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Restoring the history of the subaltern: a corpus-informed study of ‘The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave’

Moreton, Emma (2008)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Drawing from Halliday’s (2004) account of Systemic Functional Grammar and Hoey’s (2005) theory of Lexical Priming the aim of this thesis is to propose a critical method of examining the language used by the subaltern to talk about their experiences. First, I discuss how the linguistic theories outlined above might be used to explicate key concepts in postcolonial studies relating to the voice of the subaltern subject. Second, I use corpus methods to carry out the type of linguistic analysis being proposed. Taking KNOW, KEEP, SAY, GIVE and TAKE as examples, it is suggested that the use of verbs in ‘The History of Prince’ can not only reveal something about how Prince construed events and perceived the world, but can also reveal something about the social and ideological systems which, through discourse, helped to construct those experiences and operated to suppress her. In this thesis I only focus on five verbs; however, I would argue that this initial investigation shows the benefits of using corpus methods of analysis.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hunston, Susan (1953-)
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Humanities
Keywords:Systemic Functional Grammar; Corpus Linguistics; Subaltern Studies; Hegemony; Mary Prince
Subjects:P Philology. Linguistics
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:169
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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