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Specialisation and Variation in Language Corpora

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Edited By Ana Diaz-Negrillo and Francisco Javier Diaz-Pérez

Corpus linguistics was initiated with the compilation and exploitation of native English reference corpora. Over the past years, corpus linguistics has experienced such a great expansion and specialisation that a variety of languages, registers, text types and speakers are now represented in language corpora. This volume intends to give evidence of the extraordinary expansion that corpus linguistics and language corpora have undergone. It focuses on emerging types of corpora and corpus techniques, and also presents corpus-based studies in areas which have benefited from the recent developments in corpus linguistics methods and techniques, including foreign language teaching, language acquisition, translation and terminology dialectology, lexicography and language variation. The volume comprises 11 papers on technical aspects of corpus data processing, on corpus-based linguistic research, and on emerging corpora. It is structured in three main sections, one for each of the three latter aspects.
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Strategies of persuasion in a 16th century Hungarian remedy book: Ágnes Kuna

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ÁGNES KUNA

Strategies of persuasion in a 16th century Hungarian remedy book

Abstract

A key part of medieval and early modern medication was to create a positive attitude in the patient. To this end, a variety of persuasion strategies were employed, which are well documented in available records of European medical texts, especially recipes. Their analysis reveals that the use of efficacy phrases correlates strongly with speaker involvement, the kind of knowledge being communicated and the peculiar features of medication at the time. These include such influences as Classical and Arabic medicine, philosophy, superstition, folk practices and religion, which are significant for their role in subjectivization/perspectivization and evidentiality.

The paper adopts a functional cognitive framework to explore strategies of persuasion in the digital corpus of Ars Medica, the earliest surviving medical book written in Hungarian. Ars Medica can be classified as a remedy book. Its six chapters contain a high number of efficacy phrases, which can be assigned to the (overlapping) conceptual groups of TESTEDNESS, USEFULNESS and CERTAINTY. Acts of persuasion are conceptualized from the speaker’s or a third person’s perspective. The former is often associated with high levels or personality and emotional involvement, while the latter is linked to prestige and the deferral of responsibility.

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