ArticlePDF Available

A useful methodological synergy? Combining Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics to examine discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press



This article discusses the extent to which methods normally associated with corpus linguistics can be effectively used by critical discourse analysts. Our research is based on the analysis of a 140-million-word corpus of British news articles about refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and migrants (collectively RASIM). We discuss how processes such as collocation and concordance analysis were able to identify common categories of representation of RASIM as well as directing analysts to representative texts in order to carry out qualitative analysis. The article suggests a framework for adopting corpus approaches in critical discourse analysis.
Discourse & Society
DOI: 10.1177/0957926508088962
2008; 19; 273 Discourse Society
McEnery and Ruth Wodak
Paul Baker, Costas Gabrielatos, Majid KhosraviNik, Michal Krzyzanowski, Tony
seekers in the UK press
and corpus linguistics to examine discourses of refugees and asylum
A useful methodological synergy? Combining critical discourse analysis
The online version of this article can be found at:
Published by:
can be found at:Discourse & Society Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Citations
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 273
Discourse & Society
Copyright © 2008
SAGE Publications
(Los Angeles, London, New Delhi
and Singapore)
Vol 19(3): 273–306
A useful methodological synergy?
Combining critical discourse analysis
and corpus linguistics to examine
discourses of refugees and asylum
seekers in the UK press
This article discusses the extent to which methods normally
associated with corpus linguistics can be effectively used by critical discourse
analysts. Our research is based on the analysis of a 140-million-word corpus
of British news articles about refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and
migrants (collectively RASIM). We discuss how processes such as collocation
and concordance analysis were able to identify common categories of
representation of RASIM as well as directing analysts to representative texts
in order to carry out qualitative analysis. The article suggests a framework
for adopting corpus approaches in critical discourse analysis.
KEY WORDS: asylum, critical discourse analysis, corpus, discourse historical
approach, discrimination, method, migrants
1. Introduction
This article describes and assesses the methodology used in the ESRC-funded
project Discourses of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK Press 1996–2006
(henceforth, the RAS project), namely a novel, integrative combination of
methodologies traditionally associated with corpus linguistics (CL) and critical
discourse analysis (CDA).
We understand CDA to be an academic movement, a
way of doing discourse analysis from a critical perspective, which often focuses
on theoretical concepts such as power, ideology and domination. We do not
view CDA as being a method nor are specific methods solely associated with
it. Instead, it adopts any method that is adequate to realize the aims of specific
CDA-inspired research. In general, however, many CDA practitioners have tended
to use qualitative techniques, as well as taking into account analysis of the
social, political, historical and intertextual contexts, which go beyond analysis
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
274 Discourse & Society 19(3)
of the language within texts. Nor do we view CL as a single method, rather it
utilizes a collection of different methods which are related by the fact that they
are performed on large collections of electronically stored, naturally occurring
texts. Many CL methods are quantitative and/or make use of statistical tests,
which are performed by computer software. However, most CL methods require
considerable human input, which often includes qualitative analysis (such
as examining concordance lines). We have therefore tried to avoid describing
CDA and CL as different ‘methods’ (but instead sometimes refer to methods
traditionally adopted by CDA practitioners or by corpus linguists).
Because both CL and CDA are informed by distinct theoretical frameworks,
their respective approaches to analysis are influenced by their informing
theoretical concepts.
The RAS project aimed to render explicit the interaction
between the various theories. Although this article focuses on the research syn-
ergy of CL and CDA (and more specifically, on the discourse–historical approach;
DHA), it will, perhaps unavoidably, also comment on the more general use of CL
techniques in what has been termed corpus-assisted discourse studies (CADS;
Partington, 2004, 2006). In examining the combination of methods normally
used by CDA and CL, we undertake to show that neither CDA nor CL need be
subservient to the other (as the word ‘assisted’ in CADS implies), but that each
contributes equally and distinctly to a methodological synergy.
More precisely,
we address the following interrelated questions.
1. What are the respective merits and limitations of methods of analysis tradi-
tionally used by CL and CDA when the focus is on issues that CDA traditionally
2. What should be the nature of such a methodological synergy?
3. How can the combination in research projects, and their potential theoretical
and methodological cross-pollination, benefit CDA and CL?
4. How helpful and/or justified is the distinction between what have traditionally
been termed quantitative and qualitative approaches in linguistics?
In focusing on the combination of CL and CDA techniques, it is not the
intention of this article to provide a detailed account of our research findings
relating to the construction of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press,
although we do describe some of our findings (Sections 6.4 and 6.5) in order to
make illustrative points as they relate to wider methodological issues. Section 3
gives a short description of the research project, while the quantitative findings
are more extensively discussed in Gabrielatos and Baker (2008); the qualitative
results are reported in KhosraviNik (forthcoming).
2. The use of corpora and CL techniques in (critical)
discourse studies
The use of methods associated with CL in order to carry out CDA is not a novel
practice (Krishnamurthy, 1996; Stubbs, 1994), particularly given that both
CL and CDA are relatively new movements in linguistics. Overall, the number of
such studies in proportion to the number of studies in CL or CDA is extremely
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 275
small. However, more recently, it seems that use of CL techniques is becoming
increasingly popular in critical approaches to discourse analysis. A case in point
is a recent relevant edited collection (Fairclough et al., 2007), in which almost
one in five articles is informed by corpus analysis.
Although the utility of using CL approaches in CDA and related fields has
already been demonstrated (Baker, 2004a, 2006; Hardt-Mautner, 1995; Koller
and Mautner, 2004; Mautner, 2000; O’Halloran and Coffin, 2004), it must also
be noted that, in most such studies, the use of methods and theoretical frame-
works traditionally associated with CDA and CL has not been balanced. Corpus-
based studies may adopt a critical approach, but may not be explicitly informed
by CDA theory and/or its traditional methods, or may not aim to contribute to
a particular discourse-oriented theory (Krishnamurthy, 1996; Stubbs, 1994).
Similarly, studies aiming to contribute to CDA may not be readily identifiable by
corpus linguists as being corpus-based/driven
(Fairclough, 2000; Kovács and
Wodak, 2003; Wodak et al., 1990), except for the seminal research by Gerlinde
Mautner in the 1990s. Overall, the latter type of study tends to make limited
or casual use of a corpus or corpus-based techniques. Sometimes, the corpus is
used as a repository of examples (Flowerdew, 1997), as opposed to the analysis
adhering to the ‘principle of total accountability’ (Leech, 1992: 112), that is,
accounting for all the corpus instances of the linguistic phenomena under
CDA studies making use of corpora have, in general, tended to
avoid carrying out quantitative analyses (see also Stubbs, 1997), preferring
to employ concordance analysis (Magalhaes, 2006).
When collocations (see Section 4) are examined within CDA research, they
are not usually statistically calculated, but established manually through sorted
concordances, and information regarding their statistical significance, the
collocation span, or any frequency thresholds, is not usually provided (Piper,
2000; Sotillo and Wang-Gempp, 2004). Such approaches may miss or disregard
strong non-adjacent collocates, or include non-significant collocates in the
analysis. In some cases, the corpus used is very small (e.g., 25,000 words; Clark,
2007), that is, it is at the lower end of the range defining small specialized corpora
(depending on the definition of ‘small corpus’).
This may be due to concerns that
in a large corpus ‘important features of the context of production may be lost
when using such [i.e. CL] techniques’ (Clark, 2007: 124), whereas a small corpus
can ‘be analysed manually, or is processed by the computer in a preliminary
fashion . . .; thereafter the evidence is interpreted by the scholar directly’ (Sinclair,
2001: xi). However, small corpora may lack some of the features in focus, or
contain them in too small frequencies for results to be reliable, particularly when
issues of statistical significance are not addressed. Ooi (2001: 179) suggests
that ‘the optimal size [of a corpus] can be reached only when the collection of
more texts does not shed any more light on its lexicogrammatical or discourse
patterning’; however, in the studies surveyed, there was no indication of such
a concern in the corpus-building process. Finally, the corpus compilation may
be flawed, in that the resulting corpus may not be representative (Meinhof and
Richardson, 1994, cited in Stubbs, 1997), or, in extreme cases, the corpus may
be biased (Magalhaes, 2006).
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
276 Discourse & Society 19(3)
However, there is a developing body of work which not only draws on both
CDA and CL, but also aims to do justice to both, such as the studies by Baker and
McEnery (2005) and Orpin (2005), as well as studies balancing CL and other
discourse-oriented theories/methodologies, such as conversational analysis
(Partington, 2003), moral panic theory (McEnery, 2006), sociolinguistics (Hardt-
Mautner, 1995; Mautner, 2000, 2007), evaluation/appraisal (Bondi, 2007),
stylistics (Semino and Short, 2004) and language and sexuality (Baker, 2004a).
The RAS project aimed to contribute to this paradigm. Ideally, the researcher(s)
involved would be both corpus linguists and (critical) discourse analysts. The
RAS project, arguably, adopted the next best solution: the collaboration of two
teams working within the discourse–historical approach in CDA (DHA) and CL
3. Description of the RAS project
The project aims were related to both subject matter and methodology. In terms
of the former, the project set out to examine the discursive presentation of re-
fugees and asylum seekers, as well as immigrants and migrants in the British
press over a 10-year period (1996–2005). For reasons of economy, refugees and
asylum seekers will be referred to by the acronym RAS, and immigrants and
migrants by the acronym IM, whereas all four groups together will be referred
to as RASIM. The analysis was concerned with both synchronic and diachronic
aspects, while also contrasting the discourse used by broadsheets versus tabloids
and national versus regional newspapers.
The main research questions
addressed were:
In what ways are RASIM linguistically defined and constructed?
What are the frequent topics of, or issues discussed in, articles relating to
What attitudes towards RASIM emerge from the body of UK newspapers seen
as a whole?
Are conventional distinctions between broadsheets and tabloids reflected in
their stance towards (issues relating to) RASIM?
As described earlier, it was sought to evaluate the utility of combining
methods normally associated with CDA, with those normally used by CL, in
order to ascertain the extent to which these approaches are complementary. A
parallel aim was to demonstrate that the terms ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’
may be more helpfully regarded as notional methodological extremes.
that end, and in order to ensure that the results of the two research strands
would be comparable, for the most part, the CL and CDA analyses were carried
out separately, although there were points where both researchers contributed
towards the analysis of each other, as described in Section 6.
3.2 DATA
Both strands used data from a corpus of 140 million words, compiled specifically
for the project, which comprised articles related to RASIM and issues of asylum
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 277
and immigration, taken from twelve national and three regional newspapers, as
well as their Sunday editions, between 1996 and 2005.
To aid the comparative
and diachronic aspects of the project, the corpus was also divided into a number
of sub-corpora, in terms of type of newspaper (broadsheets/tabloids, national/
regional) and year of publication (10 annual sub-corpora). Although the CL
made use of the whole corpus, given time and money constraints, a
similar approach was not feasible for the CDA analysis. The CDA analysis thus
was carried out on a sample of texts from the corpus, chosen in order to facilitate
comparability of the results of the two strands (Section 6.2 describes how a
sample of texts was selected for the CDA, through a novel sampling (downsizing)
methodology created by the CDA researchers of the team).
Before giving illustrative examples of the different types of findings that
the CL and CDA analyses uncovered, it is worth first outlining their respective
theoretical and methodological profiles (Sections 4 and 5).
4. Theoretical and methodological profile of CL
It could be argued that CL methods offer the researcher a reasonably high degree
of objectivity; that is, they enable the researcher to approach the texts (or text
surface) (relatively) free from any preconceived or existing notions regarding their
linguistic or semantic/pragmatic content. However, corpus-based analysis does
not merely involve getting a computer to objectively count and sort linguistic
patterns along with applying statistical algorithms onto textual data. Subjective
researcher input is, of course, normally involved at almost every stage of the
analysis. The analyst, informed by the quantitative aspects mentioned earlier,
has to decide what texts should go in the corpus, and what is to be analysed.
He/she then needs to determine which corpus-based processes are to be applied
to the data, and what the ‘cut-off’ points of statistical significance should be.
