Crises of reputation are rarely studied from the linguistic point of view, which results in several research gaps. Therefore, in this study three selected crisis cases have been analyzed as asynchronous online polylogues—Internet debates performed by stakeholders in different sources from the moment of publication. In this approach corpus analysis has been combined with the theory of computer-mediated communication, speech acts and a semantic study of emotions. One of the findings was that certain common patterns of subtopics, emotion expressions and communicative actions are noticeable in the user-generated content across different crisis cases. Contrary to some NLP studies, emotions expressed by stakeholders in a crisis situation refer not to the major topic, but to its subtopics, which impacts the construction of text-mining models. Unlike in pre-social media studies, sarcasm and not anger is the major emotion expressed textually in reaction to a crisis of reputation.
The objective of this paper is to examine how Chinese learners of EFL frame their complaints on English language learning (ELL) to understand their sense of entitlement to complain. Two basic complaint-frames are identified—complaint proper (Cp), which communicates entitlement in blaming and asking for correction of what is intrinsically correctable, and lament (Lt), which conveys the lack thereof by simply ‘lamenting’ something that cannot be solved. Though Cp and Lt appear, therefore, tied to specific concern-kinds, the inherently addressable and unaddressable, respectively, their actual use depends on the perception of the complaint-concern and the relative power of the complainant. When Cp is selected, subordinate status may require diminished expression of entitlement. This is not achieved by mitigating face-threat. Rather, it is necessary to modify the complaint-framing by selecting more, rather than less, Lt-defining features. Applied to complaints on ELL, in the Chinese context, it is found that this inherently Cp-appropriate, patently addressable problem is only, and always, used with mitigation and/or ‘Lt-ization’ to convey deference and/or disentitlement. In the vast majority, students address limitations in program implementation—in authentic language use, and the opportunity for individual thought, creativity and self-determination—in complaints that suggest disaffection and disenfranchisement.