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Corpus-based studies on language varieties


Francisco Alonso Almeida, Laura Cruz García and Víctor González-Ruiz

This volume brings together a number of corpus-based studies dealing with language varieties. These contributions focus on contemporary lines of research interests, and include language teaching and learning, translation, domain-specific grammatical and textual phenomena, linguistic variation and gender, among others. Corpora used in these studies range from highly specialized texts, including earlier scientific texts, to regional varieties. Under the umbrella of corpus linguistics, scholars also apply other distinct methodological approaches to their data in order to offer new insights into old and new topics in linguistics and applied linguistics. Another important contribution of this book lies in the obvious didactic implications of the results obtained in the individual chapters for domain-based language teaching.
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A corpus-based genre analysis of art museum audio descriptive guides


1.  Introduction

Following the principles of New Museology (Marstine 2006; Hooper- Greenhill 2007) and Critical Museology (Santacana-Mestre and Hernández-Cardona 2006), museums are nowadays conceived of as communication tools at the service of society and the community. This fosters visitors’ participation in the construction of knowledge, and fulfils an important role in social integration. Additionally, the social movements organised by people with disabilities in the past decades have led to a fundamental change from a Medical model to a Social model of disability, which posits that disability is not exclusively due to a person’s impairment, but also due to the barriers imposed on access by a society that limits impaired people’s equal participation in social life (Barnes and Mercer 2010: 30). These movements have also prompted important international and national legislation approved to guarantee equal access and universal accessibility (USA 1990; UN 2006; Spain 2011; UK 2010). In this context, museums around the world are increasingly aware of the need to implement resources that allow visitors with different capabilities to access and participate in the museum experience. Although the number of museums with access programs and resources for different types of visitors is still limited (Soler Gallego 2012: 43), they have proliferated in recent years thanks to the joint efforts of museum professionals, companies specializing in accessibility and organisations of people with disabilities. One of the accessibility resources used by these museums to facilitate visually impaired visitors’ access to their collections is verbal description (VD). ← 145...

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