Appraisal Devices Realizing Attitudes in Donald Trump’s Inaugural Speech: America First

Nurah Saleh Alhudaithy


This study analyzes President Trump’s inaugural speech (2017) based on the principles of Appraisal Theory (Martin & Rose, 2007). Appraisal/ Evaluation of Systematic Functional Linguistics (SFL) is a framework used for analyzing evaluative language that focuses on how people explicitly or implicitly show their feelings, how they take positions, and how they align or misalign themselves with social issues. Martin and Rose (2007) classified Appraisal System into three distinct subsystems: Source, Amplification, and Attitude. This paper mainly focuses on analyzing the Attitude of Trump’s Inaugural Address. I conclude that Trump employed three types of Attitudes in his speech: Affect, Judgement, and Appreciation. I found 90 clauses of Attitudes: 45 stances of Affect, 31 Judgement, and 14 Appreciation. Findings indicate that: Trump, in his Inaugural Address, used positive Attitudes more than negative Attitudes; Affect dominated the sources of Attitude, and positive Security has the highest frequency among the Attitude sub-types. Moreover, the study shows that Trump used metaphors, idioms, and simple words to convey his message throughout the speech.

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