Voices on immigration: A stance analysis of opinion articles in Russian-speaking newspapers

31 May 2024
Conference Room

Voices on immigration: A stance analysis of opinion articles in Russian-speaking newspapers

In the current context, immigration stands out as a prominent and widely debated issue in all major European newspapers, including Russian ones. This study aims to explore discussions around immigration by analysing the usage of Effective Stance (Marín-Arrese 2021a, 2021b) and Epistemic Stance (Boye 2012; Carretero et al. 2017) in opinion articles from Russian-speaking newspapers. The analysis focuses solely on opinion pieces published both within and outside the borders of Russia from specific newspapers, namely Novaya Gazeta, Izvestiya, Vesti, Zavtra, and Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Our manually annotated corpus comprises three sub-corpora from these newspapers, each containing 30,000 words, resulting in a total of 180,000 words. The corpus addresses three main topics: (1) refugees from Ukraine, (2) refugees from Syria/Middle East, and (3) illegal immigration in Europe. The objective is to assess whether the distribution of stance markers varies quantitatively and qualitatively based on factors such as the political orientation of the newspapers, the topic, and the position of the markers within the opinion articles. Based on language characteristics, we analyse the marker realizations of effective and epistemic stance in Russian, proposing a slight modification to the general scheme. The preliminary analysis indicates a predominance of epistemic stance over effective stance markers in opinion articles from both sets of Russian-speaking newspapers, irrespective of their political orientation, topic, or position in the text. However, we anticipate that the distribution of specific sub-categories within effective and epistemic stances may vary across the three domains.


Boye, K. (2012). Epistemic meaning: A crosslinguistic and functional-cognitive study. (Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 43). Berlin: De Gruyter.

Carretero, M., Marín-Arrese, J. I., & Lavid-López, J. (2017). Adverbs as evidentials: An English-Spanish contrastive analysis of twelve adverbs in spoken and newspaper discourse. Kalbotyra, 70, 32-59.

Marín-Arrese, J. I. (2021a). Stance, emotion and persuasion: Terrorism and the Press. Journal of Pragmatics, 177, 135–148.

Marín-Arrese, J. I. (2021b). Winds of War: Epistemic and effective control in political discourse. Cultura, Lenguaje y Representación, 26, 289-307.