Thematic variation in English and Spanish newspaper genres

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This paper describes the thematic variation observed in two newspaper genres – news reports and commentaries – in English and Spanish and studies the influence of genre-specific and language-specific constraints on the observed variation. The study is based on the contrastive analysis of certain clausal and discourse-thematic features in a bilingual comparable corpus consisting of a total of thirty-two texts (sixteen news reports and sixteen commentaries), evenly divided into English and Spanish texts. The analysis shows that despite the language-specific features which can be observed in certain thematic selections at clause level, most of the clausal and discourse thematic differences in the material can be related to the different communicative purposes which characterize these two genres. In view of the similarities and statistically significant differences between the two genres in both languages, it is suggested that genre is the major factor affecting the thematic variation in the bilingual sample, while language-specific differences play a secondary role


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