A Corpus-Based Critical Analysis of Lexical Choices in Sichuan Earthquake by Chinese and American News Media

Li WANG, Shuzhen CHEN


By combining the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach with the corpus linguistic method, this study compared the lexical choices employed by two English newspapers, i.e. China Daily and the New York Times, in their coverage of Sichuan earthquake. This study aims to probe into the different political stances and ideology concealed under the news reports. The comparative analysis of the two corpora was conducted at three levels: word frequencies, part-of-speech (POS) frequencies and semantic category frequencies.
The results show that there are significant differences among the three levels in the lexical choices about Sichuan earthquake between the two media, which reflect different ideologies and political stances of China and America. By highlighting the endeavor of Chinese relief work, the CDC presents a responsible government and a united Chinese nation. On the contrary, the NYTC focuses more on emphasizing the dictatorship and incompetence of the Chinese government and the scientific and technological backwardness in China, hence creates a negative image of China. On the basis of the present findings, this study intends to be helpful to the teaching of English reading in China.


Sichuan earthquake; Critical discourse analysis; Corpus; Lexical choices; Contrastive study

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x


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