Newspaper discourse informalisation: a diachronic comparison from keywords

Alan Partington

in Corpora

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640607
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671502 | DOI:
Newspaper discourse informalisation: a diachronic comparison from keywords

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This chapter provides a description of certain types of salient items found in the keyword lists of the SiBol 1993 and SiBol 2005 corpora with the objective of diachronic analysis of a particular text type, namely, that of British broadsheet newspapers. The keyword lists (see Partington, this volume: Section 2) are analysed in search of items that could be assigned to semantic sets, which could be glossed as hyperbole, vagueness and informal evaluation. The appearance of these sets in the keywords for 2005 seems to point to changes over time in newspaper prose style. The newspapers under consideration thus appear to have altered both in their function and in their relationship with their readership; and this is reflected in the salient lexis and its contexts of use. An increase in conversational and informal styles emerges, along with a notable increase in a particular kind of evaluative and promotional language as a result of a proportional increase in soft news, supplements and reviews.

Keywords: corpus-assisted discourse studies; discourse analysis; diachronic; news discourse; informalisation; vague language; hyperbole; evaluation

Chapter.  11957 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Computational Linguistics

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