Smith, Dominic N. A. (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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This study proposes a methodology that combines techniques from corpus linguistics with theory from the Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The methodology is demonstrated using a corpus comprising transcripts of Hugo Chávez’s television programme, Aló Presidente, broadcast between January 2002 and June 2007.
In this thesis, I identify a number of criticisms of CDA and suggest that corpus linguistics can be used to reduce the principle risks: over-/under-interpretation of data and ensuring that the examples used are representative. I then present a methodology designed to minimise these effects, based upon a hypothesis that semantic fields are used more frequently in periods when they are topical, and therefore one can isolate instances which were produced at times of change. I use the Aló Presidente corpus to present a detailed description of three such semantic fields and then adopt the concept of discourse strategies from the DHA to demonstrate how Chávez’s framing of the topics changes with time. This leads to a set of conclusions which seek to answer the research question:
How is life in Venezuela framed as having changed under Chávez’s Presidency by reference to his Aló Presidente television programme during the period 2002-2007?
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties.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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