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First-Person Pronoun Use in English Editorials from Taiwan Newspapers

Abstracts


Editorials are an important part of newspapers and can be considered the voice of the newspapers. When writing editorials, journalists must express their own views, whilst taking into account the expectations of the readership. One way to accomplish this need is through the use of first-person pronouns. The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the use of first-person pronouns in the editorials of two English language newspapers in Taiwan. I created two corpora, one from the Taipei Times and the other from The China Post. The entire corpus contained all editorials published by both newspapers between January 1 and May 31, 2017. As expected there were no examples of singular first-person pronouns. The China Post used plural first-person pronouns much more frequently than the Taipei Times. This was especially evident in the use of inclusive plural first-person pronouns. As a result, The China Post had more examples of word clusters with We than the Taipei Times. The only similarity between the two newspapers came in the use of inclusive plural first-person pronouns to refer to Taiwan, Taiwanese people or foreign residents in Taiwan as opposed to people in general. The results showed differences in the use of plural first-person pronouns between the two newspapers. This is interesting as they should be similar in their style as they are both located in Taiwan and published in English. One conclusion from this paper is the Taipei Times, should consider adding first-person pronouns to their editorials. Additional studies should look at other English language newspapers in the region (e.g., The Japan Times, The Korea Times) to discover how the two Taiwanese newspapers compare to their Asian peers.

References


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