Corpus stylistics, norms and comparisons: Studying speech in Great Expectations

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Abstract

This chapter situates corpus stylistics within wider trends in the digital humanities and emphasises the need for developing tools and visualisation methods tailored to the analysis of literary texts. Using the CLiC web app, the chapter shows how standard corpus linguistic methods can be further developed to better address research questions in literary stylistics. The analysis presents an innovative comparative approach to the identification of speech clusters in an individual fictional text—Dickens’s Great Expectations—as compared to larger corpora containing all of Dickens’s novels and authentic spoken language, respectively. This comparative perspective does not only emphasise differences between fictional speech and narration, but also considers overlapping patterns. The chapter links the notions of deviation and norms that are drawn on in literary stylistics to corpus linguistic comparisons of different corpora with particular emphasis on the fuzzy nature of linguistic categories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Language, Text and Context
Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Research in Stylistics in Honour of Michael Toolan
EditorsRuth Page, Beatrix Busse, Nina Nørgaard
Place of PublicationNew York & London
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter8
Pages123-143
Number of pages21
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9781351183215
ISBN (Print)9780815395768
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2018

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