In corpus-assisted discourse analysis the researcher is normally required to
analyse hundreds of lines of concordance data by hand, in order to identify
wider themes or patterns in the corpus which are not so easily spotted via
collocation, key word or frequency analysis. The analyst then has to make sense
of the linguistic patterns thrown up via the corpus-based processes, usually
with reference to one or more theoretical frameworks.
As mentioned in the Introduction, CL methodologies are not uniform.
However, the techniques used in the RAS project are widespread in CL studies.
In many respects, the approach used was compatible with the ‘corpus-driven’
paradigm of CL research (Tognini-Bonelli, 2001). That is, the CL analysis
started with the examination of relative frequencies and emerging statistically
significant lexical patterns in the corpus and sub-corpora mainly involving the
four terms in focus: refugee(s), asylum seeker(s), immigrant(s), migrant(s),
and the close examination of their concordances. In fact, concordance analysis
was used to supplement all other methodological tools. Two theoretical notions,
and their attendant analytical tools, were central in the analysis: keyness and
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
278 Discourse & Society 19(3)
Keyness is defined as the statistically significantly higher frequency of par-
ticular words or clusters in the corpus under analysis in comparison with another
corpus, either a general reference corpus, or a comparable specialized corpus.
Its purpose is to point towards the ‘aboutness’ of a text or homogeneous corpus
(Scott, 1999), that is, its topic and the central elements of its content. In the
RAS project, a key word analysis was carried out to examine differences between
tabloids and broadsheets. As the topic of the corpus texts was known (RASIM
and/or issues of asylum and migration), the examination of the strongest
key words and clusters
in the two sub-corpora, combined with concordance
analysis, provided helpful indications of the respective stance towards RASIM
of the two types of newspaper. However, it may also be beneficial to examine the
keyness not only of word-forms, but also of lemmas, word families,
and, more
pertinently for this project, semantically/functionally related words (Baker,
2004b, 2006). By grouping together key words relating to specific topics, meta-
phors or topoi (as ascertained through concordance analysis), it was possible
to create a general impression of the presentation of RASIM in the broadsheets
and tabloids.
The definition of collocation adopted in the RAS project is the above-chance
frequent co-occurrence of two words within a pre-determined span, usually
five words on either side of the word under investigation (the node) (see Sinclair,
1991). The statistical calculation of collocation is based on three measures:
the frequency of the node, the frequency of the collocates, and the frequency
of the collocation. Because the collocates of a node contribute to its meaning
(Nattinger and DeCarrico, 1992), they can provide ‘a semantic analysis of a word’
(Sinclair, 1991), but can also ‘convey messages implicitly’ (Hunston, 2002). On
one level, collocation is a lexical relation better discernable in the analysis of
large amounts of data, and, therefore, it is less accessible to introspection or the
manual analysis of a small number of texts (Hunston, 2002). On another level,
the meaning attributes of a node’s collocates can provide a helpful sketch of the
meaning/function of the node within the particular discourse. At this point, we
need to introduce the concepts of semantic preference, and semantic/discourse
prosody (terms which are sometimes used inconsistently or interchangeably),
as they can be seen as the semantic extension of collocation. Semantic preference
refers to semantic, rather than evaluative, aspects; it is the relation ‘between a
lemma or word form and a set of semantically related words’ (Stubbs, 2001: 65).
For example, the two-word cluster glass of shows a semantic preference for the
set of words to do with cold drinks (water, milk, lemonade, etc.) Semantic pro-
sody is evaluative, in that it often reveals the speaker’s/writer’s stance; it is the
‘consistent aura of meaning with which a form is imbued by its collocates’ (Louw,
1993: 157). Discourse prosody, also evaluative, ‘extends over more than one
unit in a linear string’ (Stubbs, 2001: 65); Stubbs provides the example of the
lemma CAUSE, which ‘occurs overwhelmingly often with words for unpleasant
events’ (Stubbs, 2001). The notion of discourse prosody makes it explicit that
collocates need not be adjacent to the node for their meaning to influence that
of the node.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 279
The analysis of emerging significant lexis and lexical patterns was supple-
mented throughout with the examination of their concordances. A concordance
presents the analyst with instances of a word or cluster in its immediate co-text.
The number of words on either side of the word/cluster in focus can be usually
set to fit the researcher’s needs, and concordance lines can be expanded up to
the whole text. Also, concordance lines can be sorted in various ways to help
the analyst examine different patterns of the same word/cluster. Concordance
analysis affords the examination of language features in co-text, while taking
into account the context that the analyst is aware of and can infer from the co-
text. It is no wonder, therefore, that it has proven to be the single CL tool that
discourse analysts seem to feel comfortable using (see Section 2). In turn, this
indicates that CL is no stranger to ‘qualitative’ analysis (see also Section 6.3).
Furthermore, as concordance analysis looks at a known number of concord-
ance lines, the findings can be grouped (e.g., topoi related to a specific word or
cluster) and quantified in absolute and relative terms for possible patterns to be
identified (e.g., the tendency of words/clusters to be employed in the utilization
of particular topoi – see the following section).
A frequent criticism of CL is that it tends to disregard context (Mautner, 2007;
Widdowson, 2000). Mautner (2007) argues that ‘what large-scale data are
not well suited for . . . is making direct, text-by-text links between the linguistic
evidence and the contextual framework it is embedded in’. These criticisms
seem to stem from restricted conceptions of CL, and would apply more accur-
ately to CL studies that limit themselves to the automatic analysis of corpora,
and are of a descriptive rather than an interpretative nature. The examination
of expanded concordances (or whole texts when needed) can help the analyst
infer contextual elements in order to sufficiently recreate the context (Brown
and Yule, 1982). During language communication, addressees do not need to
take the full context into account, as according to the principle of local inter-
pretation, addressees need not construct a context more complex than that
needed for interpretation (Brown and Yule, 1982). In turn, the co-text provided
by the (expanded) concordances helps in ‘limiting the interpretation’ to what is
contextually appropriate or plausible (Brown and Yule, 1982: 59).
Having outlined the approach taken in the CL strand of the project, we now
turn to consider the theoretical and methodological stance taken by the CDA
component of the research in the discourse historical approach.
5. Theoretical and methodological profile of CDA
CDA provides a general framework for problem-oriented social research.
Every ‘text’ (e.g., an interview, focus group discussion, TV debate, press report,
or visual symbol) is conceived as a semiotic entity, embedded in an immediate,
text-internal co-text as well as intertextual and sociopolitical context (the
‘four-level-model’ of context in the DHA; Wodak, 2000, 2001). The DHA
thus takes into account the intertextual
and interdiscursive
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
280 Discourse & Society 19(3)
between utterances, texts, genres and discourses, as well as extra-linguistic
social/sociological variables, the history and ‘archaeology’ of an organization,
institutional frames of a specific context of situation and processes of text
production, text-reception and text consumption.
Van Dijk (2008) emphasizes that ‘the “core” of CDA remains the systematic
and explicit analysis of the various structures and strategies of different levels
of text and talk’. Thus, CDA must draw on specific approaches or concepts of
anthropology, history, rhetoric, stylistics, conversation analysis, literary studies,
cultural studies, semantics, pragmatics, philosophy and sociolinguistics when
approaching or investigating complex social phenomena.
Furthermore, CDA is informed by social theory and views discursive and
linguistic data as a social practice, both reflecting and producing ideologies in
society (of course, all scientific endeavour is socially committed, as Habermas,
1967, clearly illustrated for the social and natural sciences). In this way, all CDA
approaches have to be regarded not only as ‘tools’, but also as discourse theories
(Van Dijk, 2008; Wodak and Chilton, 2007).
CDA researchers are fundamentally interested in analysing opaque as well as
transparent structural relationships of dominance, discrimination, power and
control, as they are manifested in language. For CDA, language is not powerful on
its own – it gains power by the use people make of it and by the people who have
access to language means and public fora. In agreement with its critical theory
predecessors, CDA emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary work in order to
gain a proper understanding of how language functions in constituting and
transmitting knowledge, in organizing social institutions or in exercising power
in different domains/fields in our societies (Wodak, 2004a).
Very few linguistic forms have not, at some stage, been pressed into the ser-
vice of the expression of power, for example, by a process of syntactic or textual
metaphor. CDA analyses the ways in which such linguistic forms are used in
various expressions and manipulations of power and control (Chilton, 2004).
Power is signalled not only by grammatical forms within a text, but also by a
person’s control of a social occasion, by means of the genre of a text, or by ac-
cess to certain public spheres. It is often exactly within the genres associated
with given social occasions that power is exercised or also challenged (see, for
example, the investigation of organizational discourses in their hierarchical
structures and implied inclusion/exclusion patterns) (Blommaert, 2005;
Iedema, 2003; Krzyz˙anowski and Oberhuber, 2007; Muntigl et al., 2000;
Wodak, 1996, 2007a).
Those groups who are in control of most influential public discourses, that
is symbolic elites such as politicians, journalists, scholars, teachers and writers,
play a special role in the reproduction of dominant knowledge and ideologies
in society (Van Dijk, 2005). Because prejudices are not innate, but socially
acquired, and because such acquisition is predominantly discursive, the public
discourses of the symbolic elites are the primary source of shared ethnic
prejudices and ideologies (Van Dijk, 1993).
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 281
CDA theories argue that the theorization of context is constitutive for the
text analysis (see earlier; Fairclough and Wodak, 1997). In this way, ‘context’
cannot be reduced to exploring the seemingly ‘objective’ dimensions of the
broader locution of utterances (time, space, speakers, etc.); context has to be
perceived and interpreted so that speakers produce utterances they regard
as adequate and hearers interpret them due to their perceptions of context and
their schematic knowledge (Van Dijk, 2005). Hence, Van Dijk claims that we need
to assume ‘context models’ which allow (subjective) understanding of what is
said and meant in the interaction.
By contrast, a ‘critical’ analysis would not only be interested in accounting
for what linguistic elements and processes exist in a text or set of texts, but would
also need to explain why and under what circumstances and consequences
the producers of the text have made specific linguistic choices among several
other options that a given language may provide. That is, a critical analysis takes
into account absences as well as presences in the data (Kress and Van Leeuwen,
2001). This justifies the use of CDA rather than purely descriptive, data-driven
approaches which are epistemologically inadequate in accounting for the com-
plex linguistic choices made during the processes of text production.
The CDA component of our project was based on categories of analysis
taken from the discourse–historical approach in CDA (DHA). Created by Ruth
Wodak and collaborators at the University of Vienna, DHA combines theoretical
discourse studies with ethnographic fieldwork and interdisciplinarity. This
approach was first developed in order to trace the constitution of an anti-Semitic
stereotyped image, or ‘Feindbild’ as it emerged in public discourse (particularly
press reporting) in the 1986 Austrian presidential campaign of Kurt Waldheim
(Wodak, 2004b; Wodak et al., 1990).
Thus, the CDA approach we adopted focused on macro-structural cat-
egories (such as the specific genre) and on text-inherent categories developed
in the DHA approach of CDA for the analysis of positive self-presentation and
negative other-presentation (Reisigl and Wodak, 2001). These dimensions
include inter alia strategies employed for predication, labelling, argumentation,
perspectivation and intensification/mitigation (Table 1). Each of these strategies
is manifested textually through a number of linguistic indicators, such as spe-
cific lexical items to construct in-groups and out-groups, along with adjectives,
attributes, metaphors and the selection of verbs. In addition, argumentative
devices which legitimize constructions of RASIM were examined. The recon-
textualization of specific topoi
in the press could be made explicit as well as
the various perspectives of reporting (direct/indirect speech, meta-pragmatic
verbs, etc).
Two related criticisms of CDA concern the selection of texts to be analysed,
and their representativeness (Koller and Mautner, 2004; Stubbs, 1997).
The hidden danger is that the reason why the texts concerned are singled out for
analysis in the first place is that they are not typical, but in fact quite unusual instances
which have aroused the analyst’s attention. (Koller and Mautner, 2004: 218)
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
282 Discourse & Society 19(3)
TABLE 1. Strategies of positive self-presentation and negative other-presentation (adapted from Wodak, 2001)
Strategies Objective Devices Examples from the news corpus
Referential/Nomination Construction of in-groups and
Membership categorization
Biological, naturalizing and
depersonalizing metaphors and
‘. . . the pitiful convoy
‘. . . an army of 110,000 Iraqi
Predication Labelling social actors more
or less positively or negatively,
deprecatorily or appreciatively
Stereotypical, evaluative
attribution of negative or positive
Implicit and explicit predicates
‘Calais is still crawling with
asylum seekers trying to break
into Britain.’
