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Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies

Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies: Corpora Volume 5, Number 2

Alan Partington
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 128
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  • Book Info
    Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies
    Book Description:

    This volume contains a collection of papers pertaining to the SiBol corpora, which consist of British broadsheet newspapers from the years 1993 and 2005. In order to examine diachronic variation, the papers compare the two sets of corpora using techniques such as keyword analyses, and targeted searches of terms like moral, ethics and science. The papers are from the field of Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) which combines a quantitative, statistical approach with a more qualitative approach typical of discourse analysis. Using such large corpora, the authors are able to study not only grammatical developments over time but also variations in lexical and phrasal preferences. This enables us to observe changes in newspaper prose style over the period (which reflect shifting relationships between newspapers and their readerships as well as perhaps overall changes in language) and also perform various sorts of content analyses, that is, examine new - and older - attitudes to social cultural and political phenomenon, as construed and projected by the mainstream UK quality (or ‘blacktop’) press.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-7941-6
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[ii])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [iii]-[iv])
  3. Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS) on UK newspapers: an overview of the project
    (pp. 83-108)
    Alan Partington

    Diachronic corpus linguistics is, of course, nothing new. Extensive use has been made of the celebrated Helsinki Diachronic Corpus of English Texts, which contains about 1.5 million words of English in the form of 400 text samples dating from the eighth to the eighteenth centuries. It is divided into three main periods, namely, Old, Middle and Early Modern English.

    Other important diachronic collections are the Lampeter Corpus of early Modern English, incorporating over one million words of pamphlet literature between 1640 and 1740 and the ARCHER corpus containing texts in both British and American English from 1650 to 1990 (McEnery...

  4. Newspaper discourse informalisation: a diachronic comparison from keywords
    (pp. 109-138)
    Alison Duguid

    A word list at first sight is a confusing animal, with its high-frequency items rising up like tusks and its hapax legomena lying as flat as fur; its patterns are weird and wonderful. Beneath the surface though its DNA reveals numerous regularities which can be useful to language researchers searching for patterns of importance in their own text corpora.

    (Scott and Tribble, 2006: 31)

    In his consideration of the effects of corpus-based methods on language study, Mike Scott mentions two causes of what he calls an ‘upheaval’ (Scott and Tribble, 2006: 5): the first are the technological innovations that permit...

  5. Evidence of evidentiality in the quality press 1993 and 2005
    (pp. 139-160)
    Caroline Clark

    The news story is popularly considered to be a means of transferring ‘knowledge’ about current situations and events to the reader-knowledge which may be intact, as recounted or witnessed, or may be manipulated by the writer. Despite claims to the contrary, particularly from within the industry itself, inherent in news reporting is the potential to influence the readers’ beliefs and knowledge of the world, the way it is and the way it ought to be (see, among others, White, 2006; Hartley, 1982; Fowler, 1991; Iedema et al., 1994; and Fairclough, 1995). A news story can position the reader to take...

  6. ‘The moral in the story’: a diachronic investigation of lexicalised morality in the UK press
    (pp. 161-190)
    Anna Marchi

    Morality is an inescapable feature of mortality. Adam becomes the protagonist of the Bible story the moment he becomes a moral being–and a mortal, fully human, being–by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In recent times, Steven Pinker, in advocating the notion of a universal moral grammar, similarly links human moral instinct to the very conception of the meaning of life:

    Moral goodness is what gives each of us the sense that we are worthy human beings. We seek it in our friends and mates, nurture it in our children, advance it in our...

  7. Investigating anti and some reflections on Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS)
    (pp. 191-220)
    Alison Duguid

    This paper is an expanded version of research that formed part of a two-year interdisciplinary project at the Faculty of Political Science University of Siena entitled In the Eyes of the Beholder: Anti-Americanism in Western Europe and the United States during the Iraq Crisis which involved the compilation of a corpus based on the search term anti-Americanism over the period 1999 to 2007 in twelve different newspapers in Britain and the USA. In preparation for a project seminar, a longer time span was considered, in which the terms anti-Americanism and anti-American were examined in the SiBol corpora. This analysis was...

  8. Science in the news: a diachronic perspective
    (pp. 221-250)
    Charlotte Taylor

    Unlike ‘science’, this new term–‘The Science’–is a deeply moralised and politicised category. Today, those who claim to wield the authority of The Science are really demanding unquestioning submission.

    In an article published in Spiked, the online magazine, in 2008, from which the extract above was taken, Frank Furedi argued that science, or, more specifically, the science, is increasingly being used as a dogmatic model of authority in all spheres of life. One advantage of taking a corpus-assisted approach to discourse analysis is that such hypotheses can be tested using large amounts of data. Therefore, the purpose of this...