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In: Nonveridicality and Evaluation
In: Nonveridicality and Evaluation
In: Nonveridicality and Evaluation
Theoretical, Computational and Corpus Approaches
Nonveridicality and evaluation interact in obvious ways in conveying opinion and subjectivity in language. In Nonveridicality and Evaluation Maite Taboada and Radoslava Trnavac bring together a diverse group of researchers with interests in evaluation, Appraisal, nonveridicality and coherence relations. The papers in the volume approach the intersection of these areas from two different points of view: theoretical and empirical. From a theoretical point of view, contributions reflect the interface between evaluation, nonveridicality and coherence. The empirical perspective is shown in papers that employ corpus methodology, qualitative descriptions of texts, and computational implementations.
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Abstract

We examine the generic structure and rhetorical relations that characterise online book reviews in English, Japanese and Chinese to describe the pragmatic features of this emerging genre in a contrastive light. The corpus we analyse contains online book reviews written by consumers for consumers. The purpose of the study is two-fold. First, we seek to identify the generic structure of online book reviews. Second, we investigate the cross-cultural variation in the rhetorical organisation of opinions and evaluations in written reviews across language communities. The reviews are analysed in terms of the generic stages of book reviews, which are determined by their overall communicative goals (Motta-Roth, 1995; Taboada, 2011). The stages are then mapped against rhetorical relations that capture the coherence and meaningful organisation of the text (Mann and Thompson, 1988). Results show that online book reviews in all three languages share a common generic structure comprising three broad stages: Metapragmatic Comment, Evaluation (Book Overall, Author, Plot, Character) and Recommendation. While Evaluation is the only obligatory stage, Metapragmatic Comment serves to prepare the reader for the Evaluation that follows. The recommendation stage is common in both English and Chinese reviews but is conspicuously absent in their Japanese counterpart. In terms of rhetorical patterns, Contrast, Concession and Antithesis relations are preferred in Metapragmatic Comment and Evaluation, while Motivation is typically present in the recommendation stage. This paper proposes a methodology for the contrastive analyses of pragmatic phenomena, illustrating this methodology through the study of an emerging online genre.

Open Access
In: Contrastive Pragmatics