Discursive constructions of scientific (Un)certainty about the health risks of China's air pollution: A corpus-assisted discourse study

Ming Liu, Yiheng Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article gives a corpus-assisted discourse study of the representations of the health risks of China's air pollution (2011–2014) in Chinese and Anglo-American English-language newspapers with a view to examining their particular ways of constructing scientific (un)certainty about health risks. Findings suggest that although health information has been addressed in the two groups of newspapers, the Anglo-American English-language newspapers prefer to amplify and dramatize the certainty about health risks through such discursive strategies as predication, nomination, and the rhetoric of quantification, while the Chinese English-language newspaper is inclined to highlight the uncertainty about health risks through such discursive strategies as particularizing the Chinese context, complicating the causes of health problems, and arguing for more scientific tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalLanguage and Communication
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Air pollution
  • Corpus-assisted discourse study
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Health risks
  • Media discourse
  • Smog

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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