This paper investigates the pragmatic expressions of negative evaluation (negativity) in two corpora: (i) comments posted online in response to newspaper opinion articles; and (ii) online reviews of movies, books and consumer products. We propose a taxonomy of linguistic resources that are deployed in the expression of negativity, with two broad groups at the top level of the taxonomy: resources from the lexicogrammar or from discourse semantics. We propose that rhetorical figures can be considered part of the discourse semantic resources used in the expression of negativity. Using our taxonomy as starting point, we carry out a corpus analysis, and focus on three phenomena: adverb + adjective combinations; rhetorical questions; and rhetorical figures. Although the analysis in this paper is corpus-assisted rather than corpus-driven, the final goal of our research is to make it quantitative, in extracting patterns and resources that can be detected automatically.
Taboada, M., R. Trnavac and C. Goddard (2017) On being negative. Corpus Pragmatics 1(1): 57-76. DOI: 10.1007/s41701-017-0006-y
On Being Negative
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