ASSIGNMENT 2 ANALYSIS OF CORPUS ON BLOGGroup Members : Siti Nur Diyana Mohd Ghazali (0727706) : Nurul Liyana Binti Janah@Zainal (0723990) : Noor Arina Binti Muhamad (0726896) : Melisa Nurjustina Elwiana Muhd Alwin Liew (0719306)Course Code : ENGL 4740Course Title : Computer Application in Language StudiesSection :1Instructor : Dr. Rozina Abd. GhaniSemester : 2, 2010/2011
2Introduction One of the modes of Computer Application Communication is blog. A blog is a typeof website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regularentries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as averb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Most blogs are interactive, allowingvisitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it isthis interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites (Wikipedia). Therefore, we have chosen a blog by Nasree Najmi (www.reethekick.blogspot.com)who is currently pursuing his master degree in Sports Science at UiTM, Shah Alam to beanalysed. He is an ex-ICT graduate of IIUM. He actively involved in Taekwondo and Karate(martial arts) and has his own training classes. Using this sample of corpus from the blog, wehave analysed important aspects of language of the corpus which are the intention ofwritings, information contained in the blog, language used and symbolism. Not forgetting thetwo linguistics aspects that we also focus on; The Cooperative Principles and Politeness. Westudied his blog and have done a personal interview with him to get a better understanding ofhis blog.Intention His main intention creating a blog was at first, to reply to an argument posted by acoach. He wants to make clear of some issues pertaining to Taekwondo tournament whichsomehow dissatisfy a coach. Since that incident, he keeps on using his blog mainly to sharehis ideas and experiences and to exchange thoughts with the readers. However, he seldomupdates his blog. In his blog, he likes to touch on issues which can capture his readers‟
3attention. Issues like health, Islamic thoughts and personal life are very much fond by people.Each topic has its own messages and values. For example, when he talks about Dajjal, hemainly wants to share his readings with his readers, when he talks about his Convocation Dayand his family visit to India, he merely shares his own experiences and when he touches onhealth topic, it is just to add some general knowledge and facts to his readers. When hewrites, he loves to leave a punch-line in every post to emphasize the message of his posts.Information When we view his blog, the first sight that captures our attention is some pictureswhich are displayed on the top of his blog. The pictures resemble his personalities and hishobbies. Then he describes that he would love to share his experiences and knowledgethrough his blog with the readers. There is a lot of information from his blog archive that canbenefit us. It is because he shares everything from his experiences that he has gone through inhis life and there is also some knowledge about Islam that has been shared such as „Dajjal‟.Other various information such as his Convocation Day which gives meaning to his life,“Syawal in India”, Back to the Root, “Marhaban Ya Ramadhan”, “Health is Wealth”, and“Tanggungjawab Black Belt yang Tak Gentleman are shared in his blog. We found out something interesting from the interview done. His topics of writingsare very much influenced by the way how he was brought up. His father has taught him to bedisciplined and how to be a good leader. They always talk about issues about life, disciplineand Islamic issues. That is why, the topic of “Dajjal”, is there on his post. In every post, hewill leave the moral of the story to give a reflection to his readers. Furthermore, his post on“Health is Wealth” the information gives benefits to his readers.
4 Alongside these posts, we have noticed that he put his complete profile and his ownpicture to let the readers know his background. From that information, we have the predictionthat perhaps he is a simple and a low profile person. In overall, each post that he has sharedhas a valuable moral value in it and it is very useful to the readers who view his blog to getsome general insight.Language We analyzed Nasree‟s blog and found out that the language used in his blog is moreinformal and thus makes the blog quite democratic form of expression. His communication toreaders is usually direct and casual. Some posts, however, are formally written. His blogposts do not go through editors or spellcheckers necessarily and hence he takes the liberty tofreely use language as he wishes. Sociolinguistics is a study of the speaker‟s age, sex and social class. A bilingualblogger like Nasree, is faced with the choice of two languages for his posts. While somebloggers prefer to keep them separate, others choose to write in both languages. In the case ofNasree, he prefers to share his thoughts, express his emotions and ideas mostly in BahasaMelayu as he uses mostly Bahasa Melayu in his daily conversations. However, when it comesto facts, he prefers to write them in English. In terms of stylistics and semantics, Nasree‟s way of writing his blog posts differsfrom one another. When he talks about his emotions or whenever he wants to give a critique,his message is much more direct to the readers, uses informal style of writing and certainpunctuation marks to connote his state of mind. On the other hand, when he talks about healthand life experiences, his way of writing is much more rule-based.