Argumentation Justification of positive or
negative attributions
Topoi used to justify political
inclusion or exclusion,
discrimination or preferential
‘. . . if too many arrive in an
uncontrolled manner, the
structures of society in an already
overcrowded island cannot cope’
Perspectivation, framing or
discourse representation
Expressing involvement
positioning speakers’ point of
Reporting, description, narration
or quotation of events and
‘BRITAIN was warned last night
it faces a massive benefits bill
to pay for the looming influx of
immigrants . . .’
Intensification, mitigation Modifying the epistemic status of
a proposition
Intensifying or mitigating
the illocutionary force or
(discriminatory) utterances
‘. . . the politically correct dictators
of liberal fashion . . . will never
concede that most asylum-seekers
are economic migrants, rather
than people fleeing persecution.’
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 283
While CDA practitioners are explicit about their stance with regard to the subject
of their analysis, some could be accused of selecting texts which they either
incorrectly believe to be representative or have been chosen in order to ‘prove a
point’. Therefore, texts that present a more complex or even contradictory picture
might be overlooked.
CDA studies have also been criticized for analysing a small number of texts,
or short texts and text fragments (Stubbs, 1994, 1997). Stubbs (1994: 204) argues
that ‘some patterns of language use are not directly observable, because they are
realized across thousands or millions of words of running text, and because they
are not categorical but probabilistic’. A small-scale analysis may not be able to
identify which linguistic patterns are cumulatively frequent (and therefore likely
to represent powerful discourses) and those which are less frequent (and therefore
may constitute minority or resistant discourses). In reference to the media, for
example, Fairclough (1989: 54) observes,
The hidden power of media discourse and the capacity of . . . power-holders to
exercise this power depend on systematic tendencies in news reporting and other
media activities. A single text on its own is quite insignificant: the effects of media
power are cumulative, working through the repetition of particular ways of handl-
ing causality and agency, particular ways of positioning the reader, and so forth.
Clearly, neither CDA nor CL has insight into the psychology of discourse pro-
cessing, effects, memory, etc., so it is necessary to qualify Fairclough’s statement.
For example, a single important speech may have a vast impact, while other, more
routine ones, repeated daily may hardly get noticed (see Baker, 2006: 19–21 for
further discussion).
Therefore, although CL and CDA can both be seen to have strengths and
weaknesses, it is hoped that a combination of the two would help to exploit
their strong points, while eliminating potential problems. The following section
describes how this complementary methodology was carried out.
6. Combining CDA and CL: description and evaluation
In this section we discuss different aspects of the combination of methodologies
normally associated with CDA and CL, providing illustrative examples of cases
where one of the techniques revealed elements of the representation of RASIM
in the corpus that the other could not, as well as examples of cases where one
technique supplemented the other.
An initial starting point for the project (in keeping with approaches to CDA)
was to investigate aspects of the wider context surrounding the issue of RASIM
in the UK.
One aspect of this was to examine how the terms refugee, asylum seeker,
immigrant and migrant were conceptualized by ‘official’ sources, to wit, diction-
aries and organizations (e.g., the Refugee Council) who were directly involved
with these social groups (see also Krishnamurthy, 1996). A comparison of official
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
284 Discourse & Society 19(3)
definitions proved to be illuminating: for example, dictionary definitions tended
to define an asylum seeker as a refugee who had applied for asylum, implying
the temporal sequence refugee asylum seeker, whereas the Refugee Council
defined a refugee as someone whose application for asylum had been successful,
implying the opposite sequence asylum seeker refugee. This fundamental
disagreement among official definitions proved to be useful in contextualizing
the frequent confusion, conflation and inconsistency which both the CL and CDA
researchers independently found in the UK press when such terms were used.
Willing to contextualize the findings of our text-based analyses, we supported
them with relevant migration-related statistical information; for example, official
figures on the numbers of asylum applications to the UK and the EU as a whole
(since the early 1980s) along with net migration during this period. These figures
indicated that asylum applications fell sharply after 2002 (which was interesting
in light of the fact that the corpus analysis later found that articles about RASIM
steadily increased in number over time, even after 2002). However, we also found
that the UK had one of the highest rates of asylum applications in the EU, and
that net migration to the UK has been increasing since the 1980s, regardless of
whether new residents had come as asylum seekers or immigrants. Therefore,
analysis of official definitions and government statistics was useful in helping
to frame the more linguistic-based research findings (both from the CL and CDA
analyses) within a wider context.
We also carried out research on readership figures and demographics for
the different newspapers that we included in our corpus. While binary categor-
ies like tabloid versus broadsheet or conservative versus liberal sometimes proved
to be difficult to maintain, an analysis of previous research on the British press
(Conboy, 2006; Richardson, 2004) proved to be useful in giving us ideas about
how to categorize different sets of newspapers in order to carry out comparisons.
We decided that the broadsheet versus tabloid distinction would be worth
investigating. Thus, an initial examination of context proved to be useful in
‘setting the scene’ for further analysis. Armed with this contextual information
we were able to form the research questions outlined in Section 3.1, as well as
to decide how to compare different sections of the corpus against each other.
We therefore agree with Hardt-Mautner (1995), who argues that researchers
ought to carry out background research and form hypotheses in advance of
doing corpus-assisted analysis, rather than approaching the corpus from a
naive position.
In this section, we examine how CL techniques provided a ‘map’ of the corpus,
pinpointing areas of interest for a subsequent close analysis (see also Mautner,
2007). Emerging lexical patterns (e.g., key words/clusters, collocates) led to the
examination of their (expanded) concordances, or, when needed, the examin-
ation of whole texts. This approach is supported by Stubbs (1994: 212), who
stresses ‘the need to combine the analysis of large-scale patterns across long
texts with the detailed study of concordance lines’.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 285
In the RAS project, the corpus was designed in accordance with the project’s
focus and aims, and is representative in terms of the text source (UK newspapers),
text topic (RASIM, and more generally, asylum and immigration issues) and
time span (1996–2005) (Gabrielatos, 2007). The texts to be analysed using
CDA techniques were selected from a pool of articles published in periods of
increased references to RASIM, as indicated by a quantitative analysis. More
precisely, the number of corpus articles per month was plotted in order to estab-
lish the diachronic development in newspaper coverage of issues pertaining
to RASIM. As the plot showed clear frequency ‘spikes’, corresponding months
were examined for local or international events related to RASIM, the wide
reporting of which may have caused the significant increase in articles.
were selected, through downsampling,
from the articles within these periods
of increased reporting, with the additional restriction that they reported on the
specific events.
The application of downsampling in the project revealed an interesting
‘blind spot’ for CL, which seems to support arguments for erring on the side of
building a larger rather than a smaller corpus. It was initially decided that a
sub-corpus containing articles published up to one week before the incidents
deemed to have contributed to the spikes, would be constructed and analysed by
using both CDA and CL techniques. However, the ‘spikes’ sub-corpus proved to
be too large for the CDA analysis (which necessitated the use of further down-
sampling). This was not surprising, as CDA in-depth analysis is very labour-
intensive. What was less expected was that the sub-corpus would prove to be too
small for any significant or helpful patterns to emerge from the collocation and
key word analyses.
Partington (2003: 12) presents a scalar view of the uses of CL methodology which
points towards a rationale for using CL-related methods to carry out CDA.
At the simplest level, corpus technology helps find other examples of a phenomenon
one has already noted. At the other extreme, it reveals patterns of use previously
unthought of. In between, it can reinforce, refute or revise a researcher’s intuition
and show them why and how much their suspicions were grounded.
As noted earlier, theories of language use underpinning CDA result in a focus on
grammatical features (e.g., agentivity, passivization, metaphors). The synergy
with the particular approach to CL adopted here adds a focus on lexical patterns.
Also, CL processes can help quantify discoursal phenomena already recognized
in CDA; that is, establish their absolute and relative frequencies in the corpus,
through the examination of the different linguistic means utilized to express them.
Even when the CL analysis does not set out to examine existing CDA notions,
it can utilize a CDA theoretical framework in the interpretation of the findings.
For example, a number of central CDA notions were utilized when grouping
collocates and key words on the basis of the semantic preference or semantic/
discourse prosody that they communicated. These were the notions of topos
and topic, specific metaphors commonly employed in racist discourse, as well as
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
286 Discourse & Society 19(3)
the referential (or nomination) and predicational strategies (for definitions
and discussion see Section 5, and also KhosraviNik, forthcoming). So, as well as
providing a framework from argumentation theory as employed in DHA
(the concept of topoi), which the CL researcher could use in order to organize
the emerging linguistic/discourse patterns found, the CL researcher was able to
compare his/her findings against existing immigration-related topoi (provided
by a substantial amount of previous CDA research; see Reisigl and Wodak, 2001;
Wodak and Van Dijk, 2000).
It can be argued that the CDA notions described earlier enabled the
assignation of more explicit and finer semantic/discourse prosody values than
merely assigning a general positive/negative bias. At the same time, the corpus
size and coverage, coupled with the quantitative aspect of CL, not only provided
support for the prominence of central topoi, topics and metaphors already iden-
tified in CDA studies, but also indicated their relative frequency.
Owing to the diachronic nature of the RASIM corpus, and in conjunction with
its large size, extracting collocates from the whole corpus can be reasonably
expected to include a large number of ‘seasonal collocates’, that is, collocates that
are very frequent in a small number of years. The presence of such collocates was
confirmed by the collocational analysis of annual sub-corpora, which revealed
that, on average, 92 percent of the collocates of RASIM were only present in
no more than five of the ten year-long sub-sections of the corpus.
In order to
filter out these seasonal collocates, and focus on those collocates that are both
salient and central to the representation of RASIM in the corpus newspapers,
the notion of consistent collocates (henceforth c-collocates) was introduced.
C-collocates were deemed those present in at least seven of the ten annual sub-
corpora. C-collocates were then categorized according to the characteristic they
applied to RASIM. The categorization was supported by concordance analysis,
and was then refined taking into account the CDA notions of topos and topic, as
well as metaphors recognized in CDA (Reisigl and Wodak, 2001; Sedlak, 2000;
Van Leeuwen, 1996; Wodak and Van Dijk, 2000).
The first important observation is that the vast majority (86%) of content
c-collocates could be classified under only eight categories of reference, namely:
(a) Provenance/transit/destination, (b) Number, (c) Entry, (d) Economic problems,
(e) Residence, (f) Return/repatriation, (g) Legality and (h) Plight. These categories
are regularly used in ways which negatively reference RASIM, particularly those
concerned with Entry, Economic problems and Legality (c-collocates are shown
in bold below):
BRITAIN was warned last night it faces a massive benefits bill to pay for the looming
influx of immigrants, including gypsies, from eastern Europe.
(The Express, 9 February 2004)
Calais is still crawling with asylum seekers trying to break into Britain.
(Sunday Times, 28 July 2002)
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 287
The high proportion of references to RAS in the categories of Entry, Residence
and Provenance/transit/destination suggests that there may be a preoccupation
in the UK press with RASIM entering and staying in the UK (which was sub-
sequently confirmed by concordance analyses). Unexpectedly, the terms immi-
grant(s) and migrant(s) were found to strongly collocate with fled and fleeing
these are unlikely collocates as immigration, unlike the seeking of asylum, is a
planned process. Also, the concordance analysis indicated that about one in five
references to refugees and asylum seekers are accompanied by quantification
(the Number category). A common strategy was to quantify RAS in terms
of water metaphors (
POUR, FLOOD, STREAM), which tend to dehumanize RAS,
constructing them as an out-of-control, agentless, unwanted natural disaster.
