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Explorations in Language and Linguistics

For Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday

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Edited By Łukasz Bogucki and Piotr Cap

This volume is dedicated to Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Head of the Department of English and General Linguistics at the University of Łódź, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. It includes texts written by his students, colleagues and friends, dealing with a variety of urgent, widely discussed topics in the contemporary language studies. Spanning contributions from language history, philosophy, rhetoric and argumentation, methodology, and discourse studies, it provides an authoritative outline of the field and a timely response to the existing challenges, thus making for a concise handbook of modern linguistics. It is recommended to graduate students of philology, as well as researchers working in linguistics and other disciplines within the broad spectrum of humanities and social sciences.

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Counting the Uncountable? Quantitative and Qualitative Methods of Analyzing Evaluative Language in Institutional Discourse. A Corpus Linguistic Perspective (Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski)

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Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski

Counting the Uncountable? Quantitative and Qualitative Methods of Analyzing Evaluative Language in Institutional Discourse. A Corpus Linguistic Perspective

Abstract: This chapter reviews current research devoted to the study of evaluative language in judicial discourse. It focuses on studies using corpora and computational tools in an attempt to consider the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a quantitative approach. It is argued that a corpus-assisted discourse analysis offers an optimal solution to the issue of encoding attitudinal meanings in institutional discourse.

Keywords: evaluative language, legal linguistics, judicial discourse, corpus linguistics

Introduction

The phenomenon of evaluation or evaluative language represents an area of difficulty for researchers, especially those who prioritize corpus linguistics as their principal method of investigation (cf Hunston 2011; Goźdź-Roszkowski & Hunston 2016). An obvious question that springs to mind is how such an elusive and context-dependent aspect of language could be amenable to investigation through corpus linguistics techniques. If we assume that evaluation should be associated with a meaning or a type of meaning rather than a form (cf. Hunston 2007), then any methodological perspective based on identifying and quantifying forms would be viewed as being of limited use. It is generally acknowledged that investigating evaluative language involves much more than identifying specific forms associated with an evaluative meaning and examining them in their immediate co-texts.

But even more daunting is the question of the context in which...

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