellls who must wait years for surgery arc profoundly powerless: III wllhin un inadellullie system, they can uo nuthing to speed their (rculmcnt; only Ihe surgeuns hllve the authority to uecide which patientli get curly treatment, while ulhers llie or suffer chronic pain.

Turn Taking
Schegloff and Sacks and their associates have shown that conversutiun is not a disorderly free-far-all but an ordercu SC(llIcnce of conlributiuns or turns. There are tacit conventions for the sequencing of turns; for holding the 1100r. for interrupting. for opening UIIU closing conversations. Quite clearly, the question of who speaks when is clusely bOUllllup with power relationships among participants, and Ihe linguistic conslrUl. .:tiolls that conlrol the ordering are well wurth studying. Coultlmrd (1977) gives a clear inlroduction to these techniques. and 10 un extension of the analysis to discourse within one power-laden context. the classroom (see Sinclair & Coullhard. 1975).
Address, Naming, and Personal Reference

The exemplary relevance of practices in this area has already been established (above, p. 63 and References); I mention it again here for the sake of completeness.

Sounds and sound patterns, unlike, suy, pronouns, are intrinsically meaningless; but any linguistic forms can have ~llciul vulues attached to them, and this is certainly the case with phonology. Accent is trauilionully and popularly associated with social class: Research by Labov (1 972a. 1971b) and Trudgill (1974) shows how closely lind predictably the distribution of phonemes correlates with social stntlilkatiun. und how spcakl..'l's use phonological forms to constitute themselves as members uf cerlain status-conferring classes. One accent of British English. "Rccciv\.'d PWllunciulion." b stfOlIgly associated with the ruling classes am! with puwerful professional gruul's such as ·doctors, lawyers. teachers: Received Pronunciution is (hut decreasingly) an unacknowledged prerequisite tor enLry 10 such professions.


Roger fowlur

5 Power


The point I want to make about the discourse practice encountered here is that, ~oug~ ~wJe.arer is ostensibly, critical DUlle yuliLlity or Mr. Ennals' claim and explicitly sympathizes with and apP"ars tilf>romote~ents' interestsjts language characterizes the patients as inherently e9werless and the surgeons and politicians as inhcrent.W powerful, and so it tends to reproduce the ower differe " , .. ,. ? .? l!!!,!ura. his is a very charactenstlc contradiction in well-intentioned public discourse, and linguistic criticism clIn be helpful in showing how it comes about. The layout of the article foregrounds a contrast between claim und reality:
This Is how Ennals told MPs the lists lire shrlnkln" Mr. Ennals: In lhe majority of cases Ihere is lillie wail if Ihe mailer is Ulileni. Thai should be recognised. Mosl of lhose who arc having 10 wail arc non-urgenl cases. When a case becomes urgenl, il g(le~ 10 Ihe lOp of Ihe lis!. This report descrihes the realitY--5een through the eyes of surgeons who mu.st take life or death decisions A cold, bleilk ThursdilY in Norlhamplun. Inside II cramped "mce allhe ~pruwling 19th century general hospital, surgeon Juhn Chupllliln is deciding whu slmll be called in from his wailing lisl for operations Ihe nexl week. He sClln~ Ihrough 400 ur so cards-one for each palien!. It is a jub as grim lind depressing as Ihe wealhcr outside. "I cuuldn't even tell you if some of the,c lire 51 ill alive," he suys. "'('hi. chap"-puliing one card from lhe pile-"he'll be ')1 by now und he's been wuilinll for 3'/, yeurs for surgical corrections 10 wllterwurks tmuble. He's prubably in severe di~cumfort, gelling oul of bed scveral lillle~ a nighl to relieve him.c)f. There's alwuys the possibility that a cOlllplil:ulllln mighl mean I wuuld IlIIve III admit him as an emergency." In lhe lasltwo or lhree weeks, emergency casc~ have ~queezed oul a ~ignilicant number of urgenl admissions to Northampllln GCller .. J. Even then, some Ill' lhe~e have had 10 wail in casualty while a consullanl fuund u bed by sending ulIllther palienl home prematurely. "We have litcf'lIlIy hild to lhruw people llul uf the hospillli who weren'l quite ready to go home in urder hi emm in anolher emclgcncy silting in casualty," says Chapman ... !l's ridiculous." He pulls another card from the pile: a 70-yellr-ol,! wOlllan who had 1111 emergency Culuslomy operalion 18 mOlllhs ago (inserliun uf II buwel oullel in Ihe ubdulllcn). She should have been readmitted 15 monlhs IIgu fur Ihe opl!ration 10 be rcvcr~ed. Now Chapmun books her down fur the weck ill'lcr next. "The ludy hasn't been in gn:at puin, but to I;upe wilh u colostomy III her Ulle of life is quite traumalic and she has had lu wuil I ~ llIul1th~ longer than nccessury. She is very embarrassed. and even now I cun'l Mly cillellurically I will 11,,1 her in the week after nex!." Chapman picks another card at randum. Thi, lime il carries u rcJ slid,cr, tt:lling him Ihat a GP believes lhe patient nuw IIceJ. "very urgenl Irealment." II i> anlllhcr elderly patient wilh a suspc.:I"lllIlIllllir. willi glle. on III nc~1 week'h libl. IThis is uboUI lhe firsl one-fourlh of quite" IOllg urticle.J

