Contrastive discourse analysis and reader perception of newspaper editorials in Thai and English
AdvisorSaville-Troike, Muriel R.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe primary purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive comparison of newspaper editorials in Thai written by native speakers of Thai (TT), in English written by both native speakers and non-native speakers of English published in Thailand (ET), and English written by native speakers of English published in the US (EA). The corpus used for textual analysis was composed of 10 editorials from each of the groups. A secondary purpose was to explore and contrast reader practices, expectations and perceptions relating to English-language editorials in Thailand and the US, which involved analysis of response to questionnaires by 30 native Thai (TS) and 30 native English speakers (ES). It was found that more EA editorials were published per day, covering broader topics than did editorials in Thailand. The Thai texts are more linguistically complex than English as there are typically more V-Units (terminal 'Verb-Units', posited in this study) in Thai sentences. ET editorials were more similar to EA than to TT on the range of purposes and the numbers of purposes per editorial. TT editorials have more diverse types of titles than do ET and EA editorials. ET editorials were more similar to EA editorials in terms of organization type preference. EA editorials follow Schneider and Connor's model of coherent text (1990) most closely and Witte's model (1982) least closely. Both TT and EA editorial writers generally write about their countries/people while ET writers write about other countries/people more often. Most ES subjects are correct in identifying the place of publication as the US or Thailand while guesses by Thai subjects are only at the level of chance for both. Linear organization, strong voice, grammatical structures and certain idiomatic expressions generally led ES subjects to believe an editorial was written by a native speaker of English. Methodologies used in this study could be useful for EJP and ESL students in Thailand.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching