Comprehensibility of Interrogative Mood Metaphor in English Academic Discourse

XU Wei1 and ZHANG Yi2

1,2School of Foreign Studies,Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, 710129

Based on mood metaphor theory (Halliday, 2014) and written language comprehension theory (Carroll, 2008), this study aims to investigate the comprehensibility of interrogative mood metaphors in academic discourse. A qualitative analysis was conducted in this research and the findings indicated that the mood metaphors were understandable for readers at three stages of their comprehension process. At the first stage, mood metaphors had explicit marks for new information, which made it easier for readers to identify the given and new information. At the second stage, since mood metaphors contained anaphors directly matched to the equivalent antecedents in previous sentences, they could reduce readers’ memory burden to find those antecedents in memory for the given information. At the last stage, mood metaphors made the new information and the previous antecedents close in discourse structure, which could help decrease readers’ cognitive difficulty in attaching new information to the memory location defined by the antecedents. It is expected that this study could have an implication for future research with regard to the potential cognitive effect of interpersonal metaphorical expressions on academic discourse comprehension.

Keywords: Comprehensibility; Interrogative Mood Metaphor; Academic Discourse

Cite this article:
Wei, X. & Yi, Z. (2019). Comprehensibility of Interrogative Mood Metaphor in English Academic Discourse. International Journal of Arts and Commerce, 8(7), 17-30.