This paper is a corpus-driven study which aims to analyse phraseologies and recurrent word-combinations in spoken political discourse. The corpus used here is made up of the speeches of George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi during 2005. The words terror/terrore and terrorism/terrorismo and the clusters that these words create are investigated in American English, British English and Italian. Following Sinclair’s (1987) ‘idiom principle’ and Hoey’s (2004) ‘lexical priming’, the corpus shows that terror/terrore and terrorism/terrorismo do not lend themselves to creating multi-word units in an equal manner across languages and that Bush’s language seems to be, among the three, the one most inclined to create phraseologisms. This paper is an attempt to show that phraseology – in this case phraseology occurring in political discourse – varies across cultures: the data here suggest that the three cultures under investigation use, respectively, three distinct clusters to refer to the same event − war on terror, fight against terrorism and lotta al terrorismo − and that other variants such as war against terrorism, war against terror, fight against terror, guerra al terrorismo, lotta contro il terrore – albeit well-formed and grammatically correct (Chomsky 1957) – only rarely occur, thus confirming the idea that “something may be possible, feasible and appropriate and not occur” (Hymes 1972). The strength of attraction and repulsion between words shows that the freedom to combine words in text is much more restricted than is often realized (Stubbs 2001), and that although we are in principle free to say whatever we want, in practice we are constrained and influenced in many ways.

Classifying phraseology in a spoken corpus of political discourse

MILIZIA, DENISE
2006

Abstract

This paper is a corpus-driven study which aims to analyse phraseologies and recurrent word-combinations in spoken political discourse. The corpus used here is made up of the speeches of George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi during 2005. The words terror/terrore and terrorism/terrorismo and the clusters that these words create are investigated in American English, British English and Italian. Following Sinclair’s (1987) ‘idiom principle’ and Hoey’s (2004) ‘lexical priming’, the corpus shows that terror/terrore and terrorism/terrorismo do not lend themselves to creating multi-word units in an equal manner across languages and that Bush’s language seems to be, among the three, the one most inclined to create phraseologisms. This paper is an attempt to show that phraseology – in this case phraseology occurring in political discourse – varies across cultures: the data here suggest that the three cultures under investigation use, respectively, three distinct clusters to refer to the same event − war on terror, fight against terrorism and lotta al terrorismo − and that other variants such as war against terrorism, war against terror, fight against terror, guerra al terrorismo, lotta contro il terrore – albeit well-formed and grammatically correct (Chomsky 1957) – only rarely occur, thus confirming the idea that “something may be possible, feasible and appropriate and not occur” (Hymes 1972). The strength of attraction and repulsion between words shows that the freedom to combine words in text is much more restricted than is often realized (Stubbs 2001), and that although we are in principle free to say whatever we want, in practice we are constrained and influenced in many ways.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/17726
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