The purpose of this study is to perform a linguistic analysis of Russian mass media focused on its coverage of the 2016 US presidential election. It will be a corpus-based study, using a corpus as a foundational source for quantitative and qualitative data. This study will use a collection of keywords from the corpus and analyze their contexts as they pertain to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This study uses corpus linguistic research tools such as sentence tokenization, Key Words in Context (KWIC), sentiment analysis, word embedding visualization, word-vector math, word frequency lists, and collocate analysis as part of the quantitative analysis. The results of the sentiment analysis and word vector analysis show a moderate bias in the corpus favoring Donald Trump. Additionally, a more in-depth qualitative analysis of sentences containing keywords is performed. A framework using Appraisal Theory is used to examine sample sentences to show how the corpus appraises the candidates. The qualitative analysis shows how many sentences are full of judgment towards Hillary Clinton, positive appraisal of Donald Trump, and attempts to expand positive dialog about Donald Trump, as opposed to a contraction of dialog and expansion of negativity about Hillary Clinton. The predicted Russian geopolitical agenda seeks to demean American politics, positively influence perceptions of Russians towards Vladimir Putin, and support Donald Trump insofar as his policies align with Russia's goals.
College and Department
Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Terry, Devon K., "Linguistics of Russian Media During the 2016 US Election: A Corpus-Based Study" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9154.
corpus, russian, linguistics, sentiment, embeddings, media, election, 2016, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump