Evidentiality in Chinese newspaper reports: Subjectivity/objectivity as a factor

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    Abstract

    This article aims to discover the principle that underlies correlations between choices of evidential qualification and the communicative purposes of Chinese newspaper reportage along the dimension of subjectivity/objectivity. Distributional comparisons of data from the China Times news website reveal a pragmatic distinction between evidential subclasses. Reportatives predominate in politics and business news, where objectivity carries higher weight, while in less objectivity-oriented reports as local news, sensories are of greater frequency. The latter is also prevalent as journalists reflect on a reported event. The level of evidential subjectivity thus varies significantly with the nature of evidence. An evaluation drawn from shared belief tends to be experienced as less subjective than one built upon what is accessible to the journalist alone. This suggests the use of evidentiality as reflective of the stance of the newspaper media.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)205-229
    Number of pages25
    JournalDiscourse Studies
    Volume10
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr 1

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    Keywords

    • Chinese
    • Evidentiality
    • News
    • Objectivity
    • Subjectivity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Communication
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Anthropology
    • Linguistics and Language

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