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LINGUIST List 19.1340

Mon Apr 21 2008

Diss: Disc Analysis/Text/Corpus Ling: Barrett: 'Extraordinary Rende...'

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        1.    Del Barrett, 'Extraordinary Renderings' in the War on Terror: A corpus-based study of lexical items in the German-speaking press


Message 1: 'Extraordinary Renderings' in the War on Terror: A corpus-based study of lexical items in the German-speaking press
Date: 21-Apr-2008
From: Del Barrett <del.barrett1btinternet.com>
Subject: 'Extraordinary Renderings' in the War on Terror: A corpus-based study of lexical items in the German-speaking press
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Institution: King's College London
Program: Department of German
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Del Amanda Barrett

Dissertation Title: "Extraordinary Renderings" in the War on Terror: A corpus-based study of lexical items in the German-speaking press

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

Subject Language(s): German, Standard (deu)

Dissertation Director:
Christian Fandrych
David Yeandle

Dissertation Abstract:

The War on Terror has seen a number of new lexical items, for example, axis
of evil, and a number of existing items that have undergone a
reorientation, for example, black sites. This study examines the way that
these items are treated in the German-speaking press. The first part of the
study details the construction of a forty-seven million word corpus taken
from German and Austrian news publications covering the War on Terror, from
11 September 2001 to 31 January 2006. The second part of the study
identifies the different German renderings for a number of the expressions
in the White House discourse, and examines the reasons determining the
choice of lexical items. The methodology is partly based on conventional
corpus interrogation methods, such as keyword and collocate analysis.
Additionally the technique of 'frame-tracing' is introduced, which
demonstrates how certain words combine to trigger an alternative framing of
the War on Terror.

The study shows that attitudes towards the War on Terror, as demonstrated
through the choice of rendering, move through three distinct phases. The
first, in the aftermath of the attacks on New York, shows solidarity with
the US. In phase II, whilst the language shows virtually full pragmatic
alignment, the framing of events makes a mockery of the war in Iraq. In
phase III, the US discourse is dominated by euphemism and the
German-speaking press makes no attempt to show alignment with the language.
Indeed, it chooses evaluative lexical items that indicate rejection of the
White House discourse. The events of this phase of the War on Terror are
framed in terms that are redolent of Germany's past.



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