On the Semantic Prosody of Career Women in Chinese Web Reportage

Haiyan Men


The present study tries to unveil the images of career women depicted on the internet within the framework of corpus linguistics. Based on web corpora, internet reportage of women from the fields of education, politics, business, media, medicine, law, and tourist industry are investigated. Through collocate analysis, it is found that all the above career women demonstrate unfavorable semantic prosody, a unique local semantic prosody on the internet. The unfavorable collocates can be further classified into the semantic sets of erotic events, misfortunes and job scandals. However, through Keyword analysis of reportage of women in China’s mainstream newspapers, there presents a quite positive women image. Finally, the author makes possible interpretations of the causes of the violation of semantic prosody on the web and possible consequences it will bring, with two solutions being suggested at the end.



career women, semantic prosody, Keyword analysis, web corpus

Full Text:



Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E. (2000). Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Gaitung, J. & Ruge, M. (1973). Structuring and selecting news. In Xin, B. (2005). Critical Linguistics: Theory and Applications. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Hunston, S. (2007). Semantic Prosody revisited. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 12(2), 249-268.

Louw, B, (1993). Irony in the Text or Insincerity in the Writer? The Diagnostic Potential of Semantic Prosodies. In M. Backer, G. Francis and E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.). Text and technology: In honour of John Sinclair. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Partington, A. (1998). Patterns and meanings: using corpora for English language research and teaching. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Sinclair, J. (1998). The lexical item. In E. Weigand (Ed.), Contrastive Lexical Semantics. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Sinclair, J. (2003). Reading Concordance. London: Pearson Education Limited.

Stubbs, M. (1995). Collocations and Semantic Profiles: on the Cause of the Trouble with Quantitative Study. Functions of Language(2), 1-33.

Sunderland, J. (2006). Language and Gender: An Advanced Resource Book. New York: Routledge.

Tognini-Bonelli, E. (2001). Corpus linguistics at work. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Tribble, C. (1998). Improvising corpora for ELT: Quick and dirty ways of developing corpora for language teaching. In B. Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, & P. J. Melia (Eds.), Practical applications in language corpora. Lodz: Lodz University Press.

Xiao, Z., & McEnery, A. (2006). Collocation, semantic prosody and near synonymy: a cross-linguistic perspective. Applied Linguistics 27(1), 103-129.

Bi, G. (2007). Network Communication. Wuhan: Wuhan University Press.

Bu, W. (2001). Media and Gender. Jiangsu: Jiangsu People's Publishing House.

Cao J. (2005). A Critical Vision: Review of Media and Gender Studies. News University (2005: autumn issue), 3-12.

Hu, C.Y. (2007). Discourse Analysis: New Approach to Communication Studies. Shanghai: Shanghai People's Publishing House.

Ji, Y.H., & Wu J.P. (2000). Research on Semantic Prosody: Objects, Methods, and Applications. Journal of Xiamen University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) (3), 63-68.

Liu, L.Q. (2004). Social Gender and Mass Media. Beijing: Chinese Media Press.

Lv, X.C. (2009). On the Web News Headlines. Anhui Literature (3), 345.

Ma, B.S. (2009). Corpora and Corpus-based Discourse Study. Foreign Language, 32(3), 28-35.

Mi, J., & Zhou Jianglin. (2009). The Ideological Manipulation of Semantic Prosody: from the Perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis. Foreign Language Education, 8.

Peng, X.W. (2002). Language Process and Dimensions. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press.

Qing, X.M. (2009). Network Media Literacy and Standardization of Web News Headlines. News Knowledge (8), 97-98.

Wu, F., & Wang, X.C. (2006). Communication, Culture and Society. Jinan: Shandong People's Publishing House.

Xin, B. (2005). Critical Linguistics: Theory and Applications. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Yu, S.W. (1998). Dictionary of Modern Chinese Grammar. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press.

Zhang, B.Z., & Zhou J.L. (2008). Corpus-based Study of Semantic Prosody. Journal of Ankang University, 20(2), 54-56.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.7p.80


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.