Attenuation in comments on digital news in Spanish and Chilean newspapers

Patricio Moya Muñoz – Universidad Autónoma de Chile | Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Chile
María Luisa Carrió-Pastor – Universitat Politècnica de València, España

Patricio Moya Muñoz y María Luisa Carrió-Pastor, 2018: "La atenuación en los comentarios sobre las noticias digitales en periódicos de España y Chile", Onomázein 40, 56-76.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.40.04

The objective of this research is to identify the variation in the use of attenuation strategies used by digital newspaper commentators of El País (Spain) and Emol (Chile) in two contexts, politics and sports. In this analysis we consider attenuation as part of interactional metadiscourse analysis, that is, those elements that indicate the decision of writers to recognize different points of views to not compromise themselves with a proposition (Hyland, 2005). In this study, we compiled a corpus of 2,400 comments; then it was analyzed with the tool UAM Corpus Tool to detect the discourse markers used to attenuate the digital comments to digital news. The results indicated that, on the one hand, the comments from El País included more attenuators than the comments included in Emol. On the other hand, it was observed that there was no difference in the use of attenuators if we consider the two specific contexts analysed, i.e. politics and sports.