This week's corpus research seminar comes from Carmen Dayrell: 

What do British newspapers mean when they talk about droughts? Examining 25 years of discourse, 1990-2014

This study combines Critical Discourse Analysis with Corpus Linguistics and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to explore British media discourses surrounding drought events that took place in Britain between 1990 and 2014. In this talk, I will discuss the methodological challenges involved in compiling a newspaper corpus on droughts events in Britain specifically. It required dealing with the frequent metaphorical use of the word “drought”, which posed a problem for the automatic collection of texts. Another challenge was the fact that newspapers do not discuss drought within the context of Britain only, thus identifying where the drought happened was a key issue in the analysis. I will conclude by presenting my initial results and exploring public discourses surrounding drought and attitudes to water shortage.


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