5Symbolism Symbols and pictures are frequently use in the blog to make the blog looksinteresting. Some bloggers use more pictures in the blog than words. Sometimes picturesspeak to the world as the famous quotation sings that “A picture worth a thousand words”.Colours of the background and colours of the pictures can attract readers. Symbols andpictures are important to invite as many followers as they could. Nasree does not use the emoticons constantly. He only uses emoticons four timesthroughout his blog and prefers simple emoticons. Most of his post uses a normal writingmanner. He uses the question mark in a normal way and at the right spot. There are posts inhis blog which use question mark twice to show his seriousness in getting the answer for hisquestions. The background picture of his blog also gives a simple connotation. He has chosenthat background because he likes it and of its simple design. Therefore, it connotes him as asimple person and someone who likes art. One thing that captures of eyesight is when he uses numbers as his username which is511sidekick. 511 is the trademark number of his family. That number also has been used ashis personal cell phone number and his car plat number. The word sidekick resembles hisinvolvement in Taekwondo and sidekick is one of the basic kicks in Taekwondo. The picturesthat are used in this blog are relevant to every story that he writes. The writers put his ownpictures and this show his guts in exposing himself to the public. He does not afraid of beingresponsible of his own writing when he chooses to put his own picture in his blog. Thepictures that are used suit his writings.
6Cooperative Principles People who obey the Cooperative Principles or known as Gricean Maxims in theirlanguage used will make sure that what they say in a conversation furthers the purpose of thatconversation (Wikipedia). The four sub-principles, called maxims are being discussed furtherunder The Cooperative Principles. The four maxims are Quantity, Quality, Relation andManner. His writings fit all the maxims mentioned and can be seen throughout his posts inhis blog.Politeness Politeness in an interaction can then be defined as the means employed to showawareness of another person‟s face. In this sense, Politeness can be accomplished insituations of social distance or closeness. Showing awareness for another person‟s face whenthat other seems socially distant is often described in terms of respect or deference. Showingthe equivalent awareness when the other is socially close is often described in terms offriendliness, camaraderie, or solidarity. When we tend to save another‟s face, we can payattention to their negative face wants or their positive face wants (Yule, 2011). Thus, underPoliteness, we have analysed his positive and negative face wants. In this case, he has hisown freedom to write anything he fond of. Not only that, his writings is meant to be sharedand to be liked by others without hurting their feelings.Literature Review The first article entitled Using Blogs to Enhance Critical Reflection and Communityof Practice written by Shih-Hsien Yang from the Department of Applied Foreign Languages,National Formosa University, YunLin, Taiwan has been reviewed and this paper seeks theuse of blogs as a reflective platform in the schooling processes of English as Foreign
7Language (EFL) student teachers, who learnt to teach English for future employment inTaiwan. They made use of blogs as a platform to critically reflect on their learning processesas well as to test the impact of blogs for their own professional growth (Yang, 2009).According to Yang (2009) two instructors created a blog as a discussion forum so that thestudent teachers could participate in and examine their own reflection process. The datacollected was qualitative in nature, consisting of student teachers‟ posting messages andcomments on the blog, surveys on the student teachers‟ reflective experiences using blogs asreflection tools, and group reflective dialogues recorded by instructors in class meetings overthe implementation of blogs during the course. The results showed that the student teachersenergetically discussed teaching theories and their implications through blogs (Yang, 2009).Based on Yang, (2009) all of the 43 teachers who took part in this study were reflective, andsome critically reflected on their thoughts and made significant comments; and theparticipants considered technology a useful platform for reflecting and communicating witheach other. The positive implications for the use of blogs as a medium to provide andpromote critical reflection for EFL teachers are discussed. Yang quoted Efimova and Fiedler(2003) that blogs is characterized as “personal diary-like-format websites enabled by easy touse tools and open for everyone to read”. Godwin-Jones (2003) in Yang (2009) article alsoindicates that through blogging, people are able to document their reflections about thingsrelevant to their daily life experiences, sharing such things with their friends, families, and/orgroup members. He further points out that blogs and other social networking sites providenew opportunities and incentives for personal writing. According to the second article entitled “Gender differences in usage, satisfaction,self-efficacy and performance of blogging” by Eric Zhi Feng Liu and Yu Fang Chang, femaleusers update blogs more than male users. Female users love to talk about gossip and that isthe reason they use blogs more than male users (Zhi & Yu, 2010). According to Zhi & Yu
8(2010) “Students have high self-efficacy in using the blog because the instructor can answeror solve their problem immediately in the class or provide them with practice time in class”.There were no gender differences in both satisfaction and self-efficacy. This implies that bothmen and women in the class were satisfied with the teaching of blogging, and that theyconfidently used blogs after the class (Zhi & Yu, 2010). In the third article entitled “Blogging in teacher professional development: Its role inbuilding computer-assisted language teaching skills, Puvaneswary Murugaiah et al (2010)cited McLaughlin and Oberman (1996) that a teacher who learns, gains an understanding ofnew concepts of content and pedagogy as well as the new role of educator that he plays. Theresearchers also cited Yang (2009) blogs present a platform for teachers to improvethemselves through interaction with others. Moreover, from Efimova & Fiedler (2003), blogspromote community building as they are constructed by people who share mutual interests todiscuss common issues. Puvaneswary Murugaiah et al (2010) quoted Barlett-Bragg (cited inMuwanga-Zake et al, 2010), blogs provide an opportunity to engage in and scaffoldknowledge construction and blogging has the potential to boost constructivist cognition andmeta-cognition (higher order thinking skills).Analysis The two aspects that are discussed in this analysis are The Cooperative Principles andPoliteness. The four sub-principles, called maxims are being discussed further under TheCooperative Principles. The four maxims are Quantity, Quality, Relation and Manner.Besides that, Politeness is very much put into focus of this discussion. The reason these twolinguistic aspects are taken is because they occurred much throughout his blog. The Maxim of Quantity (Quantity of Information) talks about how to make ourcontribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange) or how