Mr. Ennals' statement has the characteristic impersonality of official discourse and the characteristic modality of authoritariun discourse. To dispose of modality first, of the seven clauses, live are marked as unquestioned assertions (is, is, are, becomes, goes) and two contain modals of obligation (should be, having 10). There is no equivocation: This is how the situation necessarily is, Impersonality begins with the pseudolocative in Ihe IIIqjorily of CClses, which mystifies II set of complex relationships between patients, thdr illnesses, anLl their oflicial medical histories by expressing these relationships as u single locative phrase, a phrase that is pointless here as nil' as the Iileralmcalling of ill is concerned, but which serves in this register of ufllcialese to oLm:urc relulionships that arc embarrassing to the discourse. But the main vehide of impersonality is nominalization. Patients and their predicaments ilre coded in the highly abstract words case, wail, maller, and Jist. The treatment of case is particularly striking. This word is specifically associated with the context of medical records, but that conventional association docs not mitigate the rather unpleasant fact that it is an extremely impersonal expression for referring to an individual suffering from an illness so severe that it requires surgery; the highly general "wl/er for the illness works in the same way. To return to case, it is furegroumled by three repetitions in a text of only 42 words and finally replaced by the inanimate pronoun it. thus achieving a remarkable trunsformation of a human individual into a depersonalized object. 1 am suggesting thut impersollality of style works as depersonalization of reference to people here; and this is one of the principal ideological features carried by the languuge of the main text: Though the waiting patients receive gestures of sympathy, they are dehumanized by the language and coded in powerless roles in clause structure. ]n the main text, some of the linguistic features that contribute to mediation of this power asymmetry arc the lexical classification of participants, their chamcteristic roles ill clause structure, and the types of predicates they accompany, The noun phrases that refer to the category of patients (and marginally, their families), excluding anuphoric pronouns, arc liS follows. I huve arranged them in an order that reflects my intuitive judgment of how illdividuatillg they are-going from the most specific to the most general and abstruct:
Participants A: Patients. 82-ycur-uld Elizabeth Cooper, Miss Cooper, u 70-year-old woman, tht: lady, this chap, a niece. breudwinner, family, people, these, patient(s) (9 times), casc(s) (4 times plus complex noun phrases)' urgent cases wuiling more than a month, nonurgl;'nl cases wuiting more than it year, ClIses nwuiting urgent trelllmcnl, those who

"oyer I owlor

!) I'ownr

have had to wait for tII'scnt trentment more than a month, those who have had to wait (3), urgent wailing cases, urgent cases (2), nonurgcnt cases, urgent admissions. emergency admissions, emergency cases, emergency (2), waiting lists, lists (3), waiting figures, lengthening queues, overall total, total figure, number (these quantitative expressions occur severnl times).


' MIl" (S) the sta, fl " ?


I nl'hamen.


t he,\lth authorities. Ennals'



The article is in an important sense about patients. but it treats them in an extremely impersonal way. Only one individual is referred to by name;
four other noun phrases refer to specific persons in terms such as the

latly (dismissive?); two refer to family roles; one refers gcnerally to
people; the most frequcnt nOlln phrase, patienl(s). places the people concerned in the category that Is most relevant to the article. but note that it is n term that generalizes away from reference to the individual and so contributes to a context in which there are vcry few personal references. (There is an important point about "naturalness" to be acknowledged here. Although it may seem natural. even inevitable, to speak repeatedly about "patients," given the suQ.;ect matter of the text, this does not neutralize the stylistic or ideological effect of the usage but merely makes it less noticcuble: It is a general term used insistently to refer to individual humans). The next group of nOlln phrnscs nre based on cnse, and the same observations apply as to patient. even more pertinently. since case is more general, applying legal cases and other types of situntion, Another notablc feature of case is the fact that it provides the basis for an extensive tcchnicnl system for classifying types of pntient. In tal/Klinge tlml Cnnfml we not cd how easily nominalizcd forms breed systems of technicllllcxicnli7,ations in official discourse (Fowler pI al., 1979, pp, 40-41), Whnt happens here is that the compound noun phrases based on cnu. 1l't1i1iflK. li,f/. and related terms multiply to make very visible the parameters of the classifying system, inserting the stnlcture of the system between the individuals 10 whom the text refers and the reader's perception of those individuals, As the remainder of the list of patients shows, the purpose of the system is to subject the patients to quantification, to sort them into cntcgories that can be counted: a process which is far removed from writing of the pm1iculmities of their conditions.


