Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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Online customer reviews, being an essential factor that determines success or failure in business, in particular in the tourism industry, demand close attention since the investigation of this type of discourse might bear some implications both for language specialists and for hotel managers. This paper is a quantitative and qualitative study of evaluation devices occurring in the corpus of hotel reviews from Booking.com. The analysis is based on methods associated with corpus linguistics and Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday 1994Eggins 2004), specifically, the Appraisal framework (Martin & White 2005), which is applied here to a new type of discourse, that of hotel ratings. The study focuses on the categories of Attitude, Graduation and Engagement suggested by Martin and White and investigates inscribed and invoked evaluation. In order to adapt the Attitude dimensions to the corpus under study, new subcategories were created as a contribution to evaluation theory. The practical result of the study is a list of evaluation devices employed in hotel reviews; the list may be useful for further corpus analyses and for designing systems for automated analysis of customer evaluation. Since online customer reviews are commonly used by hotels as a benchmark of their guests’ satisfaction and a valuable information source of features and services that need to be improved, the present study is also likely to make an important contribution to the industry.


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