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Abstract

In this paper, I study how comments function as follow-ups in the discussionforums of online newspapers. Follow-ups recontextualize an object of discoursefrom its prior context to an ongoing context. A follow-up involves stance-taking,positioning, and negotiation of meaning. The data were obtained fromone major French online newspaper called lemonde.fr. They consist of ten editorialswith political and social topics, along with their subsequent comments.The first objective was to find out how, and by which linguistic means, writersexpress their stance and evaluate the editorials. It was found that they do itthrough axiological adjectives, explicit positioning, and various communicativeacts, as well as by affective, epistemic, and ironic expressions. The second aimwas to examine how the discussion forum posts target the prior discourse, andopen up a negotiation, i.e., what types of responsive and initiative propertiesare used to negotiate the meaning. Findings indicate that the comments targeteither the content or the stance expressed in the editorial. By using them, usersimply that they know more about the issue or they share the same view.

References

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