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Lexical features of political discourse: a corpus-based analysis of speeches about the European Union

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6 in which social context and the social purpose of communication are of basic importance. In his collection of texts (1957, in McEnery & Wilson 1996:23) he states: The central concept … is the context of situation. In that context are the human participant or participants, what they say, what is going on. The phonetician can find his phonetic context, and the grammarian and the lexicographer theirs. Firth’s ideas dominated much of British linguistics for the best part of a generation. In particular, the assumption that gave him much popularity between corpus linguists was that “attested language… duly recorded is in the focus of attention for the linguist” (1957, in McEnery & Wilson 1996:23). On the data side, his exhortation to study “attested language” inspired the studies of the so-called neo-Firthian linguists, such as Halliday and Sinclair, who worked on the tradition he established. Under the terminological aspect, Sinclair has given popularity to the Firth’s term of collocation (see Chapter 2, par.2.4.1). The neo-Firthian corpus linguists have also inspired the one of the largest programmes of research, namely the COBUILD project, carried out by Sinclair and his team from around the 1980s onwards. The COBUILD project and its associated corpus, the Bank of English are only two of the big corpora created as a response to the criticism of Chomsky about corpora being too small for most kind of language description. A last thing to say regarding the work of neo-Firthians is that it is based on the examination of complete texts and the construction of fairly open-ended corpora. The other tradition of corpus building relies instead upon sampling and representativeness to construct a corpus of a set size, which eschews the inclusion of complete texts within a corpus. This is, in general, the development of Corpus Linguistics across the years. Even if through the years a series of criticisms were made to corpus-based approaches to language studies, no one was necessarily fatal. Of course the criticism of Chomsky, among others, has helped to foster a more realistic attitude towards corpora today. In particular, his opposition to the fact that corpus seemed to consider it possible to reduce language to a finite sample, has contributed to shape and adapt the new approach of corpus linguists.

Anteprima della Tesi di Monica Cascone

Anteprima della tesi: Lexical features of political discourse: a corpus-based analysis of speeches about the European Union, Pagina 7

Tesi di Laurea

Facoltà: Lettere e Filosofia

Autore: Monica Cascone Contatta »

Composta da 168 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 2438 click dal 20/03/2004.


Consultata integralmente 5 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.