Lexis and grammar as complementary discourse systems for expressing stance and evaluation

Douglas Biber, Jesse Egbert, Meixiu Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Although 'stance' and 'evaluation' are closely related theoretical constructs, stance is normally investigated through corpus-based methods focusing on the use of lexico-grammatical features, while evaluative language, being regarded as more context-dependent, has been investigated through the use of particular words and phrases in individual texts. This study explores the possibility that these two linguistic systems are partially complementary, with some registers relying on lexico-grammatical stance features and others on evaluative lexis. We compare the linguistic discourse styles of three opinionated/persuasive web registers: 'Opinion Blogs' (OB), 'Reviews' (RV), and 'Descriptions-with-intentto- Sell' (DS). We show that OB and RV use grammatical stance devices more but DS considerably less than most other web registers. However, our detailed study of the lexical keywords found in these three registers reveals the opposite pattern of use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Construction of Discourse as Verbal Interaction
EditorsMaria de los Angeles Gomez Gonzalez, J. Lachlan Mackenzie
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9789027201416
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePragmatics and Beyond New Series
ISSN (Print)0922-842X


  • Blogs
  • Evaluation
  • Reviews
  • Stance
  • Web registers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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