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Corpus approaches to Discourse analysis - unisi.it

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Corpus approaches to Discourse analysis
Lesson 2
Quick recap
Corpus approaches to discourse :authentic texts
corpus
Corpus From the Latin for ‘body’ (plural corpora), a corpus is a body of language representative of a particular variety of language or genre which is collected and stored in electronic form for analysis using concordance software.
Text
TextAs a count noun: a text is any artefact containing language usage - typically a written document or a recorded and/or transcribed spoken text. As a non-count noun: collected discourse, on any scale.
Collocation
Collocation A co-occurrence relationship between words or phrases. Words are said to collocate with one another if one is more likely to occur in the presence of the other than elsewhere.
colligation
Colligation More generally, colligation is co-occurrence between grammatically categories (e.g. verbs colligate with adverbs) but can also mean acooccurrencerelationship between a word and a grammatical category.
Concordances
Concordance A display of every instance of a specified word or other search term in a corpus, together with a given amount of preceding and following context for each result or ‘hit’.ConcordancerA computer program that can produce a concordance from a specified text or corpus. Modern concordance software can also facilitate more advanced analyses
Extracting meanings from concordance lines
Meanings through encounters•we learn the meaning of a word through our encounters with it•its grammatical category,• its collocations,• its colligations,• its syntactic preferences•Its textual preferencesItspragmatic associations
Concordance lines provide us with large numbers of occurrences. An accelerated exposure to many examples of the same thing at once.(language looks rather different when you look at a lot of it at once)We can identify underlying regularities by examining the co-texts(you can know a word by the company it keeps)
Scarf: data from online dictionaries:
Onlinedictionary.com–verb (used with object), verb (used without object)Slang. to eat, esp. voraciously (often fol. by down or up): toscarf downjunk food....Urbandictionary: scarf eat devour inhale consume gorge neck head sweater chow down munch...To pig out or 'down' food really fast and hastily. Iscarfed downthe burger....and used especially when time is of the essence.Slang, scarfed,scarf·ing, scarfs. To eat or drink voraciously; devour: "Americansscarf down50 million hot dogs on an average summer day" (George F. Will)...www.answers.com/topic/scarf-Free online dictionary: To eat or drink voraciously; devour: "Americansscarf down50 million hot dogs on an average summer day" (George F. Will)....www.thefreedictionary.com/scarf-7 Jul 2010...Youscarfed downa Big Mac. You inhaled the large fries. You slurped down that double milkshake. But now you have to explain your less than...digg.com/.../Ten_Excuses_For_Eating_at_McDonald_s-
suggestive
Onno account tell a salacious orsuggestivestory.these signals…Asuggestivelowering of eyelids could mean she desires youdingy screens, bare or with somewhat sexuallysuggestivemotifs on them'The game is not a blue movie but there are suggestive scenes.in the title is not a carrot, nor anything else remotelysuggestive., the display of pornographic or sexuallysuggestivematerial and makingsuggestivenoises.was to cross her legs in a smooth and television-suggestivemanner that makes it look. Men, moreover, appear to findsuggestivebehaviour less offensive.It is answered by the taped voice of a woman who, betweensuggestivemoans, relates in Spanish and in graphic detail
Procedures for reading concordances:
Initiate: Look at the words immediately to the right. Note any that are repeated. Do the same with the words immediately to the left. Decide on the strongest patterns and start there.Interpret. Look at the repeated words and try to forma a hypothesis that may link them, or most of them. For instance they may be of the same word class or they may have similar meanings
And then…
Consolidate. Look for other evidence that can support the hypothesis, single occurrences that come close to the criterion you have set up or structures that are different ways of expressing similar meanings. Look beyond the immediate word positions you started with, adjoining words or more distant ones.Report. When you have exhausted the patterns that you can observe and have revised your hypothesis, so that it is as flexible as it needs to be and as strong as it can be, write it out so you have an explicit, testable version for the future
And then…
Recycle. Now start with the next most important pattern in the vicinity of the node, on the other side probably. Go through the same steps as before. If there are signs of an underlying pattern that has not been brought out, make a tentative suggestionResult. Make a final list of hypotheses and link them in a final report on the node you started with.
Gamutthe nature of regularity and variation
The computer allows us to see regularity by gathering lots of instances and makes them easy to compare by arranging themRepeated words to the leftRepeated words to the rightSmall variations of positionFixed patternsPrepare a short account of the meaning and structure of the phrase aroundgamut.Then revise if necessary in the light of dataset 2
Reading concordances
Patterns emergeTechnological innovations […] permit us to plough through vast quantities of text in a short time and to reduce it or ‘boil it down’ to lists and concordance lines[…] the pattern-perceiving predisposition of the braincomes into play when it examinesthem(Scott& Tribble, 2006: 5).

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Corpus approaches to Discourse analysis - unisi.it