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Reading discourses through their phraseology: the case of Brexit

Buerki, Andreas ORCID: 2021. Reading discourses through their phraseology: the case of Brexit. Formulaic Language: Theories and Methods, Berlin: Language Science Press, pp. 141-170. (10.5281/zenodo.4727671)

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Abstract. That social, cultural and political events leave their mark on the language of the communities shaped by those events is well-established in the area of the lexicon (cf. 'cultural keywords'). More recently, it has been shown that phraseological phenomena like common turns of phrase or usual expressions of a speech community are also moulded by significant events in the life of that community. This chapter investigates the extent to which social discourses can crystalize and therefore become readable, in phraseology. The example used is that of the 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union which was an event that has resulted in a prolonged and on-going period of social, cultural and political change and uncertainty in the UK. The investigation is based on a large corpus of UK media texts and includes the presentation of a methodology for the identification of phraseological expressions in texts, and their comparison across time and topics. Findings in terms of aspects of the Brexit discourse revealed in its phraseology are discussed and comments relevant to phraseological theory are made, including a demonstration of pro-tem phraseology and the speed of phraseological development. Finally, three theses are put forward to progress the field of discourse analytical research: 1) phraseological patterns allow a deep and insightful reading of discourses, because 2) discourses crystallise in phraseology, and 3) phraseological theory explains why this is the case.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Additional Information: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Publisher: Language Science Press
ISBN: 9783961103102
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 August 2021
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 09:39

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