Denise Milizia – Università degli Studi di Bari

Phraseology in Political Discourse
A Corpus Linguistics Approach in the Classroom

Collana «Lingue di Oggi»
15,5 x 22 cm – pagg. 174 – 2012 – € 29,00
ISBN 978-88-7916-598-3

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CONTENTS: Acknowledgements Foreword — CHAPTER 1. Introduction: 1.1. A different way of looking at language - 1.2. Corpora used in this book - 1.3. Structure of the book — CHAPTER 2. Corpus Linguistics: 2.1. Corpus Linguistics at work - 2.2. Corpora at work - 2.3. Comparable and parallel; written and spoken - 2.4. Politics at work — CHAPTER 3. Corpora in the classroom: 3.1. Processing politicians’ speeches with WordSmith Tools - 3.2. Do pedagogic texts “get things wrong”? - 3.3. The passive voice — CHAPTER 4. Collocation, colligation, semantic prosody, semantic preference: 4.1. The lexical company words keep - 4.2. The grammatical company words keep - 4.3. The semantic colouring of words - 4.4. The semantic preference of words — CHAPTER 5. Friendship among words: phraseology in politics: 5.1. The phrase, the whole phrase, nothing but the phrase - 5.2. At one end of the continuum - 5.3. Around half of the continuum: the case of mind - 5.4. At the very end of the continuum - 5.5. Continuous and discontinuous phrasal frameworks - 5.6. Most common clusters in the spoken political corpus — CHAPTER 6. Phrasal verbs in politics: 6.1. Verbs and particles in ABC - 6.2. Combinations of give + particle - 6.3. Two-word phrasal verbs - 6.4. Three-, four-, and five-word verbs - 6.5. Most common phrasal verbs in the spoken political corpus — CHAPTER 7. Conclusion — References.

The book starts from the assumption that the attraction between words is a matter of convention, that is, certain words significantly prefer each other’s company whether in adjacent or in discontinuous phrasal frameworks, other words just do not co-occur because they have no relationship with each other, and certain words are prohibited from co-occurring for no apparent reason other than habit. Thus, the investigation concerns not only those phrases which are obviously conceived as idiomatic, but also those which are not intuitively felt as such and which co-occur more often than chance would predict. This study highlights clearly that lexis and grammar are closely interdependent and that patterns, collocations, phraseology are the norm in language and not the exception, the core and not the periphery. After a short introduction to Corpus Linguistics and to how this applied discipline can illuminate language teaching, and after a brief account of the several different kinds of corpora that we rely on in our classrooms, this work presents a detailed investigation of some structures that appear very frequently in spoken political discourse, as well as in general spoken discourse, but are nevertheless somewhat overlooked in traditional reference texts. It also analyses first the most recurrent clusters in the speeches of British and American politicians, and then the most common as well as the most typical phrasal verbs, so frequently used by native speakers yet so commonly «avoided» by non-native speakers. The book is aimed at students, as well as at teachers and researchers, with the attempt to help provide some domain-specific insights on the teaching of political language as well as of general language. It tries to answer these basic questions: how idiomatic is language, and political language in particular? How aware are students of such idiomaticity? How far do traditional reference books and dictionaries tend to be from the language which is taught in class? How useful are corpora in the classroom? All the examples provided are uttered by political leaders in the UK and in the USA from 2001 to 2011.

Denise Milizia teaches English at the Department of Political Science at the University of Bari. Her research interests lie in the contrastive analysis of British, American and Italian phraseology, in particular in the language of politics and in the legal language of European documents. Her latest publications include Phraseology in EU documents: a comparable and parallel investigation (RILA, 2011), and How to get the message across: A corpus-driven investigation of Barack Obama’s political discourse (Franco Angeli, 2011). She is assistant-editor of the international journal ESP Across Cultures.

Dello stesso autore: Lexis and Grammar in Spoken and Written Discourse (2016); L'Unione Europea tra pandemia, nuove crisi e prospettive future (2023) e Lingue Culture Mediazioni / Languages Cultures Mediation (LCM Journal) - Vol. 10, No. 2 (2023). The Covid-19 crisis and its challenges on social issues / Covid-19: crisi e sfide nella società (2023).


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