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Academic Paper

Title: Semantic Prosody for the 21st century: Are Prosodies Smoothed in Academic Contexts?
Paper URL:
Author: Bill Louw
Institution: University of Zimbabwe
Author: Carmela Chateau-Smith
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Université de Bourgogne
Linguistic Field: Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Semantic prosody was first investigated over twenty years ago. It describes the consistent aura of meaning that is created through the general tendencies of the set of collocates associated with the central node word. Sinclair proposed that the semantic prosody of a word or expression would form the outer boundary of the unit of meaning. Since then, many other names have been suggested to describe the phenomenon, including semantic preference and evaluative prosody.This paper summarises work presented in the earliest papers, and then examines new evidence of semantic prosody in specialised corpora. This indicates that semantic prosody is not monolithically positive or negative. It can sometimes be smoothed by certain impersonal scientific contexts. However the underlying polarity quickly rises to the fore in more fiercely debated work. Finally, suggestions for further studies and the development of an over-arching contextualist prosodic theory will be presented.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Louw, B., & Chateau, C. (2010). Semantic prosody for the 21st century: Are prosodies smoothed in academic contexts? A contextual prosodic theoretical perspective. In Statistical Analysis of Textual data: Proceedings of the tenth JADT Conference (pp. 754-764).
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