The language of online reviews: an investigation into the language of evaluation and stance in online reviews using systematic functional linguistics

Wager, Tahnee (2015) The language of online reviews: an investigation into the language of evaluation and stance in online reviews using systematic functional linguistics. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This research investigates the language of online reviews to compare the differences between positive, neutral and negative reviews constructing evaluation and stance. These features of language are revealed through applying analytical frameworks to the data from a Systematic Functional Linguistics perspective. The application of Appraisal and Modality to online reviews analyses the language in a way that has currently not been conducted by any previous linguistic research. In addition to this, research from a language perspective into online reviews has only recently emerged and is still being developed, therefore this research can add to the current literature surrounding the topic.

    The aims of this study are to identify, compare and explore the language of online reviews. It also considers how the the specific language features of evaluation and stance impact the trustworthiness of a review. These aims are answered by analysing 45 online reviews taken from TripAdvisor. The reviews are evenly distributed in opinion and are labelled as being positive, neutral or negative reviews. After the features are identified and explored, a survey is conducted into the trustworthiness of online reviews.

    The findings from this research have discovered that certain language features are specific to the opinion a reviewer has. These features are presented in the results and discussion chapters of this study. However the aim of this research to understand the relationship between language and trust proved unsuccessful, and only small assumptions can be drawn from the findings. Both the language features of online reviews, and how the language features relate to trust, can be further researched so that there can be more compelling literature into the language of online reviews. Nevertheless this research does provide insightful findings about the language that is used to construct evaluation and stance in online reviews.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2015 15:33
    Last Modified: 08 Jul 2015 15:33
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17645

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