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Revista signos

versión On-line ISSN 0718-0934


SOTO, Guillermo  y  ZENTENO, Carlos. Relationships between the present perfect and evaluative expressions in discourse: An analysis of an annual presidential address. Rev. signos [online]. 2010, vol.43, n.73, pp.333-354. ISSN 0718-0934.

The retrospectivity and subjectivity associated with the present perfect (PP) suggest that this construction proves adequate for discourses of an evaluative nature which report past time events related to speech time. This study describes the relationships between clauses with a PP predicate and the expression of different types of evaluative meanings as found in an annual presidential address, a discourse genre in which the Chilean head of government informs the country of the administrative and political state of the nation. The analysis carried out shows that the PP functions as a subjectivity trigger which favors the expression of evaluative meanings, especially positive appreciation. Nevertheless, these meanings do not become part of the PP's core semantic features. Moreover, this study demonstrates that despite the apparent expository nature of the discourse genre being examined, the addresser configures an argumentative discourse structure with the purpose of making the strengths of the governmental action explicit, giving an account of the actions implemented during the period involved. The analysis is compatible with a rhetorical approach to linguistic communication, whereby the addresser selects the lexical and grammatical resources that make her perlocutionary ends effective.

Palabras clave : Present perfect; evaluation; annual presidential address.

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