Self-References in English Press Releases of Indonesian Coal Mining Companies

Emma Natasha Octoveria(1), Tofan Dwi Hardjanto(2*)

(1) English Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(2) English Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


Corporate press release is a pivotal public relation tool, especially for those operating on a mass scale and have high risks, such as for coal mining companies. They are aimed to effectively function in both maintaining a good public image and minimize public backlash regarding companies’ operation. Considering the importance of press releases, how companies employ careful linguistic choices in press releases is worth exploring. One of the aspects to analyze is the use of self-references, in both forms and the use. In this research, the forms of self-references in corporate press releases are investigated. The metadiscourse functions of self-references employed in their press releases also become matters of discussion. The data were obtained from English press releases of two Indonesian coal mining companies, PT Adaro Energy Tbk (Adaro) and PT Bumi Resources (Bumi) from the year 2019 to 2020. These data were quantitatively analyzed with a concordance software named WordSmith Tool (Scott, 2004) that enables a concordance feature to discover the frequencies of self-references used by Adaro and Bumi in their press releases. To discover the use of self-references used by Adaro and Bumi in their press releases, a qualitative analysis was conducted. Specifying on the metadiscourse functions, a taxonomy of writer-reader interactions by Adel (2006) was employed. The result shows that forms of self-references in press releases of Adaro and Bumi are different, despite both operating under the same industry. Moreover, it is discovered that different forms of self-references in press releases are used differently in metadiscourse functions.


press releases; pronouns; self-references; metadiscourse functions

Full Text:



Ädel, A. (2006). Metadiscourse in L1 and L2 English. John Benjamins Publishing.

Andsager, J. L., & Powers, A. (1999). Social or Economic Concerns: How News and Women’s Magazines Framed Breast Cancer in the 1990s. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 76(3), 531–550.

Beattie, V., Dhanani, A., & Jones, M. J. (2008). Investigating Presentational Change in U.K. Annual Reports: A Longitudinal Perspective. In Journal of Business Communication (Vol. 45, Issue 2, pp. 181–222).

Breeze, R. (2013).Corporate discourse (1st ed.). Bloomsbury Academic.

Catenaccio, P. (2008). Press releases as a hybrid genre: Addressing the informative/promotional conundrum. Prague Medical Report, 18(1), 9–31.

Crystal, D. (2004). Making sense of grammar. Longman.

Flowerdew, J., & Wang, S. H. (2015). Identity in Academic Discourse. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 81–99.

Fortanet, I. (2004). The use of “we” in university lectures: reference and function. In English for Specific Purposes (Vol. 23, Issue 1, pp. 45–66).

Gee, J. P. (2005). An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method. Psychology Press.

Harwood, N. (2007). Political scientists on the functions of personal pronouns in their writing: An interview-based study of “I” and “we.” Text & Talk, 27(1), 163.

Hymes, D. (1972). On Communicative Competence. In J. Pride & J. Holmes, Sociolinguistics: Selected Readings (pp. 269-293). Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Jacobs, G. (1999a). Self-reference in press releases. In Journal of Pragmatics (Vol. 31, Issue 2, pp. 219–242).

Jacobs, G. (1999b). Preformulating the News: An Analysis of the Metapragmatics of Press Releases. John Benjamins Publishing.

Jaworska, S. (2020). Corporate Discourse. In The Cambridge Handbook of Discourse Studies (pp. 666–686).

Kuo, C.-H. (1999). The Use of Personal Pronouns: Role Relationships in Scientific Journal Articles. English for Specific Purposes, 18(2), 121–138.

Land, V., & Kitzinger, C. (2007). Some uses of third-person reference forms in speaker self-reference. Discourse Studies, 9(4), 493-525. doi: 10.1177/1461445607079164

Levinson, S. C. (1983). Pragmatics (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Maleková, D. (2013). Self-reference in the Leads of Institutional Press Releases. In Brno Studies in English (Vol. 39, Issue 1, pp. 41–58).

Östman, J.-O., Verschueren, J., & Versluys, E. (2007). Handbook of Pragmatics. John Benjamins Publishing.

Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English language. London: Longman.

Schneider, K. P., & Barron, A. (2014). Pragmatics of Discourse. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.

Scott, M., 2004, WordSmith Tools version 4, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 0-19-459400-9.

Skorczynska, H. (2020). “We are prepared to play our part…”: A case study of the use of first-person references in e-releases from two oil companies. Journal of Pragmatics, 155, 1–14.

Suchman, M. C. (1995). Managing Legitimacy: Strategic and Institutional Approaches. In The Academy of Management Review (Vol. 20, Issue 3, p. 571).


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1107 | views : 905


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Emma Natasha Octoveria, Tofan Dwi Hardjanto

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lexicon Office

English Department
Faculty of Cultural Sciences,
Universitas Gadjah Mada
Soegondo Building, 3rd Floor, Room 306
Yogyakarta, Indonesia 55281
Telephone: +62 274 513096

ISSN: 2746-2668 (Online)

Web Analytics View Stats

Creative Commons License
LEXICON is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lexicon is indexed in


About UsSubmissionIssuePoliciesReview