Mr Hideo Watanabe

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Thesis work

Thesis title: The discursive construction of the international dispute between China and Japan over islands in the East China Sea

Supervisors: David HIRSH , Brian PALTRIDGE

Thesis abstract:

The Chinese and Japanese governments both claim sovereignty over islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. The dispute over the islands has become particularly intense since the Japanese government declared their purchase of the islands from a private owner in 2012. Newspapers in the two countries have played an important role in appealing not just to domestic readers, but also to international readers on this issue. This study aims to identify how Chinese and Japanese online newspaper editorials construct their arguments on the disputes islands in English from a linguistic perspective. To do this, the project explores text structures, evaluative language, and visual images in the editorials of the Chinese and Japanese English-medium newspapers, using genre, appraisal and multimodality frameworks for analysis as developed within systemic functional linguistics. A corpus of fifty editorials published between 2012 and 2016 was compiled from the Chinese newspapers, China Daily and Global Times, and the Japanese newspapers, Asahi Shimbun, the Japan Times, Japan News, and The Mainichi. The project also adopts corpus techniques for selecting and analysing these texts. The analysis reveals that the Chinese and Japanese editorials had both commonalities and differences in how they constructed their arguments through their use of genre, appraisal, and multimodality. Specifically, a claim genre appeared most frequently in the two corpora and negative evaluations towards the opposite country were the most frequent appraisal items in the two sets of editorials. The two corpora, however, differed in several respects. The Chinese editorials often employed an analytical exposition to argue for a specific position while the Japanese editorials utilised a hortatory exposition to present an action they believed needed to be taken. In the Chinese editorials, types of appraisal meanings were limited compared to those in the Japanese editorials. In terms of the multimodal construction of the editorials, negative evaluations were seen in the Chinese multimodal editorials while the Japanese multimodal editorials described the matter of the disputed islands in a positive light. These findings contribute to our understanding of the way conflicting views can be constructed with the use of linguistic and multimodal resources in the context of online English-medium news media.

Awards and honours

Australian Postgraduate Award (2015-2018)

International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2015-2018)

Trevor Miller Memorial Scholarship (2016)

Dean's award for the most outstanding dissertation (2014)

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Watanabe, H. (2017). An Examination of Written Genres in English Language Textbooks in Japan. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 14(1), 64-80. [More Information]
  • Watanabe, H. (2016). Genre analysis of writing tasks in Japanese university entrance examinations. Language Testing in Asia, 6, 1-14. [More Information]

2017

  • Watanabe, H. (2017). An Examination of Written Genres in English Language Textbooks in Japan. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 14(1), 64-80. [More Information]

2016

  • Watanabe, H. (2016). Genre analysis of writing tasks in Japanese university entrance examinations. Language Testing in Asia, 6, 1-14. [More Information]

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