How Opinionated is the Opinion Page? A Multidimensional Analysis

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Ahsan Bashir, Dr. Muhammad Ali, Dr. Sadia Ali, Maryam Aleem,


This study aims at exploring the patterns of variation in the lexico-grammatical configuration that create opinionated discourse over a period of time. To study linguistic variation over time, a corpus of Pakistani English newspaper editorials was compiled from temporally three distant phases. Biber’s new multidimensional model (2006) was used to explore pattern change. The corpus was then tagged using Biber’s tagger. For the identification of patterns of co-occurrence, factor analysis was performed. Later, the raw frequency counts were normalized. The results indicated that all three phases follow divergent patterns of lexical and grammatical choices in producing opinionated discourse. Further, the linguistic features that create opinionated discourse have decreased during all this time suggesting a transformation towards a less ‘opinionated’ discourse.

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