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Article Title : A Contrastive Study of Hedges in English and Chinese Business News Reports
Author(s) : Ziyu Chen
Corresponding Author : Ziyu Chen
Keywords : Hedges; English Business News Reports; Contrastive Analysis; Pragmatic Function.

Hedges are a major component of fuzzy language, and hedges are extensively used in various styles of writing and interpersonal communication. News reports are an important source of information for the public. And business news report in particular is a unique form of writing which values accuracy, objectivity, and authenticity. Hedges can help better fulfill the special requirements of business news reports. This thesis is based on two self-established corpora of business news from BBC and China Daily respectively, each of which contains 35 pieces of news. The present study aims to conduct a contrastive analysis of hedges between English business news reports written by native and non-native English speakers. Based on Lakoff’s definition and Prince, Frader, and Bosk’s classification of hedges, this study explores the similarities and differences of hedging in the two corpora. Moreover, this paper attempts to discuss the pragmatic functions of hedges in business news. Results indicate that in business news reports written by native and non-native English speakers, hedges are both frequently used and used in similar patterns. However, hedges are used more often by native English speakers than by non-native ones. Also, their word preferences are quite different when using hedges. In addition, the primary pragmatic functions of hedges in business news are summarized into three aspects: achieving credibility and objectivity; avoiding assertiveness and achieving accuracy; avoiding responsibility and achieving Self-protection.