Participants B: Other.

(Dnvld) Ennnls (HI), (John) Chapmun O},

(Mllurice) McLain (2), Dr. MIlUl'ice Miller, Dr. Gerald VUlighiln. Secrctnl'Y for Sucial Services. the linn. Gentleman. chairman. the minister. nil opposition hCHlth spokcsllllln, llllrgeon(s) (3), consultnnt (4), n GP. collcngucs (2). pnliticillns. (henlth) IIdmillistmtors (4), doctors, general surgeons, urthopaedic surgcol1{s) (2), nurses. nnaesthelisls. back-up

dcpurtn1cnt. . p t' . anI list A Five individuals , 't IiITcrcnt Irom ar ICIP< ' Participant list B IS qUI C l , b role term such as clwirmall: all arc referred to by name. olhe.rs Y ~re numerouS precise occupatIOnal ol'lwsilio/l Ireall/~, sIUJ~(·.\/II(//I~, rh~~e s' and so on. Even the less pcrson~1 lahels for categories (II p~nplc, fllll.\~. to sets of specifiC individuals m calegories. such (1S p(//'/IllIH<:'.I:. ~~::hO those people arc. which is not such a wt'Y that one could diSCO 'es which is an artificial product , . h fi ' lance lIml-ur~ellt (as ' b ' possihle wll , or, lOS , . h 'com letdy anonymouS mem CI s. , of the classification system WIt A 1~nd B emerges when we ex~mme A differential pattcr~l hc~":ccn ns often relate to state prcthcates, how Ihey relate to predICates, rhc A nou including mental states: , ' dy n't been , . '. . vcrc discomfort. n I qUIte rca ' , . ' I arc Ilhve. IS 9J. s In SC . ' d needs, housebound. h~ls gIven . , t pain is very emharrasse ? In grea .' e relies on could cry. up hop. . ? d these nrc usually "'I'e 'ltlenls of actions very rarely, an . ns ,. , ". Class A nou 'I' If' . Ilctil~ns thut affect only the pallcnl 11msC , , , ',', with. eases the pHIl) ? ., {tcltlng out. rellcve 11IInsell. cope 'he ... .' '. lIy refer to processes relatmg A t,o t Olhel' arrmrent actIOns 01 A ,IC'\d therefore be groupcd with prcl\Jcales Wllilil1g lists (3, below) lind s lOll f tate of the waiting lists (4, below): thlll indicate states lind changes 0 s, . 'f having to wait. . 1 I t wait goes on to. W,ll mg. , '\ hccn waiting. wall. till (l ? '. \' t awaiting had to wait, watts, .? to w'lit w,tit. on the W<lltmg IS . ' , goes , ' '" . have been wmlmg, . (many references), lengthenmg b of A down!up/decreasmg 4, oum er h', r.( risc io number of A. queues of A. on IS IS, ' , Iso the objects of actions of which B nouns are Chss A nouns ,Ire a ' , , , , ,. t' 'n n'\ssive constructiOns. agents' some tmes I " ' , . h A ' ' I '( A squee7.cd out A. sending A hom 7, I r;~w A 5. he cHlIed m. nll111 " . ,I b k A down, gets A Ill. In..:e ? , A h' "l'!\\hmtleu, 00 S 11 A nut. cram 111 ? e A I 'des A promised A, to ( . kcd for. Clit A. reduce ? l eel . ? 11111 r , 'e~('d I " 'Ie violent physical Hcttons: Sl//U <. A tcllil1~ list. SOOle of Ih{~ vcrhs, {Cslg~,\ 'ht excuse these because they .? "'yllll'lllhctIC rcaucr mig 1 the 01/1 Cllt, 1 houg 1 ,I S d ' d their connotatIOns (// t II ? t '., Ily the wor s dn h II 'ew lIrc used metap lone.l , horiC'l1 (throw Ol/t. cram in): T c wor l VI text. nnd some are not \1ICtllP ,


