Presentation Title

Semantic Prosody of ‘Immigrant’ within Linguistic Registers: Corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis

Abstract

This paper investigates how social and political ideology is conveyed through specific registers, or functional varietals, found in corpora data. Considering the increasingly polarized nature of American dialogue surrounding immigration over the past decades, I provide a corpus-based approach to decomplexifying public opinion. In examining the precise registers in which the word “immigrant” is used via the Corpus of Online Registers of English (CORE), the node word’s behavior and semantic prosody may be observed.

As a nation founded by early European settlers, expanded by the opening of Ellis Island in 1892, and altered by globalization, the collective definition of “immigrant” has fluctuated referring to diverse populations and with varying attitudes. Critically analyzing sociolinguistic ideology through quantifiable units of corpus linguistics presents an opportunity for formalization.

Searching for the predominant collocates for the singular, “immigrant”, found in the CORE corpus, the controlled variable is assigned a spectrum of semantic identities, according to the collocates within a -2, 2+ span. The surrounding adjectival collocates of “immigrant” are weighted by participants on a value scale based on their positive or negative position within the given registers, ranging from values 1-4. The Semantic Schema Scale identifies prosody based on the statements that the usage A) supports immigrants as having a positive influence on and for the US, or B) marks negative prosody based on the statement that immigrants are agents who negatively affect and influence the US.

The results of this paper will determine whether the label “immigrant” provides positive or negative meaning within the domain of online discussion and discourse. Despite the narrative of acceptance upheld by the US government, corpus data can provide a more accurate rendering of the American perception of immigrants while considering that language does not occur in isolation and has long-lasting consequences that inform public and private knowledge.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Guillermo Rodriguez

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Linguistics

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

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Semantic Prosody of ‘Immigrant’ within Linguistic Registers: Corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis

This paper investigates how social and political ideology is conveyed through specific registers, or functional varietals, found in corpora data. Considering the increasingly polarized nature of American dialogue surrounding immigration over the past decades, I provide a corpus-based approach to decomplexifying public opinion. In examining the precise registers in which the word “immigrant” is used via the Corpus of Online Registers of English (CORE), the node word’s behavior and semantic prosody may be observed.

As a nation founded by early European settlers, expanded by the opening of Ellis Island in 1892, and altered by globalization, the collective definition of “immigrant” has fluctuated referring to diverse populations and with varying attitudes. Critically analyzing sociolinguistic ideology through quantifiable units of corpus linguistics presents an opportunity for formalization.

Searching for the predominant collocates for the singular, “immigrant”, found in the CORE corpus, the controlled variable is assigned a spectrum of semantic identities, according to the collocates within a -2, 2+ span. The surrounding adjectival collocates of “immigrant” are weighted by participants on a value scale based on their positive or negative position within the given registers, ranging from values 1-4. The Semantic Schema Scale identifies prosody based on the statements that the usage A) supports immigrants as having a positive influence on and for the US, or B) marks negative prosody based on the statement that immigrants are agents who negatively affect and influence the US.

The results of this paper will determine whether the label “immigrant” provides positive or negative meaning within the domain of online discussion and discourse. Despite the narrative of acceptance upheld by the US government, corpus data can provide a more accurate rendering of the American perception of immigrants while considering that language does not occur in isolation and has long-lasting consequences that inform public and private knowledge.