Loving and hating the movies in English, German and Spanish

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We present a quantitative analysis of evaluative language in a genre in which it is particularly prominent, that of movie reviews. The data chosen are non-professional consumer-generated reviews written in English, German and Spanish. The reviews are analysed in terms of the categories of Attitude and Graduation within the Appraisal framework (Martin and White, 2005). A number of similarities in the distribution of the Appraisal subcategories were found across the three languages, such as the high frequency of Appreciation and the narrow relationship between the global polarity of the reviews and the individual polarity of the spans. More importantly, the analysis uncovers a number of cross-linguistic distributional differences, which may be explained in terms of a wide array of factors, such as lexicogrammar, word order, argumentative style or sociocultural reasons.


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