" J





of the SUI/da) Times, and of the surgeons from whom these words are quoted, accepts that patients can be subjected to violent physical manipulation. As might be expected, B predicates are much more active, including the actions just mentioned, the physical manipUlations by John Chapman of his card index, and other activities:
l. call in, scans through. pulling from, admit. found, sending home, throw out, cram in. pulls from. books A down. get A in, picks. take A. set oursejves. spending. dealing with, spend. share. '"I speech acts: says. say. answering. told. declared. added. assure, present a picture. misled. told. sa}'. told. explained. asked, explain. told. asked, said. said. points out, guarantee. promised. 3. mental processes (rather than states) involving judgment or reflection: deciding. believes. inferred, was selective, chose, compared, inferred. identify, thought, expect. seek consolation, believe. decides.

ideology, in this case an ideology of power. Although the writer of the article would doubtless claim that he has exposed a hospital system whose inadequate resources seriously underserve the needs of patients, and which desperately requires more funds and procedural reform, his language unwittingly reproduces the attitudes that block reform. This conventional middle-class discourse. quite ordinary in its stylistic character. is impregnated with discriminatory assumptions. The general point to be made is that such language is widely current; that it is the standard mode for discussing matters of public concern in serious media contexts. It would take a major, bold. and self-conscious shift of discourse for a newspaper writer to avoiJ this mold. I would hope ma! linguistic criticism of the kind illustrated here helps make such shifts possible.

A1thusser. L (197]). Ideolog~' and ideological state apparatuses. In Lenin and philosophy B. Brewster. Trans. London: New Left Books. Austin, J. L (961). How 10 do Ihings "'ith wards. London: Oxford Universit}· Press . Bach. E .. & Harms. R. T. (Eds.). /19681. Unil'usals in linguistic theory. f\ew York: Holt. Rinehart and Winston. Barthes. R. (}967). (A. Lavers. & C. Smith. Trans.) Eiel'/'lenlS of semiology. London: Jonathan Cape. Banhes. R. (19711. (A. Lavers. Trans.) Mythologies. London: Jonathan Cape. Berger. P. L.. &. Luckman. T. (1976). The social corurruClion of rcality. Harmondsworth: . Penguin. Bernstein. B. (1971). Class. codes and control (Vol. I). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Blom. J.-P., & Gumperz. J. J. (1972). Socia! meaning in linguistic structure: Code-switching in Norway. In J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.). Directions in sociolinguistics (Chap. 14). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Brown, R.o & Ford, M. (1964). Address in American English. In D. Hymes (Ed.), Language in culture and socier)" (Chap. 26). New York: Harper and Row. Brown. R., & Gilman. A. (1972). The pronouns of power and solidarity. In P. P. Giglioli (Ed.). Language and social context (Chap. 12). Harmondsworth: Penguin. Clark. H. H .? & Clark. E. V. (1977). Psychology and language. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. C1uysenaar, A. (1976). lnlroduction 10 Iilerary stylistiC's. London: Batsford. Cole. P., & Morgan, J. L. (Eds.). (1975). Syntax and semantics: n'ol. J) Speech Acts. New York: Academic Press. Coulthard, M. (1977). Introduction to discourse analysis. London: Longman. Dittmar. N. (19761. P. Sand. P. A. M. Seuren. &. K. \\'b.itdey, (Trans.). SociolinguiSTics. London: Edward Arnold. Ervin-Tripp. S. M. (971). Sociolinguistic rules of address. In J. Pride & J. Holmes (Eds.). Sociolinguistics (Chap. 14). Hannondsworth: Penguin. Fillman:. C. J. (1968). The case for case. In E. Bach & R. Harms (Eds.). Uni\'ersals in linguisric theoTY (Chap. I). New York: Holt, Rinehart and \\rmston. Fowler. R. (1977). Linguislics and the nOl·eJ. London: Methuen. Fowler, R. (1981). Literature as social discourse. London: Batsford.

.!ere states are few: quietly indignant. depressing. Finally. B nouns are .lmost never objects of actions: rarely and self-pityingly. MPs are misled. urgeons are cajoled. The picture emerges of a large number of specific surgeons, politicians, .dministrarors. and the like who are being active and vociferous. if leffectual; and of countless anonymous patients who have no opportunity :>f action or e\'en personal recognition. The latter are, linguistically, on he receiving end of official actions, but all that happens to them is that C1ey get classified and quantified. 1 do not think that this is quite the tory that the Sunday Times wished to tell: But in writing about the ladequacy of the system, the text uses language that strongly encodes power differential between the classes of participants. Two further points can be made about this analysis, in conclusion. lrs1, I have concentrated on only part of the linguistic structure of the :xt. albeit the important areas of lexicalization and transitivity. Other 5pects also deserve attention in a full characterization of the discourse: [ere it would be particularly valuable to look at modality, at the syntactic ructure of sentences, including a more thorough analysis of nominalalions, and at the etymologies of words and the sociolinguistic registers ith which vocabulary items are associated. No doubt my reactions to lis text were partly influenced by features other than the ones I ana1yzed (pIicitly. It is worth emphasizing that, though some features may be ;peciaIly informative in a given text and context, the character of discourse the product of linguistic organization at all levels. FInally. it is no accident or rarity thal this text is an example of the dit-ect and conrradictory way in which discourse can constitute an

