Teaching English literature and linguistics using corpus stylistic methods

Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Bridging Discourses. ASFLA 2007 Online Proceedings, 2008, pp. 1 - 13
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This paper reports on the teaching of an interdisciplinary undergraduate seminar on English linguistics and literature at the University of Augsburg (Germany). The focus of this seminar was 19th century womens fiction, with three novels discussed from literary and linguistic perspectives: Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice, Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, and Charlotte Brontës Jane Eyre. The paper describes the main corpus stylistic methods that were applied in the analysis of these three novels by the students (inspired by Stubbss 2005 outline of corpus linguistic methodologies in the study of literary texts). It is shown how keyword and collocation analyses (Scott 1999) can provide information on key themes of the novels, the construal of characters and socio-cultural attitudes prevalent in 19th century English society. The seminar is also evaluated in terms of its success, in particular with respect to interdisciplinarity and corpus stylistics.
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