Book Chapter

Overlooked text types: From fictional texts to real-world discourses


Behind the enthusiastic adoption of corpus-based approaches in discourse research lies the promise of an ability to explore data more completely and representatively. Traditional methods in discourse studies were primarily designed for delicacy and richness; given the complexity of the links between language use and its social context, and the wide range of linguistic features in which these links are expressed, research tended to focus on the ‘detailed analysis of a small number of discourse samples’ (Fairclough 1992: 230). But the depth afforded by such approaches places corresponding limits on breadth of coverage: examining particular excerpts in such detail is only possible at the expense of overlooking everything else that goes on in a given discursive practice. The ‘fragmentary [and] exemplificatory’ nature of the evidence that can be thus gathered poses considerable problems for generalisation (Fowler 1996: 8). When texts and features for analysis are selected on the basis of the researcher’s intuitive judgement (Marchi & Taylor 2009: 3), there is no guarantee that they truly represent the distinctive patterns that characterise a discourse (Stubbs 1997).

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Lischinsky, Alon

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of History, Philosophy and Religion


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-10-13

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Overlooked text types: From fictional texts to real-world discourses
This RADAR resource is Part of Corpus approaches to discourse: A critical review


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