Interestingly, both the CL and CDA researchers independently found
numerous examples of negative categories of references (the corpus linguist
examined collocates, while the CDA researcher carried out a close analysis
of individual texts). The CL researcher also found a small number of examples of
positive categories of reference used in some of the broadsheets. These stressed
the advantages of diversity, which, due to the smaller amount of data used in the
CDA research, was concluded to be almost non-existent, for example,
The country needs the talent and vibrancy an immigrant community will bring to a
flagging native population base. (Business, 17 February 2002)
The small number of categories suggests that the interest of the newspapers in
RASIM is focused rather than comprehensive; their nature indicates that the
attitude towards RASIM is negative rather than positive. It is equally interesting
that the four terms in focus share a good number of c-collocates, as shown in
Table 2, which points towards overlap in use.
The significant overlap of c-collocates between refugees–asylum seekers
(40.5%), and immigrants–migrants (59%) is perhaps to be expected, as the terms
in each pair share a lot of characteristics. However, the overlap between refugees
and asylum seekers, on the one hand, and immigrants and migrants, on the
other hand, is unexpected. These findings lend further support to the conclusion
that the four terms are used as near synonyms in the corpus. Equally telling is
the overlap in the categories which emerged from the concordance analysis of
TABLE 2. Overlap ratio of consistent collocates
Pairs of terms % of shared c-collocates
Immigrants Migrants 59.0
Asylum seekers Immigrants 43.0
Refugees Asylum seekers 40.5
Refugees Immigrants 33.5
Asylum seekers Migrants 32.0
Refugees Migrants 28.0
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
288 Discourse & Society 19(3)
the c-collocates of RASIM. Table 3 gives the categories shared by each pair of
terms. The first column indicates the term which is the focus of the comparison
in each case.
A first impression is that the discourses of RASIM in UK newspapers revolve
around a small number of topics/categories and employ a limited number of
topoi, most of which denote a negative stance. A large number of topoi/topics/
categories is shared by refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants, but less so by
migrants. This seems to tie in with the findings of the CDA analysis, which
identified an overall positive use of the term migrants. A second observation is
that the overlap in terms of categories goes beyond what could be predicted on the
basis of the common definitions of the terms. For example, although the overlap
in the category of Entry can be predicted by the definitions (all four groups come
into the destination country), the overlap in the category of Plight seems to run
contrary to the definitions of immigrants and migrants (migration is usually a
planned process). This points to the interpretation that the extensive overlap is
not merely the result of overlapping senses or conflicting definitions (explicit or
implicit). Rather, the observed overlap, in conjunction with the nature of the
categories, seems to be indicative of a wider approach towards issues of asylum
and immigration, one which has been identified in a number of CDA studies,
namely, that RASIM are less than welcome. A further interesting finding to
emerge from the combination of collocation and concordance analysis is that the
same c-collocate may index a number of different topics or topoi in the discourse –
sometimes more than one at the same time. Table 4 provides examples with the
c-collocate allowed.
TABLE 3. Overlap in categories
Refugees Asylum seekers Immigrants Migrants
Asylum seekers ENTRY
Immigrants ENTRY
Migrants ENTRY
*PDT = Provenance/Destination/Transit.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 289
Similarly, c-collocates also index the interchangeable use of RASIM, as the
examples with the c-collocate trying indicate (our emphasis).
English, Welsh and Scottish Railways (EWS) warned last night that it cannot, and
will not, endure another six months of lost revenue – (pounds) 10m so far – arising
from security problems caused by asylum seekers in France. EWS services to and from
Europe have fallen by 60% since November because so many refugees are trying to
board trains bound for Britain via the Channel tunnel. (The Herald, 7 May 2002)
CHANNEL Tunnel security came under scrutiny last night after 44 illegal immigrants
were intercepted trying to reach Dover. The desperate asylum seekers walked seven
miles in complete darkness before being caught. (The Mirror, 31 August 2001)
All the passengers were illegal immigrants trying to make their way to Greece.
Survivors identified them as Pakistanis, Moroccans and Bangladeshis. Mr Dokuzoglu
said Indian and Afghan refugees were also believed to be on board. (The Guardian,
2 January 2001)
The approach adopted in the RAS project provided evidence that ‘qualitative’
techniques can be employed, even when the corpus is extremely large,
also retaining the ‘quantitative’ aspect, which provides further evidence that CL
methodology is ‘much more than bean counting’ (Biber and Conrad, 2001). Let
us take the example of the concordance analysis of the multiword unit
(which comprises the forms pose as, posed as, posing as, poses as) in the tabloid
and broadsheet sub-corpora.
Initial analysis showed that tabloids use POSE as almost three times more often
than broadsheets in general, and eight times as often in reference to RASIM (both
differences are statistically significant – see note 30). Comparisons in this section
only refer to the uses of POSE as in relation to RASIM. The general picture of POSE as
TABLE 4. Examples of the c-collocate allowed indexing topoi/topics related to RASIM
FRANCE finally closed a loophole yesterday which has allowed
thousands of illegal immigrants to sneak into Britain on Eurostar
trains. (Daily Star, 5 February 2002)
Residence Jack Straw faced embarrassment last night as it emerged that
almost one-third of new asylum seekers have been allowed to
remain in Britain. (Daily Mail, 26 November 1998)
But illegal immigration and bogus asylum seekers have been
allowed to pour into Britain to live off our taxes.
(The Sun, 21 April 2005)
Job firms in the South have been inundated with pleas for jobs
from illegal migrants who are allowed to work. (Sunday Mirror,
16 April 2000)
Only a small number of refugees have been allowed to return
home, and there has been muted progress in merging Serb-
controlled areas with those of the Muslim–Croat federation.
(The Times, 25 September 1997)
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
290 Discourse & Society 19(3)
is that tabloids employ a negative stance towards RASIM more often than the
broadsheets, which, however, by no means implies the traditional stereotype that
broadsheets employ a more neutral/positive stance than tabloids (cf. also Van
Dijk, 1991). The picture becomes more complex when we examine the statistical
significance of the differences:
although tabloids almost always (98.1%) adopt
a negative stance, broadsheets also do so in a considerable proportion of cases
(75.6%), therefore the difference is not statistically significant. In contrast,
broadsheets use POSE as in positive contexts almost 12 times more frequently
than tabloids, and the difference is statistically significant. An example of POSE
as being used in a non-negative context is given below:
There might have been an immigration crisis 20 years ago, although that is debatable,
but the so-called ‘system’ of immigration that Britain is stuck with serves to deprive
our industry of essential talent (much of which has then migrated elsewhere) while
effectively obliging some individuals to pose as ‘bogus’ asylum-seekers in an attempt
to enter the country. (The Times, 11 September 2005)
In addition, it was observed that the negative stance towards RASIM denoted
through the use of POSE as could be either accepted or challenged in the articles.
Close analysis of expanded concordances (or whole texts, when necessary)
revealed a very small number of contexts in which POSE as is used when referring
to RASIM (and issues of asylum and immigration). Overall, POSE as was used in
eight frames of the following type: ‘Actor(s) POSE as X to achieve Y’ (see Tables 5
and 6). When examining the stance of broadsheets and tabloids in these differ-
ent frames, it became clear that not all differences were statistically significant.
This approach clarified that neither tabloids nor broadsheets are consistent in
their stance towards RASIM (as shown in their use of POSE as in relation to them).
More importantly, the analysis established that agentivity (i.e., whether RASIM
or others were the agents of POSE as) did not correspond one-to-one with positive or
negative stance. The statistically significant differences can be interpreted as
indicating that broadsheets are more likely than tabloids to challenge negative
presentations of RASIM or criticize calls for a stricter immigration and asylum
system (Table 5). However, in other frames (Table 6) tabloids and broadsheets
show broad similarities in their stance towards RASIM – indicating that their
perceived differences in reporting are not clear cut. In broad terms, the differences
between tabloids and broadsheets in their reporting on (issues related to) RASIM
seem to revolve around tabloids adopting a predominantly negative stance,
whereas broadsheets demonstrate a more balanced stance (e.g., combining
positive and negative arguments). The latter finding offers a different perspective
on intuitive views of broadsheets as being consistently neutral or only positive
towards RASIM. At the same time, the findings suggest that UK national
newspapers generally termed ‘tabloid’ form a more homogeneous group than
those termed ‘broadsheet’ (see also Gabrielatos, 2006; Gabrielatos and Baker,
2006a, 2008).
A corpus-assisted approach, which looks for specific linguistic patterns and
carries out tests of statistical significance is therefore able to quantify notions
like ‘bias’. However, it should be noted that corpus-assisted discourse analysis is
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 291
TABLE 5. Statistically significant differences between tabloids and broadsheets in the use of POSE as in relation to RASIM
Actors Action Context Stance
tabloids (%)
broadsheets (%)
Aliens, Terrorists,
Fanatics, Militants,
Criminals, Crooks,
Gangs, Spies, Beggars
BE instructed/helped to)
POSE as RAS in order to
gain illegal entry
Reported as the view
of third party (e.g.
politician, public) and
Negative stance towards
‘tough measures’
Neutral/positive stance
towards RASIM
POSE as (illegal) RASIM
to investigate current
asylum system
Examination of the
asylum and immigration
in the UK
Negative stance towards
perceived strictness of
Negative stance towards
attempts to show up
perceived laxity of
Positive stance towards
RASIM (and their plight)
POSE as . . . doctors,
nurses, students,
taxi drivers, workers,
scientists, athletes, sports
fans, artists, EU citizens,
. . . to gain entry/find
work/receive benefits
The problem with RASIM Negative stance towards
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
292 Discourse & Society 19(3)
TABLE 6. Statistically non-significant differences between tabloids and broadsheets in the use of POSE as in relation to RASIM
Actors Action Context Stance Freq. tabloids (%) Freq. broadsheets (%)
Aliens, etc.
(BE instructed/
helped to)
POSE as RAS to gain
illegal entry
Reported as fact, or
taken for granted
Positive stance towards
tougher measures.
Indirectly negative
towards RASIM
51.4 58.9
expose problems
with current asylum
Examination of
the asylum and
immigration system
in the UK
Positive stance towards
Negative stance
towards perceived
laxity/ inadequacy of
current system
Negative stance
towards RASIM
22.9 16.7
POSE as RASIM to gain
illegal entry
Current system forces
immigrants to pose as
Neutral/positive stance
towards RASIM
POSE as aid workers/
peacekeepers to
exploit/harm RASIM
Plight of RAS Positive stance towards
RASIM (and their
POSE as aid workers to
illegally help RASIM
Strategies used to get
RASIM illegally into
the country
Negative stance
towards RASIM
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 293
rarely able to eschew the analysis of context; in the earlier analysis, expanded
concordance lines needed to be examined in order to ascertain stance (positive,
negative or neutral) towards actors associated with POSE as.
We now turn to assess the benefits of the DHA, where context played an even
more important role in the analysis.
A traditional corpus-based analysis is not sufficient to explain or interpret the
reasons why certain linguistic patterns were found (or not found). Corpus analysis
does not normally take into account the social, political, historical and cultural
context of the data (see Section 6.1).
To give an example of how a close analysis of context (both in terms of how
asylum seeker is used within the context of a full article, and in terms of how the
article itself relates to events in the outside world), we wish to focus on an excerpt
from The Guardian’s report of a speech by the (then) leader of the (opposition)
Conservative Party, Michael Howard:
Mr Howard’s third charge was Mr Blair’s failure to get a grip on asylum and ‘pussyfoot
around’ on immigration. This completely ignores the coercive controls that Labour
has introduced, cutting asylum applications by two-thirds since October 2002, with
1,000 cases a day being denied entry by 2003. (The Guardian, 11 April 2005)
Analysis of the wider context of this article revealed that Howard’s speech
occurred during the Conservative Party’s 2005 election campaign, which focused
on issues surrounding RASIM. In the article in The Guardian article, RASIM were
thus referred to as the subject matter of a ‘political rivalry discourse’, often used
by newspapers to criticize (or occasionally support) the current government,
particularly at points of political rivalry (e.g., during an election).
