A quantitative/interpretative approach to the comparative linguistic analysis of media texts is proposed and applied to a contrastive analysis of texts from the English-language China Daily and the UK Times to look for evidence of differences in what Labov calls “evaluation.” These differences are then correlated to differences in the roles played by the media in Britain and China in their respective societies. The aim is to demonstrate that, despite reservations related to the Chinese texts not being written in the journalists' native language, a direct linguistic comparison of British media texts with Chinese media texts written in English can yield valuable insights into the workings of the Chinese media that supplement nonlinguistic studies.
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