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Discourse Studies – Ways and Crossroads

Insights into Cultural, Diachronic and Genre Issues in the Discipline

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Edited By Karolina Bros and Grzegorz Kowalski

The volume brings together papers emerging from the GlobE conference (University of Warsaw). The authors explore major topics in Discourse Studies, offering insights into the field’s theoretical foundations and discussing the results of its empirical applications. The book integrates different lines of research in Discourse Studies as undertaken at academic centres Europe-wide and beyond. In this diversity, the editors identify certain dominant lines of study, including (new) media discourse, political discourse in the age of social/digital media, or professional discourse in globalized workplace contexts. At the same time, the volume shows that Discourse Studies not only investigate emerging language phenomena, but also critically reassess research issues formerly addressed.

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A diachronic corpus-assisted study of climate change discourse in annual reports by British Petroleum (Oleksandr Kapranov)

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Oleksandr Kapranov

University of Bergen, Norway

A diachronic corpus-assisted study of climate change discourse in annual reports by British Petroleum

Abstract: This article presents the results of a diachronic corpus-assisted study of climate change discourse in annual reports by British Petroleum (BP). It focuses on how the issue of climate change has been framed by BP in its annual reports (ARs) within the timeframe 2006–2015, and whether quantitative changes in word frequencies pertaining to the issue of climate change are reflected in this framing. The corpus used in the study involves ARs available online to the general public (at www.bp.com), with the following ARs’ subsections selected for the analysis: “The Chairman’s Letter”, “The Chief Executive Officer’s Letter” and the subsection “Climate Change”. The quantitative analysis was executed by means of the computer program WordSmith (Scott, 2015) to identify word frequencies, which are further analyzed in the SPSS statistical package. The analysis reveals that BP’s framing of the issue of climate change involves discursive constructions which are diachronically stable. The results of the statistical analysis indicate that whilst some variation in word frequencies is observed over time, it is not statistically significant. These results are indicative of BP’s diachronic view of climate change as a topical issue which is constantly present in the corporation’s ARs from 2006 onwards.

1. Introduction

Climate change is a global problem, which is represented in discourse by national and transnational actors (Fl...

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