The Guardian article is critical of Howard’s speech. However, despite this,
the newspaper discursively represents immigrants and asylum seekers in a way
which echoes the representations by the right-wing press and the Conservative
Party. So overall, the article represents immigrants and asylum seekers as an
‘issue’ which is being debated between two political parties. Immigrants and
asylum seekers are not portrayed as being a heterogeneous set of people or as
doing or saying anything. Instead they are objectified and backgrounded, being
referred to in terms of ‘applications’ alongside quantification (1000 cases a
day). Despite the article being in a liberal broadsheet newspaper, the way of
representing asylum seekers reproduces an ideology that has been established
by conservatives (and which we found was particularly dominant in the right-
wing press).
Hence, although the article might be perceived as writing against Conser-
vative anti-immigration rhetoric, it contributes towards the political rivalry
discourse and at times even confirms the negative representation of immigrants
and asylum seekers by trying to convince its readership that the Labour Party has
already been tough in reducing the numbers of immigrants and asylum seekers
(references to the ‘coercive controls’ that Labour has introduced). This is also
‘strategic discourse’ in the sense that the article is not necessarily focused on the
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
294 Discourse & Society 19(3)
ethicality or appropriateness of what is being debated; rather it is focused on
how the debate between the two main British political parties could be won.
In an excerpt from another article about Howard’s campaign (in the right-
wing newspaper The Mail), we can see how DHA is effective in identifying
strategies of perspectivation, positive self-presentation and negative other-
MICHAEL HOWARD stood by his views on immigration last night in the face of a
hostile TV ambush. The Tory leader repeated his calls for a cap on migration and
health checks on immigrants at ports when he appeared on ITV1’s Ask The Leaders
programme. He defended his policy throughout in the face of aggressive question-
ing from presenter Jonathan Dimbleby. Tory immigration policy was highlighted
from the first question in what appeared to be a co-ordinated attack. But, despite the
hostile approach, Mr Howard maintained his claim that urgent action was needed
to restore public confidence in immigration controls . . . The programme gave every
impression of being meticulously planned with a high degree of co-ordination
between questioners and presenter. At one point student Dean Delani, 18, shouted
at Mr Howard: ‘You are inciting xenophobia and hatred in our country. You don’t
realise what it’s like for me.’ But the Tory leader replied: ‘It doesn’t take the debate
much further to pin labels on me or abuse me and insult me in the way you have
just done.’ He added: ‘I profoundly disagree with you. What I say to people who hold
the view you hold is that if you disagree with these proposals tell us what you
would do.’ (The Mail, 19 April 2005)
Here The Mail incorporates a number of discursive techniques to support the
in-group social actor (Howard) and negatively perspectivize the out-group (the
presenter and members of the audience who did not agree with him). Howard
is described as being successful, for example, ‘stood by his views’, ‘defended
his policy throughout’ and ‘maintained his claim’ (all positively connotated
political jargon), whereas those who disagree with him are described in terms
of a ‘hostile TV ambush’, ‘engaging in aggressive questioning’, a ‘hostile
approach’ and a ‘co-ordinated attack’, hence employing negatively connotated
war-metaphors and war-jargon. Howard is also directly quoted as claiming that
a member of the audience is labelling, abusing and insulting him. These pre-
dicational strategies therefore suggest that the out-group are seen to be engaging
in negative or unfair actions.
Our analysis also focused on who is written about, how much space they
are given and whether they are directly or indirectly quoted. For example, in
The Mail article above, Howard’s words are directly quoted, as compared with
the presenter, whose words tended to be summarized (not shown in the excerpt).
Howard is also given more space to express his views than members of the
constructed out-group, and is reported as being calm (as a serious politician
is expected to behave). However, members of the out-group are represented as
being threatening, for example, ‘At one point student Dean Delani, 18, shouted
at Mr Howard: “You are inciting xenophobia and hatred in our country . . .”’.
This (and similar cases) are suggestive of a pattern where the newspaper
gives more space and direct citation to an in-group member, while citation to
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 295
out-group members is provided when they are (or can be represented as being)
inarticulate, extremist, illogical, aggressive or threatening. This analysis
therefore shows how newspapers position themselves in relationship to the
issues they report, in this case, The Mail aligns itself with Howard’s stance
towards immigration.
DHA is therefore helpful in terms of identifying strategies based around
language usage (which can be overlooked by the sorts of frequency-based
lexical analyses implemented in CL). DHA’s strength, however, is not in locating
and analysing referential strategies per se. It builds on a network of referential,
predicational and argumentative strategies along with analysis of metaphors,
presuppositions, mitigation and hyperboles, etc. in deconstructing a text, all of
which require a close analysis of context. Additionally, journalistic features, for
example, the order of the information, agenda setting and space allocation, in
general, and quotation patterns, in particular, play an important role in imple-
menting particular perspectives, and hence, ideologies. In this way, the CDA
(DHA) analysis also provides explanatory power to the descriptive results of the
CL analysis.
7. Conclusions and recommendations
Overall, each approach can be used to help triangulate the findings of the other,
taking into account the coherence, or lack of it, of the findings and the theor-
etical frameworks informing CDA and CL. Both approaches can be used as entry
points, creating a virtuous research cycle (in Table 7, it could be argued that all
the ‘stages’ listed are potential entry or starting points). As shown earlier, CL
can provide a general ‘pattern map’ of the data, mainly in terms of frequencies
TABLE 7. Possible stages in corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis
1 Context-based analysis of topic via history/politics/culture/etymology.
Identify existing topoi/discourses/strategies via wider reading, reference to
other CDA studies
2 Establish research questions/corpus building procedures
3 Corpus analysis of frequencies, clusters, keywords, dispersion, etc. – identify
potential sites of interest in the corpus along with possible discourses/topoi/
strategies, relate to those existing in the literature
4 Qualitative or CDA analysis of a smaller, representative set of data (e.g.,
concordances of certain lexical items or of a particular text or set of texts within
the corpus) – identify discourses/topoi/strategies (DH approach)
5 Formulation of new hypotheses or research questions
6 Further corpus analysis based on new hypotheses, identify further discourses/
topoi/strategies, etc.
7 Analysis of intertextuality or interdiscursivity based on findings from corpus
8 New hypotheses
9 Further corpus analysis, identify additional discourses/topoi/strategies, etc.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
296 Discourse & Society 19(3)
(e.g., number of texts per period and/or newspaper, number of words in sub-
corpora, type/token ratios, mean sentence length), key words/clusters and
collocations, as well as their diachronic development (the latter contributing
to the historical perspective in DHA). This helps pinpoint specific periods for
text selection (e.g., through downsampling) or sites of interest. Similarly,
the CDA analysis (or reference to previous studies) can point towards patterns to
be examined through the CL lens for triangulation (e.g., use of nonsensical terms
like bogus asylum seeker, or particular topoi).
CL can also examine frequencies, or, at least, provide strong indicators of
the frequency, of specific phenomena recognized in CDA (e.g., topoi, topics,
metaphors), by examining lexical patterns, and can add a quantitative dimen-
sion to CDA. The approximate quantification usually used in CDA studies (e.g.,
through the use of frequency adverbs, usually, normally, frequently) can be made
more specific through (relative) frequency counts and statistical measures.
The corpus-based approach also uncovered a small number of articles where
‘positive’ topoi of RASIM were employed in the corpus. This was different to the
CDA analysis, which, focusing on a smaller number of articles, concluded that
positive topoi were almost non-existent. The corpus analysis tended to focus
around lexical patterns and collocations. This approach is mostly ‘lexical’ and is
most productive when accounting for what DHA calls ‘referential’ strategies (less
so for predicational strategies). The DHA analysis therefore at times facilitated a
more detailed analysis, taking into account larger amounts of textual context as
well as the structure and characteristics of the employed genres.
Importantly, the project demonstrated the fuzzy boundaries between ‘quan-
titative’ and ‘qualitative’ approaches. More specifically, it showed that ‘qualitative’
findings can be quantified, and that ‘quantitative’ findings need to be interpreted
in the light of existing theories, and lead to their adaptation, or the formulation
of new ones. The non-theory-specific categories emerging from the large-scale
data analysis helped inform the adaptation/expansion of existing DHA categories.
Indeed, all categories which are quantified are first established in a qualitative,
subjective way; they are qualitative categories which are then quantified.
Moreover, the corpus-based analysis tends to focus on what has been explicitly
written, rather than what could have been written but was not, or what is implied,
inferred, insinuated or latently hinted at. As shown earlier, DHA allows the
analyst to step outside the corpus in order to consult other types of information
(such as dictionary definitions, policy documents or government correspond-
ence to newspapers). For example, the corpus analysis may be able to identify
which newspapers use a nonsensical term like bogus asylum seeker, but a fuller
understanding of the term’s significance is only available if we consider sources
outside the corpus. Such sources would also give examples of other possible
ways of expressing the concept, for example, failed asylum seeker (which may
or may not appear in the corpus, or may not be frequent or significant enough
to be included in the analysis). Moreover, pragmatic devices and subtle, coded
strategies or concepts can not be readily analysed through corpus linguistic
means (Wodak, 2007b).
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 297
The RASIM corpus allowed for the comparison of patterns in particular
newspapers, and between widely accepted newspaper types (tabloids versus
broadsheets). In addition, corpus analysis, combining both quantitative and
qualitative techniques, enabled the quantification of the ‘quality’ of reporting,
as far as RASIM are concerned, and, thus, supported (and was supported by)
as well as refined the current categorization of UK national newspapers in
broadsheets and tabloids (Gabrielatos and Baker, 2006b, 2008). However, the
analysis did not differentiate between different subgenres (Mautner, 2007).
The comparative capabilities of corpus-based research can also help trace
diachronic developments, both in terms of changes (as in the case of nonsensical
collocations) and consistency (as in the case of c-collocates).
The combination of methodologies traditionally associated with CDA
(DHA) and CL in research projects, and their potential theoretical and meth-
odological cross-pollination, seem to benefit both CDA and CL. Combining
methods strengthens the theoretical basis of both DHA and CL (e.g., expressing
semantic/discourse prosodies in terms of DHA topoi/topics). CL, in general,
and concordance analysis, in particular, can be positively influenced by ex-
posure and familiarity with CDA analytical techniques, and the theoretical
notions and categories of DHA can inform the quantitative CL analysis. Also, CL
needs to be supplemented by the close analysis of selected texts using CDA theory
and methodology. CDA, in turn, can benefit from incorporating more objective,
quantitative CL approaches, as quantification can reveal the degree of generality
of, or confidence in, the study findings and conclusions, thus guarding against
over- or under-interpretation (O’Halloran and Coffin, 2004). As the project
indicated that the CL analysis can overlap with that of CDA (DHA), it would be
desirable to further examine the extent to which a CL approach is able, on its own,
to contribute to critical approaches to discourse analysis. At the same time, it
would seem unreasonable for CL to ignore the findings of the considerable body
of work in CDA and related fields, or the theoretical notions informing, and
deriving from, relevant non-CL research.
1. The use of the plural (methodologies) indicates that neither CL nor CDA are uniform
in terms of their traditional methodological tools and approaches (for CL, see
McEnery and Gabrielatos, 2006; for CDA, see Wodak, 2004a; Wodak and Meyer,
2001 for extensive overviews).
2. For example, some CDA approaches (Fairclough, 1989) are informed inter alia by
systemic–functional grammar (SFL; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004), which can
be seen to inform the research focus on language aspects such as passivization or
agentivity. At the same time, the analysis and interpretation of results are carried
out with constant reference to the sociocultural context (Halliday, 1978); other
approaches in CDA avoid SFL and focus on argumentation theory and draw pri-
marily on text linguistics (Discourse–Historical Approach by Reisigl and Wodak, 2001;
Socio-cognitive Approach by Van Dijk, 1993, 1998; Jäger, 2001, focuses on metaphors
and collective symbols and locates his approach primarily in structural grammar;
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
298 Discourse & Society 19(3)
and so forth). In turn, the CL methodological approach used in the project is informed
by lexical grammar (Sinclair, 2004) in general, and, in particular, by the related
notions of collocation (Sinclair, 1991), semantic preference (Stubbs, 2001) and
semantic/discourse prosody (Louw, 1993; Stubbs, 2001).
