Lexico-grammatical markers of attribution in English and Italian: a corpus-based study

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The range and frequency of lexico-grammatical markers of attribution or reporting in English and Italian are examined here in two parallel corpora of opinion articles. It is found that the majority of reporting markers are verbs, nouns and adjectives in both corpora, and these markers are divided into six attitude groups, including, inter alia, neutral reporting, subjective reporting, reporting and creating argument. Discrepancies in the resources used in both languages are noted, such as the much greater variety of markers of argumentative reporting in English and the higher frequency of these markers, and it is suggested that the opinionists in the English articles under consideration write in a way that encourages debate. The lack of argumentative types, and their low frequency, coupled with the high frequency of verbs which report evidence of an objective status quo in the Italian corpus, are interpreted as signs of a style of writing in the Italian opinion articles which is authoritative and seeks consensus rather than debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-150
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • attribution
  • comparative study
  • english
  • italian


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