Stance markers

Bethany Gray, Douglas E Biber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

45 Scopus citations


Introduction Researchers have long been interested in the linguistic means by which speakers and writers convey their personal attitudes and emotions, their evaluations and assessments, and their level of commitment towards propositions. These linguistic devices have been investigated under a variety of terms, including intensity (Labov 1984), posture (Grabe 1984), disjuncts (Quirk et al. 1985), hedges (Brown and Levinson 1987), modality (Palmer 1986, Bybee and Fleischman 1995), and (inter)subjectivity (White 2003, Fitzmaurice 2004, Lyons 1993). Today, the frameworks of evaluation (Hunston and Thompson 2000, Hunston and Sinclair 2000, Hunston 1994), appraisal (Martin 2000, 2003; Martin and White 2005) and stance (Biber et al. 1999; Biber and Finegan 1988, 1989) have been particularly productive in helping researchers understand this pragmatic function in natural discourse. Building on earlier work on affect (Ochs and Schieffelin 1989, Besnier 1990) and evidentiality (Chafe 1986, Chafe and Nichols 1986), these frameworks differentiate between two primary types of meaning: (a) a speaker/writer’s personal attitudes, emotions and assessments, and (b) evaluations of the epistemic status of an entity or a proposition. These types of meanings have been investigated through a variety of methods, including detailed analyses of individual texts and descriptions of quantitative patterns across texts in large collections of authentic texts – “corpora” (see Hunston 2011 for a book-length discussion, especially Chapters 2 and 4). Corpus-based approaches to stance, the topic of the present chapter, have traditionally focused on lexical and grammatical patterns that mark stance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCorpus Pragmatics
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781139057493
ISBN (Print)9781107015043
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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