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A corpus study of English “nautical” idioms

Annotation

We attempt to study nautical history influence on the phraseology of contemporary English. Britain’s geographical location and consequently its dependence on the surrounding seas greatly affected the language of all English-speaking countries. On the basis of criteria defined by J. Swales and ideas of W. Teubert, we identify the English-speaking discourse community of sea-farers. The assessment of historical and social conditions made it possible to determine the causes and the impact of the highly specialized language of this discourse community on the entire Eng-lish language. Following the study of two main approaches when working with language corpora (corpus-based and corpus-driven), we conducts corpus-driven research relying totally on the data obtained from the corpus. Using the material from the English language corpus NOW (News on the Web), we study the context and extent of distribution of seven phraseological units with com-ponents with the semantics of navigation in two main variants of the English language: British and American. The data obtained showed partial grammatical and syntactic discrepancies, as well as acceptable variations in the lexical structure of some units. The study of original nautical meanings allows us to understand the metaphorical mapping underlying the sense of the idioms.

Keywords

corpus linguistics, language corpus, “nautical” idioms, discourse community, corpus-driven approach

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DOI

10.20310/2587-6953-2021-7-28-636-644

UDC

81.276.5: 811.111

Pages

636-644

References

1. Sinclair J. Corpus. Concordance. Collocation. Oxford, OUP Publ., 1991, 200 p. 2. Tognini-Bonelli E. Corpus linguistics at work. Amsterdam, John Benjamins Publ., 2001, 224 p. 3. Deignan A. Metaphor and Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam, Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publ., 2005, 236 p. 4. Nystrand M. What Writers Know: The language, process, and structure of written discourse. New York, Academic Press, 1982, 391 p. 5. Swales J. Genre Analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1990, 260 p. 6. Hoey M., Mahlberg M., Stubbs M., Teubert W. Text, discourse and corpora: theory and analysis. London, Continuum Publ., 2007, 264 p. 7. Smith W.H. The Sailor’s Word Book. London, Conway Maritime Press, 2010, 744 p. 8. Crystal D. The Stories of English. London, Allen Lane Publ., 2004, 584 p. 9. Teubert W. My Version of Corpus Linguistics. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 2005, vol. 1, issue 1, pp. 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.10.1.01teu 10. Shchagina O.V. Metaforicheskoye modelirovaniye morskoy leksiki v bri-tanskom politicheskom diskurse: korpusno-oriyentirovannyy podkhod [Metaphorical patterns of maritime expressions in British political discourse: corpus-based approach]. Vestnik Bashkirskogo universiteta – Bulletin of Bashkir University, Ufa, 2020, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 360-365. https://doi.org/10.33184/bulletin-bsu-2020.2.23. (In Russian). 11. Flavell L., Flavell R. Dictionary of Idioms and their Origins. London, Kyle Cathie LTD, 1992, 216 p.

Received

2021-05-12

Section of issue

Language studies

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