Niladri Sekhar Dash


2 Combining Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis to Study Power Relations in Hindi Newspapers

Authors: Niladri Sekhar Dash, Vandana Mishra, Jayshree Charkraborty


This present paper focuses on the application of corpus linguistics techniques for critical discourse analysis (CDA) of Hindi newspapers. While Corpus linguistics is the study of language as expressed in corpora (samples) of 'real world' text, CDA is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of discourse that views language as a form of social practice. CDA has mainly been studied from a qualitative perspective. However, we can say that recent studies have begun combining corpus linguistics with CDA in analyzing large volumes of text for the study of existing power relations in society. The corpus under our study is also of a sizable amount (1 million words of Hindi newspaper texts) and its analysis requires an alternative analytical procedure. So, we have combined both the quantitative approach i.e. the use of corpus techniques with CDA’s traditional qualitative analysis. In this context, we have focused on the Keyword Analysis Sorting Concordance Lines of the selected Keywords and calculating collocates of the keywords. We have made use of the Wordsmith Tool for all these analysis. The analysis starts with identifying the keywords in the political news corpus when compared with the main news corpus. The keywords are extracted from the corpus based on their keyness calculated through statistical tests like chi-squared test and log-likelihood test on the frequent words of the corpus. Some of the top occurring keywords are मोदी (Modi), भाजपा (BJP), कांग्रेस (Congress), सरकार (Government) and पार्टी (Political party). This is followed by the concordance analysis of these keywords which generates thousands of lines but we have to select few lines and examine them based on our objective. We have also calculated the collocates of the keywords based on their Mutual Information (MI) score. Both concordance and collocation help to identify lexical patterns in the political texts. Finally, all these quantitative results derived from the corpus techniques will be subjectively interpreted in accordance to the CDA’s theory to examine the ways in which political news discourse produces social and political inequality, power abuse or domination.

Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Power Relations, Critical Discourse Analysis, Hindi newspapers

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1 Identification of Text Domains and Register Variation through the Analysis of Lexical Distribution in a Bangla Mass Media Text Corpus

Authors: Mahul Bhattacharyya, Niladri Sekhar Dash


The present research paper is an experimental attempt to investigate the nature of variation in the register in three major text domains, namely, social, cultural, and political texts collected from the corpus of Bangla printed mass media texts. This present study uses a corpus of a moderate amount of Bangla mass media text that contains nearly one million words collected from different media sources like newspapers, magazines, advertisements, periodicals, etc. The analysis of corpus data reveals that each text has certain lexical properties that not only control their identity but also mark their uniqueness across the domains. At first, the subject domains of the texts are classified into two parameters namely, ‘Genre' and 'Text Type'. Next, some empirical investigations are made to understand how the domains vary from each other in terms of lexical properties like both function and content words. Here the method of comparative-cum-contrastive matching of lexical load across domains is invoked through word frequency count to track how domain-specific words and terms may be marked as decisive indicators in the act of specifying the textual contexts and subject domains. The study shows that the common lexical stock that percolates across all text domains are quite dicey in nature as their lexicological identity does not have any bearing in the act of specifying subject domains. Therefore, it becomes necessary for language users to anchor upon certain domain-specific lexical items to recognize a text that belongs to a specific text domain. The eventual findings of this study confirm that texts belonging to different subject domains in Bangla news text corpus clearly differ on the parameters of lexical load, lexical choice, lexical clustering, lexical collocation. In fact, based on these parameters, along with some statistical calculations, it is possible to classify mass media texts into different types to mark their relation with regard to the domains they should actually belong. The advantage of this analysis lies in the proper identification of the linguistic factors which will give language users a better insight into the method they employ in text comprehension, as well as construct a systemic frame for designing text identification strategy for language learners. The availability of huge amount of Bangla media text data is useful for achieving accurate conclusions with a certain amount of reliability and authenticity. This kind of corpus-based analysis is quite relevant for a resource-poor language like Bangla, as no attempt has ever been made to understand how the structure and texture of Bangla mass media texts vary due to certain linguistic and extra-linguistic constraints that are actively operational to specific text domains. Since mass media language is assumed to be the most 'recent representation' of the actual use of the language, this study is expected to show how the Bangla news texts reflect the thoughts of the society and how they leave a strong impact on the thought process of the speech community.

Keywords: Mass Media, discourse, Variation, corpus, domains, lexical choice, Bangla, register

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