Eye language – body part collocations and textual contexts in the nineteenth-century novel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The description of body language is an important authorial
technique of characterisation. In this chapter, we offer a corpus
linguistic approach to the study of body language that enables
us to combine detailed qualitative analysis with the observation of
more general textual patterns. We take the example of the body
part noun eyes to identify patterns of non-verbal communication.
Our approach centres on the comparison of collocation across fictional
speech, narration and suspensions, as a means to identify
local textual functions of eye language. The general principles we
demonstrate are applicable beyond the example of eyes to the study
of body part nouns more generally. The analysis employs the CorporaCoCo
R package, the web application CLiC, and it also makes
use of semantic annotation with the USAS tagger.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhraseology and Stylistics of Literary Language/Phraséologie et stylistique de la langue littéraire
EditorsLudwig Fesenmeier, Iva Novakova
Publication statusPublished - 2020