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The Perception of Nature in Travel Promotion Texts

A Corpus-based Discourse Analysis


Ida Ruffolo

Given the consolidated effects of the greening process on the tourism industry, this volume investigates the relationship between three areas of research – the natural environment, tourism and discourse –, and how this relationship is affected by and affects society as a whole. In particular, the book highlights the central role of language in constructing eco-friendly tourist sites. Since the images associated to nature are various, this study examines the uses of nature and explores how the terms nature and natural are constructed within the texts. The research identifies how nature is linguistically defined and constructed by advertisers in travel promotion texts in order to attract potential ‘green’ tourists. The study also analyses the promotion of protected areas to verify the extent to which these areas meet the criteria on sustainable tourism set by the World Tourism Organization.
By adopting a corpus-based discourse analysis perspective which combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book unravels the complex interrelationship between the environment, tourism and advertising.
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4 The Perception of Nature in the TPT Corpus


4 The Perception of Nature in the TPT Corpus

4.1 Introductory remarks

This chapter presents the results of the statistical analyses which were carried out in order to answer the research questions. The aim is to identify discourse from collocates through an analysis of the environment surrounding the two search terms nature and natural in order to verify their usage within the TPT corpus. The chapter is divided into sections which correspond to the different steps of both the quantitative and the qualitative analysis. The first section illustrates the results of the statistical analyses, while the subsequent sections focus on the results related to the three research questions.

4.2 Analysis

The analysis of the collocates around nature and natural aims to unmask the ideological discursive practices. The main idea is that a discourse not only reflects but also shapes social reality; therefore, “our social lives are constructed in and through language/discourse, whether in the moment-to-moment social interchanges of everyday talk or in the beliefs, understandings and principles that structure our lives” (Jaworski and Pritchard, 2005: 5).

As already mentioned, this study adopts a corpus-based approach which, as explained by Tognini-Bonelli (2001: 65), “avails itself of the corpus mainly to expound, test or exemplify [pre-existing] theories and descriptions”. In particular, I have chosen collocational analysis because the study of collocates contributes to the semantic analysis of a word (Sinclair, 1991), and the identification and examination of ← 49 | 50 → frequent associations of...

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