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A Lexical Description of English for Architecture

A Corpus-based Approach

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Begoña Soneira

This book offers a thorough lexical description of an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) variety, English for Architecture, by means of a selfmade corpus. As other knowledge communities, Architecture practitioners have a distinctive discourse and a linguistic identity of their own. Both are conveyed through specific linguistic realizations, and are of considerable interest in the field of ESP. The corpus used was designed for the purpose of describing and analyzing the main lexical features of Architecture Discourse from three different perspectives: word-formation, loanword neology and semantic neology, which are the three main foundations of lexis. In order to analyze all materials a database of almost three thousand entries was produced, including a description and classification of every word from the corpus considered relevant for the analysis. Thanks to this methodology the lexical character of Architecture language is ultimately revealed in connection with the linguistic identity of its practitioners.
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1. Introduction

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1.  Introduction

Every knowledge community has a distinct type of discourse and a linguistic identity which brings together the ideas of that discipline. These are expressed through characteristic linguistic realizations, and are of considerable interest in the study of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) from many different perspectives. Despite the fact that ESP is a recent area of linguistic research, there is already a varied literature on academic and professional languages: English for law, business, computer and technology, advertising, marketing and engineering, just to mention a few. According to Dudley-Evans (1998: 19), the development of ESP arose as a result of general improvements in the world economy in the 1960’s, along with the expansion of science and technology. Other relevant factors were the growing use of English as the international language of science, technology and business, and the increasing flow of exchange students to and from the UK, US and Australia.

However, not all disciplines have received the same degree of attention from an ESP perspective, and the discourse of architects in English is one such case where comparatively little research has been done. Today architects as a broad group enjoy significant social influence, and their publically defined image is expressed through the language they use. There are some studies on the role of metaphor (Caballero 2002–2006) in the professional discourse of architects or on the sociocognitive dimension of learning the language of Architecture and Civil Engineering (Roldán et al 2011); however, to my...

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