Lexico-grammatical stance in spanish news reportage:Socio-political infuences on que-complement clauses and adverbials in Ecuadorian broadsheets

Anna M. Gates Tapia, Douglas Biber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Te small South American country of Ecuador has recently come to international attention for perceived threats to journalistic freedom: frst a major defamation lawsuit against El Universo (fled in March 2011) for unfounded criticisms of President Correa, and more recently passage of a highly controversial law of communications in June, 2013. Due to these developments, there is reason to believe that media reportage in Ecuador will currently be highly circumspect in the expression of opinions and evaluations, discourse functions that have been investigated under the umbrella of ‘stance’ in previous linguistic investigations. However, the situation of media language use in Ecuador is further interesting in that there are both government newspapers as well as privately owned newspapers competing on the open market. Presumably these diferent newspapers will not be afected in the same ways by the legal actions of the last few years. To investigate that possibility, the present study documents the lexico-grammatical expression of stance in a large corpus of Ecuadorian newspaper reportage, comparing and contrasting the expression of stance in two major newspapers: El Telégrafo, controlled by the government, and El Comercio, a privately owned outlet. Te study focuses on two major types of lexico-gram-matical features used to express stance: que-complement clauses and adverbials. Although the two newspapers are quite similar in the devices preferred for the expression of stance, the analysis also identifes systematic patterns of diference. Surprisingly, the results show that it is the government-controlled newspaper that consistently expresses stance to a greater extent than the privately-owned paper. Tese results are interpreted relative to the recent legal events in Ecuador, perhaps indicating increased scrutiny of media reportage in the private sector than in the public sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-237
Number of pages30
JournalRevista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Corpus
  • Ecuador
  • Newspaper discourse
  • Spanish
  • Stance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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