3. For example, the collocational profiles, and the significant intercollocation, of the
terms refugees, asylum seekers, immigrants and migrants, as well as the clear grouping
of collocates in terms of CDA and argumentation categories (i.e., topoi, topics,
metaphors), analysed within the context of semantic preference (Stubbs, 2001)
and semantic prosody (Louw, 1993), provided strong indications of the discoursal
construction of these groups in the UK press (Gabrielatos and Baker, 2006a, 2006b,
4. For a discussion of the distinction between the corpus-based and corpus-driven
approaches see McEnery and Gabrielatos (2006).
5. This principle also informs the quantitative nature of corpus-based studies.
6. Wodak (1986) and Wodak and Schulz (1986) used large corpora and analysed
these both in quantitative and qualitative ways, drawing on more sociolinguistic
approaches and combining these with CDA (see Titscher et al., 2000; Wodak, 1996
for overviews). Moreover, the ‘French School’ in CDA has always relied on corpus-
driven methodologies (see Fairclough and Wodak, 1997; Wodak and De Cillia,
2006, for overviews). However, all these approaches never reflected the full capacity
of CL.
7. For example, Aston (1997) gives a range of 20,000–200,000 words, whereas Gavioli
(2005) sets the range at 50,000–100,000, while also citing corpora as small as 6854
8. Magalhaes’ study aimed to examine the use of the words negra(s), negro(s), pretos
(black/blacks) and pardos (brown/browns) in a corpus drawn from a newspaper,
in order to investigate discourses of racism surrounding these terms. However, the
corpus articles were derived by way of a query comprising the terms race, racism
and racist. This query would be expected to return texts in which racism is overtly/
explicitly mentioned or discussed, and, consequently, the terms in focus would, by
necessity, be examined within the context of racism – something that would almost
certainly bias the results.
9. For an extensive examination of the use of CL techniques in discourse analysis see
Baker (2006).
10. The CDA team consisted of Ruth Wodak, Michal Krzyz
anowski and Majid
KhosraviNik. The CL team consisted of Costas Gabrielatos, Paul Baker and Tony
11. For a more detailed account of the CL part of the research, see Gabrielatos and Baker
12. For a discussion of the tension between ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’ approaches
to discourse studies see Baker (2004a).
13. For details on the corpus compilation and make-up, see Gabrielatos (2007) and
Gabrielatos and Baker (2008).
14. The software used to carry out the corpus analysis was WordSmith Tools 3.0 and
4.0 (Scott, 1999, 2007).
15. The decision to examine these four terms (and not others such as aliens) was also
made subjectively, based on our research questions.
16. A cluster (also termed an n-gram or lexical bundle) is a sequence of two or more words,
not necessarily a grammatical or meaningful unit. A key word analysis can also be
applied to clusters.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 299
17. A word family consists of a base word and all its derived and inflected forms. . . .
[T]he meaning of the base in the derived word must be closely related to the meaning
of the base when it stands alone or occurs in other derived forms, for example, hard
and hardly would not be members of the same word family’ (Bauer and Nation,
1993: 253).
18. The history of the field is summarized in detail in Renkema (2004) and Van Dijk
19. Intertextuality refers to the fact that all texts are linked to other texts, via synchronic
and diachronic dimensions. Such links can be established in different ways:
through continued reference to a topic or main actors; through reference to similar
events; or by the transfer of main arguments from one text into the next (i.e.,
recontextualization). (See Wodak, 2008 for extensive definitions.)
20. Interdiscursivity indicates that discourses are linked to each other in various
ways. If we define discourse as primarily topic-related, i.e., a discourse on X, then
a discourse on un/employment often refers, for example, to topics or subtopics of
other discourses, such as gender or racism: arguments on systematically lower
salaries for women or migrants might be included in discourses on employment.
21. Topoi are ‘conclusion rules that connect the argument with the conclusion’ (Reisigl
and Wodak, 2001), or, simply put, they represent ‘the common-sense reasoning
typical for specific issues’ (Van Dijk, 2000), whereas topics simply refer to the
subject matter of the discussion (Sedlak, 2000). However, topoi can be reasonably
expected to be framed within discourse units of a compatible topic. Similarly, it is
not uncommon for topoi to be embodied in metaphors. For example, Van der Valk
(2000: 234) comments that the metaphor of ‘water’ ‘symbolizes the loss of control
over immigration. Too many immigrants enter the country. We lost control over
the process.’ Statements utilizing this metaphor (e.g., immigrants are flooding the
country) can very well employ a topos of Number (Gabrielatos and Baker, 2008).
Reisigl and Wodak (2001) list the whole range of metaphors typically used in debates
on immigration.
22. In many CDA studies which have investigated large data samples, such restricted
and biased data selection did not occur (see, e.g., Blackledge, 2005; Jäger, 2001;
Kovács and Wodak, 2003; Krzyz˙anowski and Oberhuber, 2007; Richardson, 2004;
Wodak, 1986; Wodak and Van Dijk, 2000; Wodak et al., 1990, 1999; Wodak and
Schulz, 1986). Criticism directed towards CDA in general often focuses exclusively
on Anglo-American research (Wodak, 2006). Hence, some criticisms are biased
and even false if generalized to the whole paradigm of CDA.
23. The sequence, however, can be flexible. The results of the first analysis can then
be interpreted in the light of subsequent research in the relevant sociopolitical
context, which, in turn, will lead to more directed and fine-tuned analysis.
24. These events were: the war in Kosovo (March–May 1999), the 9/11 terrorist attacks
on the USA (September–October 2001), the war in Afghanistan (April–May 2002),
the Iraq disarmament crisis (December 2002–Feburary 2003), the UK asylum bill
(March–April 2004), and the UK general elections (March–May 2005).
25. This form of downsampling was suggested in an EU research project on ‘voices
of migrants’ (Krzyz˙anowski and Wodak, 2007; Project XENOPHOB, 2003–05).
26. For more details on the collocation analysis, see Baker et al. (2007, 2008) and
Gabrielatos and Baker (2006b, 2008).
27. The notion of consistency has also been utilized by Scott (1999), who uses it in
relation to word lists and key words. A consistency analysis shows the number of
texts or sub-corpora that a key word is found in.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
300 Discourse & Society 19(3)
28. The extent of the overlap of c-collocates for each pair is directional; that is, it depends
on the number of c-collocates in each category that each term has registered, and
the ratio of overlap in each case. Please note that only categories with at least one-
third overlap are included in Table 3.
29. Compared with the usual size of specialized corpora (the RASIM corpus is 140
million words).
30. Calculations were based on the total instances of
POSE as when referring to
RASIM, and were carried out manually using Paul Rayson’s online log-likelihood
calculator ( The probability that differences
were due to chance was extremely low: no higher than one in a quadrillion
31. To be fair to the CL analysis, it did uncover clues to the existence of such discourses,
as suggested by the analysis demonstrated in the previous section.
Aston, G. (1997) ‘Small and Large Corpora in Language Learning’, in B. Lewandowska-
Tomaszczyk and P. Melia (eds) Practical Applications in Language Corpora, pp. 51–62.
Lodz, Poland: University Press.
Baker, P. (2004a) Public Discourses of Gay Men. London: Routledge.
Baker, P. (2004b) ‘Querying Keywords: Questions of Difference, Frequency, and Sense in
Keywords Analysis’, Journal of English Linguistics 32(4): 346–59.
Baker, P. (2006) Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London: Continuum.
Baker, P. and McEnery, T. (2005) ‘A Corpus-based Approach to Discourses of Refugees
and Asylum Seekers in UN and Newspaper Texts’, Journal of Language and Politics 4(2):
Baker, P., Gabrielatos, C. and McEnery, T. (2008) ‘Using Collocational Profiling to
Investigate the Construction of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants in the UK
Press’, paper given at the 7th conference of the American Association for Corpus
Linguistics, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, 13–15 March 2008.
Baker, P., McEnery, T. and Gabrielatos, C. (2007) ‘Using Collocation Analysis to Reveal
the Construction of Minority Groups: The Case of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and
Immigrants in the UK Press’, paper given at Corpus Linguistics 2007, University of
Birmingham, 28–30 July 2007. Available at:
Bauer, L. and Nation, P. (1993) ‘Word Families’, International Journal of Lexicography 6(4):
Biber, D. and Conrad, S. (2001) ‘Quantitative Corpus-based Research: Much More than
Bean Counting’, TESOL Quarterly 35(2): 331–6.
Blackledge, A. (2005) Discourse and Power in a Multilingual World. Amsterdam:
Blommaert, J. (2005) Discourse. A Critical Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Bondi, M. (2007) ‘Key-words and Emotions: A Case Study of the Bloody Sunday Enquiry’,
in N. Fairclough, G. Cortese and P. Ardizzone (eds) Discourse and Contemporary Social
Change, pp. 407–32. Bern: Peter Lang.
Brown, G. and Yule, G. (1982) Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Chilton, P. (2004) Analysing Political Discourse. London: Routledge.
Clark, C. (2007) ‘A War of Words: A Linguistic Analysis of BBC Embedded Reports During
the Iraq Conflict’, in N. Fairclough, G. Cortese and P. Ardizzone (eds) Discourse and
Contemporary Social Change, pp. 119–40. Bern: Peter Lang.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 301
Conboy, M. (2006) Tabloid Britain: Constructing a Community Through Language. London:
Fairclough, N. (1989) Language and Power. London: Longman.
Fairclough, N. (2000) New Labour, New Language? London: Routledge.
Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (1997) ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’, in T.A. van Dijk (ed.)
Discourse as Social Interaction, pp. 258–84. London: SAGE.
Fairclough, N., Cortese, G. and Ardizzone, P. (eds) (2007) Discourse and Contemporary
Social Change. Bern: Peter Lang.
Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (2008) ‘Recontextualizing the Bologna Strategy in Higher
Education’, in N. Fairclough, R. Jessop and R. Wodak (eds) CDA and the Knowledge-based
Economy in Europe. London: Falmer Press.
Flowerdew, J. (1997) ‘The Discourse of Colonial Withdrawal: A Case Study in the Creation
of Mythic Discourse’, Discourse & Society 8(4): 453–77.
Gabrielatos, C. (2006) ‘Towards Quantifying “Quality” in the Press: Comparing the Stance
of UK Broadsheets and Tabloids Towards Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants’,
Joint meeting of the Corpus Research Group and the Language, Ideology and Power
Research Group, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster
University, 13 June 2006. Available:
Gabrielatos, C. (2007) ‘Selecting Query Terms to Build a Specialised Corpus from a
Restricted-access Database’, ICAME Journal 31: 5–43.
Gabrielatos, C. and Baker, P. (2006a) ‘Representation of Refugees and Asylum Seekers
in UK Newspapers: Towards a Corpus-based Comparison of the Stance of Tabloids
and Broadsheets’, paper presented at the first international conference on Critical
Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines, University of East Anglia, UK,
29–30 June 2006. Available:
Gabrielatos, C. and Baker, P. (2006b) ‘Representation of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in
UK Newspapers: Towards a Corpus-based Analysis’, paper given at the joint annual
meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Irish Association for
Applied Linguistics: From Applied Linguistics to Linguistics Applied: Issues, Practices,
Trends, University College, Ireland, 7–9 September 2006. Available: http://eprints.
Gabrielatos, C. and Baker, P. (2008) ‘Fleeing, Sneaking, Flooding: A Corpus Analysis
of Discursive Constructions of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK Press
1996–2005’, Journal of English Linguistics 36(1): 5–38.
Gavioli, L. (2005) Exploring Corpora for ESP Learning. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Habermas, J. (1967) Theorie und Praxis. Neuwied am Rhein: Luchterland.
Halliday, M.A.K. (1978) Language as Social Semiotic: The Social Interpretation of Language
and Meaning. London: Arnold.
Halliday, M.A.K. and Matthiessen, M.I.M. (2004) An Introduction to Functional Grammar,
3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hardt-Mautner, G. (1995) Only Connect. Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics.
UCREL Technical Paper 6. Lancaster, UK: Lancaster University. Available at:
Hunston, S. (2002) Corpora in Applied Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Iedema, R. (2003) The Discourses of Post-bureaucratic Organization. Amsterdam:
Jäger, S. (2001) Kritische Diskursanalyse. Duisberg: DISS.