I';oger rowler

;lwler. R .. Hodge. R., Kress. G. R .? & Trew, T. (1979). Language and control. London: Routledg~ &: Kegan Paul. )wler, P." & Kress, G. (1979). Rules and regulations. In Fowler f( al .? Language and control {Chap. 2J. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. ,glioli. P. P. (Ed.). (1972). Language and social COIlIe.tf. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ice. H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & 1. Morgan (Eds.). SPlllU and semallTics (Vol. 3) (pp. 41-58). New York: Academic Press. Imperz. 1. 1 .? & Hymes. D. (Eds.). (1972). Dirl.'ctiolls in sociolillglll.~lics. New York: Holt. Rinehart and Winston. 11liday. M. A. K. (1970). Language structure and language function. In J. Lyons (Ed.). 1\'1.'1'.' hori::.oru in lingllisTics. (Chap. 7). Harmondsworth: Penguin. Illidar. M, A. K. (1970. Linguistic function .and literary style: An inquiry into the language of William Golding's The inheriJ,m. In S, Chatman \Ed.1. Lilera,,)" sryle: A s:.. mposium lpp. 330-3681. J',;e~ York and London: Oxford University Press. uliday. M. A. K. 11978). Lan1?uagc as social sl.'miOlic. London: Edward Arnold. llllda~. M. A. K .. & Hasan. R. (1976). Cohrs;<>11 in Enl!lish. London: Longman. Idson. R. A. n9S0/. Sociolinguis/ics. Cambridge: Cambridge UniVefSil}' Press. rmes, D. (Ed.). (1964). Language in clliture and society. New York: Harper and Row. ess. G. R. (Ed.!. (1976). Halliday: System and function in lallguage. London: Oxford University Press. 00\', W. (19723). Language in the inner ciry. Philadelpltia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Ixw. W. IIYT.!bJ. Sociolinguistic parterns. PhiJadelphia: VniversilY of Pennsylvania Press. bo\'o W .. &. Fanshel. D. (977). Therapeutic discourse. Kew York: Academic Press. koff. R. (1975). Language and ,,'oman's place. Ne\<, York: Harper and Ro\<,. a.::h. E, 0%41. Animal categories and verbal abuse. In E. Lenneberg lEd.}. /l.'e,,· direCTions in the study of language Ipp. 23-(4). Cambridge. MA: Ma;;S3chusetts Institute of Technology Press. echo G. N .. &. Short. M. H. (1981). StylI.' in fiction. London: Longman. I\ell. G. (1959) 1984. Harmondsworth: Penguin. (Original work published 1949) well. G. 09601. Politics and the English language. In Selected Essays. Harmondsworth: Penguin. (Original work published 1946) de. 1. B., &. Holmes. J. (Eds.). (l972i. Sociolinguistics. Harmondsworth: Penguin. )Lr. E. 11949/. Language. culture and personality. Berkele}': University of California Press. Jssure. Ferdinand de. (974). (Wade Baskin. Trans.l. Course in general lingllis/irs. London: Fontana. Ifie, J. R. (19691. Speech Acts. London: Cambridge University Press. lrle. 1. R. (I 975}. Indirect speech acts. In J. Cole & J. Morgan (Eds.), SYnlax and Semamics: (\'01.3) Spuch Acts (pp. 59-82). New York: Academic Press. clair, J., & Coulthard. M. (1975). To ....ards an analysis of discourse: The English used by reachers and pupils. London: Oxford Universit}' Press. 'w. T. (1979a). Theory and ideolDg)' at work. In Fowler et 01., Language and con/rol (Chap. 6). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. -v.. T. (1979bl. Linguistic variation and ideological difference. In FO\\'!er er 01 .. Language and control (Chap. 71. London: Routledge &. Kegan Paul. tdgJ,1l. P. (J9i4). The social differentiation ofEnglish in NOl'M'ich. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. orr, B. L. (1956). Language, thought, and Tl.'aiity. Cambridge. MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Pres.s. liamson. J. (1978). Decoding adl'l.'rtisements. London: Marion Boyars.