Isserlis, Simon Jonathon (2009)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Britain’s maritime history has fundamentally affected the English language as spoken and written throughout the English speaking world. Maritime expressions (MEs), such as “taken aback” “batten down” and “log” are used on a daily basis, usually without any awareness on the part of the user of their source. This study examines the ideas of discourse communities as defined by Swales (1999) and Teubert (2005; 2007) and how discourse is negotiated by its members. The study aims to describe the process by which the highly specialised language of the very specific discourse community of mariners has influenced the wider English speaking discourse community. Following an assessment of the historical and social conditions that led to the prominence of MEs in English, the study looks at twenty examples, dividing them into “transparent” and “opaque” categories (Moon 1998). Using the Cobuild Bank of English Corpus, the MEs were analysed to reveal patterns about who uses them, why and where. The findings reveal distinctive differences of usage in the major English speaking counties of Britain, America, Canada and Australia, providing revealing insights into the processes of change, as particular expressions develop new meanings or adapt to accommodate the requirements of the modern discourse community.
|Type of Work:||M.Phil. thesis.|
|Supervisor(s):||Groom, Nicholas and Hunston, Susan (1953-)|
|School/Faculty:||Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law|
|Department:||Department of Humanities, Centre for Corpus Research|
|Keywords:||maritime language, maritime expressions, discourse communities, specialised discourse|
|Subjects:||P Philology. Linguistics|
|Institution:||University of Birmingham|
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