KhosraviNik, M. (forthcoming) ‘The Representation of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and
Immigrants in British Newspapers: A Critical Discourse Analysis’, Journal of Language
and Politics.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
302 Discourse & Society 19(3)
Koller, V. and Mautner, G. (2004) ‘Computer Applications in Critical Discourse Analysis’,
in C. Coffin, A. Hewings and K. O’Halloran (eds) Applying English Grammar: Corpus and
Functional Approaches, pp. 216–28. London: Arnold.
Kovács, A. and Wodak, R. (eds) (2003) NATO, Neutrality and National Identity. Vienna:
Kress, G. and Van Leeuwen, T. (2001) Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of
Contemporary Communication. London: Arnold.
Krishnamurthy, R. (1996) ‘Ethnic, Racial and Tribal: The Language of Racism?’, in
C.R. Caldas-Coulthard and M. Coulthard (eds) Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical
Discourse Analysis, pp. 129–49. London: Routledge.
Krzyz˙anowski, M. and Oberhuber, F. (2007) (Un)Doing Europe. Discourses and Practices of
Negotiating the EU Constitution. Brussels: P.I.E.-Peter Lang.
Krzyz˙anowski, M. and Wodak, R. (2007) ‘Multiple Identities, Migration and Belonging:
“Voices of Migrants”’, in C.R. Caldas-Coulthard and R. Iedema (eds) Critical Discourse
and Contested Identities, pp. 95–119. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Leech, G. (1992) ‘Corpora and Theories of Linguistic Performance’, in J. Svartvik (ed.)
Directions in Corpus Linguistics: Proceedings of the Nobel Symposium 82, Stockholm, 4–8
August 1991, pp. 105–22. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Louw, B. (1993) ‘Irony in the Text or Insincerity in the Writer? The Diagnostic Potential
of Semantic Prosodies’, in M. Baker, G. Francis and E. Tognini-Bonelli (eds) Text and
Technology: In Honour of John Sinclair, pp. 157–76. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John
McEnery, T. (2005) Swearing in English: Bad Language, Purity and Power from 1586 to the
Present. London: Routledge.
McEnery, T. and Gabrielatos, C. (2006) ‘English Corpus Linguistics’, in B. Aarts and A.
McMahon (eds) The Handbook of English Linguistics, pp. 33–71. Oxford: Blackwell.
Magalhaes, C.M. (2006) ‘A Critical Discourse Analysis Approach to News Discourses and
Social Practices on Race in Brazil’, DELTA 22(2): 275–301.
Mautner, G. (2000) Der britische Europa-Diskurs: Methodenreflexion und Fallstudien zur
Berichterstattung in der Tagespresse. Vienna: Passagen-Verlag.
Mautner, G. (2007) ‘Mining Large Corpora for Social Information: The Case of Elderly’,
Language in Society 36(1): 51–72.
Meinhof, U.H. and Richardson, K. (eds) (1994) Text, Discourse and Context: Representations
of Poverty in Britain. London: Longman.
Muntigl, P., Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (2000) European Union Discourses on Unemployment.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Nattinger, J.R. and DeCarrico, J.S. (1992) Lexical Phrases and Language Teaching. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
O’Halloran, K. and Coffin, C. (2004) ‘Checking Overinterpretation and Underinterpretation:
Help from Corpora in Critical Linguistics’, in C. Coffin, A. Hewings and K. O’Halloran
(eds) Applying English Grammar: Corpus and Functional Approaches, pp. 275–97. London:
Ooi, V. (2001) ‘Investigating and Teaching Genres Using the World Wide Web’, in
M. Ghadessy, A. Henry and R.L. Roseberry (eds) Small Corpus Studies and ELT,
pp. 175–203. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Orpin, D. (2005) ‘Corpus Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis: Examining the
Ideology of Sleaze’, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 10(1): 37–61.
Partington, A. (2003) The Linguistics of Political Argumentation: The Spin-doctor and the
Wolf-pack at the White House. London: Routledge.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 303
Partington, A. (2004) ‘Corpora and Discourse, a Most Congruous Beast’, in A. Partington,
J. Morley and L. Haarman (eds) Corpora and Discourse, pp. 11–20. Bern: Peter Lang.
Partington, A. (2006) ‘Metaphors, Motifs and Similes Across Discourse Types: Corpus-
assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) at Work’, in A. Stefanowitsch and S. Gries (eds)
Corpus-based Approaches to Metaphor and Metonymy, pp. 267–304. Berlin: Mouton de
Piper, A. (2000) ‘Some Have Credit Cards and Others Have Giro Cheques: “Individuals”
and “People” as Lifelong Learners in Late Modernity’, Discourse & Society 11(3):
Reisigl, M. and Wodak, R. (2001) Discourse and Discrimination: Rhetorics of Racism and
Anti-Semitism. London: Routledge.
Renkema, J. (2004) Introduction to Discourse Studies. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Richardson, J. (2004) (Mis)representing Islam: The Racism and Rhetoric of British Broadsheet
Newspapers. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Scott, M. (1999) WordSmith Tools Help Manual, Version 3.0. Oxford: Mike Scott/Oxford
University Press.
Scott, M. (2007) Oxford WordSmith Tools Version 4.0. Available: http://www.lexically.
Sedlak, M. (2000) ‘You Really Do Make an Unrespectable Foreign Policy’, in R. Wodak
and T.A. van Dijk (eds) Racism at the Top: Parliamentary Discourses on Ethnic Issues in
Six European States, pp. 107–68. Klagenfurt, Austria: Drava-Verlag.
Semino, E. and Short, M.H. (2004) Corpus Stylistics. London: Routledge.
Sinclair, J. (1991) Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sinclair, J. (2001) ‘Preface’, in M. Ghadessy, A. Henry and R.L. Roseberry (eds) Small
Corpus Studies and ELT, pp. vii–xv. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Sinclair, J. (2004) Trust the Text: Language, Corpus and Discourse. London: Routledge.
Sotillo, S.M. and Wang-Gempp, J. (2004) ‘Using Corpus Linguistics to Investigate
Class, Ideology, and Discursive Practices in Online Political Discussions: Pedagogical
Applications of Corpora’, in U. Connor and T.A. Upton (eds) Applied Corpus Linguistics,
pp. 91–122. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Stubbs, M. (1994) ‘Grammar, Text, and Ideology: Computer-assisted Methods in the
Linguistics of Representation’, Applied Linguistics 15(2): 201–23.
Stubbs, M. (1997) ‘Whorf ’s Children: Critical Comments on Critical Discourse Analysis’,
in A. Wray and A. Ryan (eds) Evolving Models of Language, pp. 100–16. Clevedon:
Multilingual Matters.
Stubbs, M. (2001) Words and Phrases: Corpus Studies of Lexical Semantics. Oxford:
Titscher, S., Meyer, M., Wodak, R. and Vetter, E. (2000) Methods of Text and Discourse
Analysis. London: SAGE.
Tognini-Bonelli, E. (2001) Corpus Linguistics at Work. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Van der Valk, I. (2000) ‘Parliamentary Discourse on Immigration and Nationality
in France’, in R. Wodak and T.A. van Dijk (eds) Racism at the Top: Parliamentary
Discourses on Ethnic Issues in Six European States, pp. 221–60. Klagenfurt, Austria:
Van Dijk, T.A. (1991) Racism and the Press. London: Routledge.
Van Dijk, T.A. (1993) Elite Discourse and Racism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Van Dijk, T.A. (1998) Ideology. London: SAGE.
Van Dijk, T.A. (2000) ‘Parliamentary Debates’, in R. Wodak and T.A. van Dijk (eds) Racism
at the Top: Parliamentary Discourses on Ethnic Issues, pp. 45–79. Klagenfurt: Drava.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
304 Discourse & Society 19(3)
Van Dijk, T.A. (2005) Discourse and Racism in Spain and Latin America. Amsterdam:
Van Dijk, T.A. (2008) Discourse Reader. London: SAGE.
Van Leeuwen, T. (1996) ‘The Representation of Social Actors’, in C.R. Caldas-Coulthard
and M. Coulthard (eds) Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis, pp.
32–70. London: Routledge.
Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (eds) (2003) Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinary.
Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave.
Widdowson, H.G. (2000) ‘On the Limitations of Linguistics Applied’, Applied Linguistics
21(1): 3–25.
Wodak, R. (1986) Language Behavior in Therapy Groups. Los Angeles, CA: University of
California Press.
Wodak, R. (1996) Disorders of Discourse. London: Longman.
Wodak, R. (2000) ‘Recontextualization and the Transformation of Meanings: A Critical
Discourse Analysis of Decision Making in EU Meetings About Employment Policies’,
in S. Sarangi and M. Coulthard (eds) Discourse and Social Life, pp. 185–206. Harlow,
UK: Pearson Education.
Wodak, R. (2001) ‘The Discourse Historical Approach’, in R. Wodak and M. Meyer (eds)
Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis, pp. 63–94. London: SAGE.
Wodak, R. (2004a) ‘Critical Discourse Analysis’, in C. Seale, G. Gobo, J.F. Gubrium and
D. Silverman (eds) Qualitative Research Practice, pp. 197–213. London: SAGE.
Wodak, R. (2004b) ‘Discourses of Silence’, in L. Thiesmeyer (ed.) Discourse and Silencing,
pp. 179–209. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Wodak, R. (2006)Review Article: Boundaries in Discourse Analysis’, Journal of Language
in Society 35(4): 595–611.
Wodak, R. (2007a) ‘What Now?’ – Some Reflections on the European Convention and its
Implications’, in M. Krzyz˙anowski and F. Oberhuber (eds) (Un)doing Europe. Discourses
and Practices of Negotiating the EU Constitution, pp. 203–17. Brussels: P.I.E.-Peter
Wodak, R. (2007b) ‘Pragmatics and Critical Discourse Analysis: A Cross-disciplinary
Inquiry’, Journal of Pragmatics and Cognition 15(1): 203–27.
Wodak, R. (2008) ‘Introduction’, in R. Wodak and M. Kryz
anowski (eds) Qualitative
Discourse Analysis in the Social Sciences. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wodak, R. and Chilton, P. (eds) (2007) A New Agenda in Critical Discourse Analysis, 2nd
edn. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Wodak, R. and De Cillia, R. (2006) Ist Österreich ein deutsches Land? Anmerkungen zur
Sprachenpolitik der Zweiten Republik. Innsbruck, Austria: Studienverlag.
Wodak, R. and Krzyz˙anowski, M. (eds) (2008) Qualitative Discourse Analysis in the Social
Sciences. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (eds) (2001) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London:
Wodak, R. and Schulz, H. (1986) The Language of Love and Guilt. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Wodak, R. and Van Dijk, T.A. (eds) (2000) Racism at the Top. Parliamentary Discourses on
Ethnic Issues in Six European States. Klagenfurt, Austria: Drava-Verlag.
Wodak, R., De Cillia, R., Gruber, H., Mitten, R., Nowak, P. and Pelikan, J. (1990) Wir
sind alle unschuldige Täter! Diskurshistorische Studien zum Nachkriegsantisemitismus.
Frankfurt-am-Main: Suhrkamp.
Wodak, R., De Cillia, R., Reisigl, M. and Liebhart, K. (1999) The Discursive Construction of
National Identity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
Baker et al.: Discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press 305
PAUL BAKER is a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster
University. His recent publications include Polari, The Lost Language of Gay Men (2002),
Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis (2006), A Glossary of Corpus Linguistics (2006 with
Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie) and Public Discourses of Gay Men (2005). He has also
published papers in Sociolinguistics, Literary and Linguistic Computing and Journal of English
Linguistics. He is the commissioning editor of Corpora journal. See http://www.ling.lancs.
ADDRESS: Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster
University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, UK. [email:]
COSTAS GABRIELATOS is a Research Associate at Lancaster University, where he is also
working towards a PhD in linguistics, doing corpus research on English if-conditionals.
His main areas of interest are the expression of modality and time in English, use of
corpus-based approaches in (critical) discourse analysis, and the implications of corpus-
based research insights for language teaching in general, and pedagogical grammar in
particular. For details see
MAJID KHOSRAVINIK is a Research Associate and Teaching Assistant in Linguistics
and English Language at Lancaster University. He is working towards a PhD on
critical discourse analysis and discursive strategies of ‘self ’ and ‘other’ representation
in news discourse. Majid has been involved in discourse analytical studies in the context
of Iran including a CDA analysis of political ideologies in Iranian newspapers.
