IJLLL 2020 Vol.6(3): 155-161 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2020.6.3.268

Strategic Pro-environmental Persuasion: Use of Hedges in Chinese Environmental Commentary

Luying Zhang and Yang Chen
Abstract—This paper presents an analysis of hedges in Chinese environmental news commentaries. The study focuses on the way in which hedges contribute to achieving persuasion in texts and promoting pro-environmental awareness among readers. First, a quantitative approach was applied to identify the distribution of hedges in 30 texts of environmental commentaries from People’s Daily. Second, a textual analysis was conducted to explore how hedges enhanced ethos, pathos, and logos to achieve persuasion. Research results reveal that (1) authors used a high percentage of epistemic adjectives/adverbs (318, 50.56%) and modal verbs (206, 32.75%); (2) hedges contributed to enhancing ethos, pathos, and logos through establishing a negotiable persona, generating resonance, and strengthening reason and logic. This study provides an innovative angle of understanding hedges in journalistic discourse and extends existing knowledge on strategic environmental communication with hedging devices.

Index Terms—Chinese news commentary, hedge, persuasion, pro-environmental.

Luying Zhang and Yang Chen are with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China (e-mail: 19S059004@stu.hit.edu.cn, drchenyang@hit.edu.cn).

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Cite:Luying Zhang and Yang Chen, "Strategic Pro-environmental Persuasion: Use of Hedges in Chinese Environmental Commentary," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 155-161, 2020.

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