Hedges and Boosters in 19th century British Fiction


  • Fatma Yuvayapan Kahramanmaras Sütçü İmam University, Türkiye
  • Emrah Peksoy Kahramanmaras Istiklal University, Türkiye




hedges, boosters, gender, literature, fiction, nineteenth century


Hedges and boosters are two important sources of linguistic devices to express tentative evaluations and to mitigate solidarity with readers. Men and women have different tendencies of using these linguistic devices. Women are usually considered to follow a personal and polite style whereas men are more competitive and assertive. Hence, gender-preferential features of women and men are one of the prerequisites of understanding the functions of hedges and boosters. One relatively neglected aspect of gender-based studies of these linguistic devices is fiction. In this paper, we explored male and female English writers’ use of hedges and boosters in HUM19UK Corpus, a corpus of 19th century British fiction. We calculated a statistically significant overuse in the deployment of hedges and boosters by female writers in the 19th century, which is an indication of a new writing style adapted by the female writers in that era. However, the most common items of hedges and boosters were identical in both corpora.

Author Biographies

Fatma Yuvayapan, Kahramanmaras Sütçü İmam University, Türkiye

Fatma Yuvayapan is an associate professor at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, English Language Literature Department, Turkey, and has 14 years of experience as a lecturer at a state university. She holds an MA in English language teachers’ professional development and a Ph.D. in corpus linguistics, focusing on academic writing and metadiscourse. After a year in the Department of English Language and Literature at a state university, she joined the department of English Language and Literature as an associate professor at Kahramanmaraş Sütçü Imam University in 2023. Her research areas include English language teaching, pragmatics, and corpus linguistics, with a specific interest in academic writing and its linguistic features.

Emrah Peksoy, Kahramanmaras Istiklal University, Türkiye

Emrah Peksoy is an Assistant Professor at Kahramanmaraş Istiklal University, Turkey, specializing in English Literature. He holds a PhD in the field and teaches critical reading, literary translation, and theory at the Department of Translation and Interpreting. His research focuses on computational literary analysis, modernist aesthetics, non-humanism, distant reading, the theory of the novel, and contemporary literary theory. He has published extensively, including a recent book chapter on the intersection of distant reading and speculative realism in Post-Theories in Literary and Cultural Studies, as well as articles in various peer-reviewed journals.


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How to Cite

Yuvayapan, F., & Peksoy, E. (2023). Hedges and Boosters in 19th century British Fiction. English Studies at NBU, 9(2), 225–238. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.23.2.5