Chapter

Investigating <i>anti</i> and some reflections on Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS)

Alan Partington

in Corpora

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780748640607
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671502 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640607.003.0005
Investigating anti and some reflections on Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS)

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In this chapter, WordSmith Tools 5.0 (Scott, 2008) and Xaira are employed to examine the prefix anti, its collocates, contexts and quantitative profile in the SiBol corpus. First, the problems involved in investigating a prefix are discussed, followed by an examination of the anti prefix itself. Although the overall proportion of anti prefixing has remained fairly similar over time, (unlike pro which has decreased), there are key changes in the stems or ‘targets’ of the prefix which reflect changes in social and political concerns. Among the findings are changes in the way that antibiotics are talked about, and an increase in the discourse about products designed to deal with age-related problems. The study also examines co-texts and contexts of anti terms expressing opposition to groups distinguished by their nationality, religion or ethnic origins, and differences in the ways such opposition is constructed. The analysis illustrates how modern diachronic corpus-assisted discourse studies (MD-CADS) can contribute to research into socio-cultural and political language and highlights the value of investigating prefixes.

Keywords: Corpus linguistics; MD-CADS; discourse analysis; diachronic; newspaper discourse; English prefixes

Chapter.  11842 words. 

Subjects: Computational Linguistics

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