Research Article

A Corpus-based Study of Stance Adverbs in TED Scientific Talks


  • Weiqi Wang Postgraduate student of School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China


As an important part of interpersonal communication, stance adverbs are used to express the speakers’ opinions, attitudes and style of delivery. However, stance adverbs in spoken registers have not received enough attention. This study analyzed the stance adverbs in TED scientific talks, with a particular focus on the most common certainty stance adverb really. This research is based on a self-built corpus composed of 80 TED talks in science and technology categories from 2017 to 2022, with a total number of 161,523 words. The findings indicated that epistemic stance adverbs, particularly certainty adverbs, were the most frequently employed category. The results also revealed that speakers of TED scientific talks tended to adopt really in the medial position in the clause. Meanwhile, really was mainly used to emphasize and express factual truth. The purpose of this study is to complement the existing research on stance adverbs in the spoken registers and provide suggestions for public speaking in academic discourse.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

6 (3)





How to Cite

Wang, W. (2023). A Corpus-based Study of Stance Adverbs in TED Scientific Talks. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 6(3), 189–198.



corpus, stance adverbs, TED talks, science and technology