His research interests include: discourse and racism/discrimination, discourse and
politics, language and identity, language and gender, and language policy. See
MICHAŁ KRZYZ˙ ANOWSKI is research fellow at the Department of Linguistics and English
Language, Lancaster University, UK, and Assistant Professor at the School of English,
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan´, Poland. His main research interests are in critical
discourse analysis and the development of the CDA’s ‘discourse–historical’ approach to
the synchronic and diachronic study of social, political and institutional change. He
has published extensively on discourses in EU Institutions and on discourses of politics
and the media in Europe. For details about current projects and publications see:
TONY MCENERY is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster
University. He has researched extensively on the use of corpora in applied and theor-
etical linguistics and is the author of Corpus Linguistics (with A. Wilson, Edinburgh
University Press, 1996) and Swearing in English (Routledge, 2005). He has held numerous
grants exploring the application of corpus linguistics in applied linguistics, including
grants from the UK research councils and the European Union. He is currently exploring
the use of corpus data in the diagnosis and explanation of moral panics. See also
RUTH WODAK is Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies at Lancaster University.
Besides various other prizes, she was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize for Elite Researchers
in 1996 and is also head of the Wittgenstein Research Centre ‘Discourse, Politics, Identity’
at the University of Vienna. Her research interests focus on discourse analysis, gender
studies, language and/in politics, identity politics, prejudice and discrimination, and on
ethnographic methods of linguistic field work. She is a member of the editorial board of
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
306 Discourse & Society 19(3)
a range of linguistic journals and co-editor of the journals Discourse & Society, Critical
Discourse Studies and Language and Politics. She has held visiting professorships in Uppsala,
Stanford University, University of Minnesota, University of East Anglia and Georgetown
University. See for current research projects.
at Edge Hill University on March 12, 2009 http://das.sagepub.comDownloaded from
... Historically, many studies have highlighted drawbacks and provided criticisms of these approaches when used exclusively on their own (cf. Baker et al., 2008;Cheng, 2013;Orpin, 2005;Stubbs, 1997). However, the use of the approaches combined together complement each other well and has gained popularity and momentum among the advocates of each approach. ...
... The approach is known as corpus assisted (critical) discourse analysis. It is the integration of the two different approaches, corpus linguistics (CL) and critical discourse analysis (CDA) (Baker et al., 2008;Baker & Levon, 2015). Based on reviews of 121 studies that adopted the incorporation of CL with CDA, Nartey and Mwinlaaru (2019) conclude that this is "a robust methodology" that helps to answer questions related to social issues (p. ...
Full-text available
Examining the linguistic representation of a minority group using computer-assisted method is the heart of this study. In particular, we are interested in investigating how the indigenous people of Malaysia or Orang Asli are being represented by the news media in Malaysia as we believe that mass media play a huge role in curating the image of a group and affecting perception of readers about that group. It affects how they are perceived by the mainstream community. Using corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis, a 700,000-word corpus was examined focusing on grammatical words. Through the analysis, we found that the Orang Asli are consistently being framed as a helpless group who are frequently in need of assistance. Often, they are positioned as passive recipients of things from more dominant groups like volunteers and governments. These consistent negative and helpless images of the Orang Asli, we believe will be detrimental to the overall perception of society towards them which may later affect their social standing in the Malaysian community. We believe that stories about orang Asli need to be curated in a more positive manner thus, promoting them as active members of the society who can contribute to the development of the nation.
... This study follows an approach, Digital Linguistics (DL), which links Corpus Linguistics and the DHA (Discourse Historical Approach) framework as proposed in Baker et al. (2008) and Reisigl and Wodak (2016). The benefits of combining these frameworks for uncovering ideologies and evidence of disadvantages have been theorised in a large body of research (for example in Baker et al. 2008;Baker, McEnery 2015b;Gabrielatos, Baker 2008a;Hardt-Mautner 1995;Partington 2004;Partington 2015;Posch 2022;Stefanowitsch 2020;Taylor, Marchi 2018). 2 Two important points shall be summarised here briefly: analysing texts with corpus statistical tools allows us to study larger amounts of text than in the traditional DHA. ...
... This study follows an approach, Digital Linguistics (DL), which links Corpus Linguistics and the DHA (Discourse Historical Approach) framework as proposed in Baker et al. (2008) and Reisigl and Wodak (2016). The benefits of combining these frameworks for uncovering ideologies and evidence of disadvantages have been theorised in a large body of research (for example in Baker et al. 2008;Baker, McEnery 2015b;Gabrielatos, Baker 2008a;Hardt-Mautner 1995;Partington 2004;Partington 2015;Posch 2022;Stefanowitsch 2020;Taylor, Marchi 2018). 2 Two important points shall be summarised here briefly: analysing texts with corpus statistical tools allows us to study larger amounts of text than in the traditional DHA. This makes what is analysed reproducible and enables the researcher to make data-driven, reproducible selections of what to analyse. ...
... That is, this project analysed Table 6.2). 2 material generated by mass media with the goal of exposing and explaining how dominance is reproduced and legitimated. Amongst other limitations that generally apply to qualitative (Kuckartz & Rädiker, 2019) and discourse analysis (Tannen et al., 2015), the depth of this study was limited by the quantity of material analysed (Baker et al., 2008). ...
Full-text available
Obraz Polaka imigranta w brytyjskiej prasie opiniotwórczej: analiza korpusowa i krytyczna analiza dyskursu 1. Wstęp Celem badania opisanego w niniejszym artykule jest znalezienie cech wartościujących Polaków w korpusie brytyjskiej prasy opiniotwórczej. Dane materiałowe pochodzą z korpusów prasy brytyjskiej. Niniejszy artykuł ma na celu wskazanie, jak można w stosunkowo szybkim czasie przeanalizować dużą liczbę tekstów, dokonać analiz porównawczych oraz jakie wnioski wyłaniają się z takiej analizy w przypadku badanej kwestii obrazu Polaków w opiniotwórczej prasie brytyjskiej. Przeprowadzona analiza odwołuje się zatem do badań typowo językoznawczych (korpusowych), a także do badań na pograniczu językoznawstwa i nauk społecznych, mianowicie do krytycznej analizy dyskursu (KAD). 2. Podstawy teoretyczno-metodologiczne 2.1. Wartościowanie Główną osnową przedstawionej poniżej analizy jest charakterystyka aksjologiczna danych językowych, czyli wartościowanie. Wartościowanie rozumiane jest jako formułowanie stwierdzeń o tym, jakie cechy (wartości) pozytywne lub negatywne właściwe są osobie, obiektowi, zjawisku czy zachowaniu, które poddaje ocenie osoba wartościująca, odwołując się do jakiegoś wcześniej przyjętego kryterium (Puzynina 1992: 3, Laskowska 1992: 13). O wartościowaniu w języku dużo już napisano, o czym świadczą publikacje, Jadwigi Puzyniny (1992) i Elżbiety Laskowskiej (1992) w języku polskim czy Tomasza Krzeszowskiego (1997) i Moniki Bednarek (2006) w języku angielskim. Według E. Laskowskiej każda wypowiedź na poziomie interakcyjnym może pełnić jedną z trzech funkcji: informacyjno-weryfikacyjną, wartościująco-emotywną lub funkcję działania (2008), z czego ten drugi typ wypowiedzi zwykle występuje przy wyrażaniu sądów, opinii i stwierdzeń wartościujących, nie mniej jednak funkcje te mogą się nakładać. Odwołując się do typologii wartości według
Full-text available
Metafore imajo moč strukturiranja naših zaznav in razumevanja, njihova večkratna uporaba v medijskem diskurzu pa lahko vpliva na ustvarjanje bralčevih negativnih sodb. To medijsko orodje je izjemno močno pri spreminjanju ideoloških prepričanj in sistemov, saj lahko medijska obravnava ranljivih skupin globoko ukorenini negativne implikacije in negativna stališča do teh ljudi. Kljub temu, da so na to problematiko opozarjale številne študije, se nehumana obravnava ranljive skupine beguncev ni spremenila, čeprav je minilo že kar nekaj let od začetka begunske krize leta 2015. V prispevku kvalitativno analiziramo poročanje o beguncih od junija do septembra 2018 v treh angleških spletnih časopisih: The Guardian, The Telegraph in The Independent. Analizirali smo 30 naključno izbranih člankov, ki so poročali o različnih dogodkih v zvezi z begunci in begunsko krizo. Namen te analize je ugotoviti, kako so o različnih dogodkih v tem časovnem obdobju poročali omenjeni angleški časopisi ter katere metafore so pri tem najpogosteje uporabljali. Rezultati kažejo, da so medijska poročila še vedno negativno obarvana in da se negativne metafore še vedno uporabljajo. Poleg široko razširjene vodne metafore, so se pojavljale tako vojne metafore kot tudi metafore, ki opisujejo begunce kot živali in kot blago oz. predmete. Označevanje in prikazovanje beguncev kot grožnje je zelo nevarno, saj se na ta način razvijajo in spodbujajo negativne družbene podobe ter tudi legitimizirajo zatiralske nacionalne prakse. Raba nestrpnega jezika lahko povzroča negativne podobe beguncev v javnosti, hkrati pa spodbuja ksenofobijo, marginalizacijo in diskriminacijo, zato bi bilo treba retoriko o beguncih in begunski krizi čimprej spremeniti.
Full-text available
Since their emergence, newspapers have proved to be valuable resources in society. Newspapers on CD-ROM or numerous searchable Internet archives are essential sources of building corpora because they are primarily available in electronic forms. Different studies used large corpora of newspapers to uncover some discourses related to various issues. By providing an example of a corpus of newspaper articles on the period of the Arab Spring and the 2011 Libyan civil war in general and Libya and Qaddafi in particular, this study shows the steps of designing and compiling a corpus of English and Arabic newspapers. This study highlights some practical constraints researchers can face while building their own corpora. It concludes with some core issues to be considered while designing a corpus from news databases and newspaper websites.
The current study addresses the questions presented in Chapter 1 by providing insights into the perceptions of CPEC and BRI in the media discourses of Pakistan and India. The perceptions of this economic project were explored by analyzing the frequencies of targeted words related to CPEC, China and BRI identifiable in the newspaper discourses of Pakistan and India over the period of 2012–2019. As seen from the keywords list against BNC, BRI is taken as being synonymous with Silk (Road), land (Route) and Maritime route and Initiative which is indicative of positive perceptions of PENC.
This Chapter presents the review of literature and studies conducted hitherto in critical discourse analysis (CDA), corpus linguistics (CL) and corpus-based critical discourse analysis pertaining to the focus of the current study. Offering a historical account of CDA, Sect.2.1 examines earlier research in the area of CDA and highlights the gaps in empirical research within this domain.
This chapter comprises the analysis of BRI and CPEC in the sub-corpus of newspapers published in India. This section is significant because India shares border with India and Pakistan. Therefore, this chapter analyzes the perception of BRI and CPEC in media discourses to identify the responses of Indian media towards China’s mega project. The analysis comprises collocation of nouns, verbs, and concordances of targeted words occurring in the data.
This chapter first presents the overall findings of the book as to the perceptions of BRI and CPEC within English newspapers in Pakistan. Next, drawing upon the theoretical insights of Fairclough’s 3D model of CDA, the chapter discusses the findings at the textual and discourse practice levels.
Corpus linguistics is leading to the development of theories about language which challenge existing orthodoxies in applied linguistics. However, there are also many questions which should be examined and debated: how big should a corpus be? Is the data from a corpus reliable? What are its applications for language teaching? Corpora in Applied Linguistics exams these and other questions related to this emerging field. It discusses these important issues and explores the techniques of investigating a corpus, as well as demonstrating the application of corpora in a wide variety of fields. It also outlines the impact corpus linguistics is having on how languages are taught in the classroom and how it is informing language teaching materials and dictionaries. It makes a superb and accessible introduction to corpus linguistics and is a must read for anyone interested in corpus linguistics and its impact on applied linguistics.