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CorporaCorpus-based Language Learning, Language Processing and Linguistics$
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Alan Partington

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640607

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640607.001.0001

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Evidence of evidentiality in the quality press 1993 and 2005

Evidence of evidentiality in the quality press 1993 and 2005

(p.139) Evidence of evidentiality in the quality press 1993 and 2005

Alan Partington

Edinburgh University Press

In this chapter, a diachronic approach is adopted in the analysis of the two large SiBol newspaper corpora, in order to examine and compare the expression of evidentiality (Bednarek, 2006; Dendale and Tasmowski, 2001; and Chafe, 1986) – that is, how the writer's knowledge is marked as having been ‘seen’ or ‘heard’, etc., how the knowledge is attributed, and how it is passed on to the reader. Findings show an increased use of evidential markers over the thirteen-year period studied, and, at the same time, a shift in reporter usage of evidentiality towards hearsay evidence and the reporting of knowledge acquired by speculation. This is in keeping with other observations regarding an increased ‘vagueness’ in contemporary journalism (see Duguid [a], this volume),which is counterbalanced at times with an elevation of the newsworker's presence.

Keywords:   discourse analysis, corpus-assisted discourse studies, evidentiality, diachronic analysis, knowledge acquisition, attribution, corpus linguistics, newspaper discourse

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