Sentiment and confidence in financial english: A corpus study

J. Lachlan Mackenzie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the financial world, the words sentiment and confidence are frequently employed to invoke the feelings of an individual investor or of investors in general about the future movement of a share or of the stock market in general. The article focuses on the use of the two words in financial journalism by examining all instances of sentiment and confidence in the on-line Hong Kong Financial Services Corpus and explores the hypothesis that they will differ from each other in line with how they are deployed in ordinary usage. Drawing inspiration from functionally-oriented semantics and Appraisal Theory, the core of the article reveals how the two words are employed in clauses and noun phrases in the corpus. Our findings reveal that sentiment and confidence are to a very large extent used in financial parlance as though they were synonymous. The use of these terms reflects the writers’ awareness of the role of emotions as a vital constituent factor in decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-93
Number of pages14
JournalVestnik Rossiiskogo Universiteta Druzhby Narodov, Seriya Lingvistika
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Confidence
  • Emotion
  • Financial analysis
  • Grammar
  • Journalism
  • Semantics
  • Sentiment


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