Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS) on UK newspapers: an overview of the project.


This edition of Corpora contains one of the first ever collections of papers pertaining to the nascent discipline of Modern Diachronic Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (MD-CADS). This discipline is characterised by the novelty both of its methodology and the topics it is, consequently, in a position to treat. It employs relatively large corpora of a parallel structure and content from different moments of contemporary time (in this case the SiBol corpora, see below) in order to track changes inmodern language usage but also social, cultural and political changes as reflected in language. In this overview, I will attempt to give an idea of what both corpusassisted discourse studies (CADS) and MD-CADS involve, to provide some information about the newspaper corpora we employ, and to outline methodologies commonly followed in this area, including those employed by the other contributors to this issue. I will also present two sets of practical analyses. The first is inductive and bottom-up, derived from a close analysis of the comparative keywords generated by comparing the lists of items from the two parallel corpora from different time periods; the aim is to uncover changes over time both in language and in what social, political and cultural issues were considered worthy of attention. The second is more intuitive and hypothesis-driven; the hypothesis is that an examination of a certain term, namely moral panic, can shed some light on which issues writers thought did not merit all the attention they were receiving. I will conclude with brief sketches of the other papers in this issue, and reflections on the relevance of MD-CADS in both language research and teaching

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Archivio istituzionale della ricerca - Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna

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