A Corpus-based Appraisal of Doubts and Certitudes in Cameroon English Newspaper Writing: Attitudes and Prospects

Julius M. Angwah


Newspapers constitute an important medium of informational dispersal, especially in postcolonial multilingual Cameroon. Its language has direct implications on Cameroonians’ interpretations and appreciations of events in their environments. Consequently, degree of truthfulness is extremely vital in news stories, in order to regulate facts, based on what is doubtful and what is certain, for purposes of civil order and serenity. In this paper, I investigated the effects of personal metadiscourse markers – hedges and boosters – in Cameroonian online newspaper writing and on readership. A corpus of 19 randomly selected inciting stories, from nine online leading newspapers in Cameroon, constituted the primary data. In addition, an interview was conducted for purposes of ascertaining authorship and readership. The corpus was then subjected to the 2014 AntConc 3.4.4.w. software to obtain the frequencies, concordances and functions of pre-identified hedges and boosters. The findings revealed that Cameroon English newspapers are more likely to boost claims than hedge them and that such claims have significant effects on the Anglophone Cameroonians’ interpretation and appreciation of events in the country.

Keywords: Corpus-Based Study, Doubt and Certitude, Writing, Cameroon, Attitude and Prospects

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-14-02

Publication date:July 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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