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Exploring discourse and ideology through corpora


Edited By Miguel Fuster Márquez, José Santaemilia, Carmen Gregori-Signes and Paula Rodríguez-Abruñeiras

This book explores discourse mainly through corpus linguistics methods. Indeed, Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies has become a widely used approach for the critical (or non-critical) analysis of discourses in recent times. The book focuses on the analysis of different kinds of discourse, but most particularly on those which attempt to unveil social attitudes and values. Although a corpus methodology is deemed crucial in all research found here, it should not be inferred that a single, uniform technique is applied, but a wide variety of them, often shaped by the software which has been used. Also, more than one (qualitative or quantitative) methodology or drawing from various relevant sources is often called for in the critical analysis of discourses.

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‘We’ll watch TV and do other stuff’: A corpus-assisted discourse study of vague language use in online child sexual grooming: Nuria Lorenzo-Dus and Anina Kinzel

Nuria Lorenzo-Dus and Anina Kinzel


In 2014 the UK child protection charity National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) launched the campaign ‘A Flaw in the Law’, demanding that it be made a criminal offence for an adult to send a sexual message to a child. The campaign was successful, contributing to changes made to Section 15A of the ‘Sexual Offences Acts’ (2003) that, from 3rd April 2017, would:

criminalise a person aged 18 or over who intentionally communicates with a child under 16, who the adult does not reasonably believe to be 16 or over, if the communication is sexual or if it is intended to encourage the child to make a communication which is sexual. The offence will be committed whether or not the child communicates with the adult.1

The relevance of these legislative changes to the present study is two-fold. Firstly, they concern communication, specifically the communicative act of an adult sending a message to a child for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification. The message may be ←189 | 190→written language and/or images; it may be sent via different media, including the Internet. This is crucial given that online child sexual grooming (OCSG, hereafter) is an Internet-enabled communicative process of entrapment (see Section 2). Secondly, the offence of sexual communication with a minor covers messages in which sexual intent is conveyed but does not state that sexual intent needs to be explicitly stated. Again, this is important because some victims of OCSG struggle to...

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