9not to make our contribution more informative than is required (Yule, 2011). His writings fitthe two descriptions. He writes little to avoid his readers get bored and he writes much to givehis readers full information and a clear picture of what he wants to say. For example, when hetalks about „Dajjal‟ and „Health is Wealth‟, he provides as much information as he could tocreate the awareness to his readers on these issues. At the same time, he wants to make clearof the issue that he critiques on like „Tanggungjawab Black Belt yang Tak Gentleman‟. Onthe other hand, when he posted „Back to the Root‟ and „Marhaban Ya Ramadhan‟, he simplywants to greet his readers and to welcome the month of Ramadhan and to give moral valuesof the importance of being a good servant of Allah. The Maxim of Quality (Be Truthful) talks about how we should not say what webelieve to be false and which we lack of adequate evidence (Yule, 2011). In this case,Nasree‟s blog is reliable as 80% of his posts are from his own experiences for instance; theposts on „Syawal di India‟ and when he shares his experience on his Convocation Day.Furthermore, he knows what to say and is an expert of the topics he shares. There are someissues posted by him are based on his readings and taken from reliable sources like the topicsof dajjal and health. He does not violate the Maxim of Quality by exaggerating his creativewriting to look good in the eye of his readers. The Maxim of Relation (Relevance) talks about the relevancy of what we uttered andto always be relevant (Yule, 2011). He often compares his experiences with his friends andanalyse those experiences and see the relevancy of the information before posted theinformation to his blog. He has his own arguments and interpretations of certain issues andalways looks for reliable and relevant sources. As in the issues of ‘Dajjal, he gets theinformation from prominent and knowledgeable Ustaz. From the interview done, we foundout that the health topic is taken from a Professor‟s blog in India. In addition, we havenoticed that all his posts‟ titles are relevant with the content of the message that he wants to
10deliver. This method plays an important role because it can easily capture the attention of hisreaders. The Maxim of Manner (Be Clear) talks about how to avoid obscurity of expression, toavoid ambiguity, to be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity) and to be orderly (Yule, 2011)when we conversing. He always speaks directly and does not have any hidden meanings. Heavoids being ambiguity in his writings and shows his real expression. For instance,„Tanggungjawab Black Belt yang Tak Gentleman‟ shows his dissatisfaction while when weread on his Convocation story, we can sense his happiness. The wordiness of his posts isdepending on the issues that he wants to focus on. If it is wordiness, it is because of thetendency to give full information of the issues such as in the issue of “Dajjal” where he isgiving the accurate and useful information. If it is brief, it is merely to let his readers to getthe gist of his information and to avoid his readers get bored. For the Positive Politeness Strategy, it means being complimentary and gracious tothe addressee but if this is overused the speaker may alienate the other party. Thus, underPoliteness, we have analysed his positive and negative face wants. In this case, he has hisown freedom to write anything he fond of. Not only that, his writings is meant to be sharedand to be liked by others without hurting their feelings. He starts his blog posts with “Salam”and ends with “have a nice day, Wassalam”. These greetings make readers feel welcomedand give them a pleasant feeling while reading. Most of the issues that are brought up in hisblog posts are positive. Even if it sounds negative, it is just merely a critique. Therefore, itgives impact or tends to influence people to respond in a positive manner as well, particularlywhen there are different opinions between the blogger and the readers. In addition, when therelationship is socially close between the blogger and the reader, the comments are morepolite even if they disagree with the writer‟s ideas.
11 His writings are seen as positive and were written in a polite manner. He does not liketo critique in a negative way as he considers the feelings of his readers. He critiques directlyto his target person but in a good manner as in “Tanggungjawab Black Belt yang TakGentlemen”. He knows to whom he wants to give his message to regardless of therelationship that he has with any particular person. Most of his messages are for his generalreaders and are meant to capture their attentions. Among the benefits of using blog is to influence others and to be influenced by others.By reading others‟ blogs, Nasree could gain new knowledge and insights on certain issueswhich of his interests. For that reason, it is important not to be irrational and be too emotionalin writing something and when want to criticize someone. That is why he uses this politenessstrategy when addressing his readers which is very much effective in delivering messages andat the same time respecting readers‟ feelings and faces.
12ReferencesLiu, Z. F. E. & Yu, F. C. (2010). Gender differences in usage, satisfaction, self-efficacy and performance of blogging. British Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 41( 3).Puvaneswary Murugaiah et al (2010). Blogging in teacher professional development: Its role in building computer-assisted language teaching skills. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), Vol. 6 ( 3), 73-87.Yang, S. H. (2009). Using blogs to enhance critical reflection and community of practice. Educational Technology & Society, Vol.12 (2), 11–21.Yule, George (2011). Pragmatics. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.Blog. Retrieved on 15th February 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BlogCooperative Principle. Retrieved on 11th February 2011 fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_principlewww.reethekick.blogspot.com