Abstract

The current study explores the functional dimensions of the review genre published in Pakistani English newspapers. In this regard, a corpus of the book and the film reviews was compiled by collecting data of 1.1 million words from six English dailies, i.e., Dawn, Newsline, The Daily Pioneer, Pakistan Today, The Pakistan Times, and The Friday Times. The data was analyzed by using the Multidimensional Analysis Tagger (MAT, Nini, 2015). The software is designed on Biber’s (1988) theoretical framework of multidimensional (MD) analysis. Due to some methodological reasons, the study focuses only on the dimension D1, D3, and D5 to understand the cross-register variation in the book reviews and the film reviews. The results show that the Pakistani review genre, quantitatively, scores low on D1 but high on D3 and D5. Statistically, the book reviews were found to have values of -13.11, 5.69, and 1.37 for D1, D3, and D5, respectively. Similarly, the values for D1, D3, and D5 were found to be -12.36, 4.06, and 1.59, respectively. With the help of textual examples, the study delineates the important lexico-grammatical features that load on D1, D3, and D5. The lexico-grammatical patterns analysis reveals that the book reviews have high scores for D3 and D5 due to the frequent use of Verbs, Pronouns, and a low score on D1 due to the occasional use of Private Verbs, That-deletion, and Contractions. Moreover, comparatively, the study shows that the book reviews use more Nouns, Adjectives and long words frequently than the film reviews. It is expected that the findings of the current study will, at theoretical level, help future researchers to understand the functional dimensions of the review genre. The study is expected to enlighten the ESP course developers in designing the empirically informed syllabi at a practical level.