Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2542-9477
  • E-ISSN: 2542-9485
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This study analyses epistemic stance in social media climate change discussions, contributing to our understanding of how factuality and likelihood are evaluated in climate change discourse. Using a corpus of 1.2 million words, the paper compares the frequencies of epistemic stance in climate change sceptic and climate change proponent discourses on two social media platforms, Twitter and Reddit. Based on the quantitative analysis, the paper argues that both platform and climate change beliefs influence register in terms of epistemic stance. Overall, Reddit uses more epistemic stance markers than Twitter. Sceptics use less hedging of likelihood and more lexis evaluating the factuality and reliability of their opponents. The interpersonal functions of epistemic stance are shown to be associated with different platform uses and affordances and with the different goals, worldviews, and concerns of the factions. The study thus calls for further linguistic comparison of platforms and different factions within the platforms.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): climate change; epistemic stance; Reddit; social media; Twitter
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