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Abstract

In this article I discuss the issues and challenges of compiling a corpus of historical plays by a range of playwrights that is highly suitable for use in comparative, corpus-based research into language style in Shakespeare’s plays. In discussing sources for digitised historical play-texts and criteria for making a selection for the present study, I argue that not just any set of Early Modern English plays constitutes a suitable basis upon which to make reliable claims about language style in Shakespeare’s plays relative to those of his peers. I point out factors outside of authorial choice which potentially have bearing on language style, such as sub-genre features and change over time. I also highlight some particular difficulties in compiling a corpus of historical texts, notably dating and spelling variation, and I explain how these were addressed. The corpus detailed in this article extends the prospects for investigating Shakespeare’s language style by providing a context into which it can be set and, as I indicate, is a valuable new publicly accessible resource for future research.

Abstract

Corpus-based studies of learner language and (especially) English varieties have become more quantitative in nature and increasingly use regression-based methods and classifiers such as classification trees, random forests, etc. One recent development more widely used is the MuPDAR (Multifactorial Prediction and Deviation Analysis using Regressions) approach of Gries and Deshors (2014) and Gries and Adelman (2014). This approach attempts to improve on traditional regression- or tree-based approaches by, firstly, training a model on the reference speakers (often native speakers (NS) in learner corpus studies or British English speakers in variety studies), then, secondly, using this model to predict what such a reference speaker would produce in the situation the target speaker is in (often non-native speakers (NNS) or indigenized-variety speakers). Crucially, the third step then consists of determining whether the target speakers made a canonical choice or not and explore that variability with a second regression model or classifier.

Both regression-based modeling in general and MuPDAR in particular have led to many interesting results, but we want to propose two changes in perspective on the results they produce. First, we want to focus attention on the middle ground of the prediction space, i.e. the predictions of a regression/classifier that, essentially, are made non-confidently and translate into a statement such as ‘in this context, both/all alternants would be fine’. Second, we want to make a plug for a greater attention to misclassifications/-predictions and propose a method to identify those as well as discuss what we can learn from studying them. We exemplify our two suggestions based on a brief case study, namely the dative alternation in native and learner corpus data.

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to identify the image of a woman coded in Danish proverbs. The basis of my research is the assumption that proverbs convey knowledge of how societies perceive the reality and that proverbs are used as interpretative mechanisms. This is mainly achieved thanks to the repetitive nature of proverbs. Simultaneously proverbs force certain perception of the world upon societies and promote certain values.

The image of a woman in the Danish language is composed by two stereotypes, a negative and a positive one. The image is a combination of contradictions. On one hand there is admiration for features such as care, motherhood, life experience and, hard work, but on the other hand women are submitted to discrimination and harsh social pressure. Women are depicted as talkative, dominating, evil, vain, unpredictable, unrestrained. They face pressure to get married, take good care of their looks, or be exemplary housewives. The analysis of Danish proverbs gives a possibility to observe how much women’s social status, character and the perception of women by the society have changed throughout the centuries and how these changes have influenced the language we use and the reality that the language depicts.

Abstract

The main focus of the present paper is the so-called “intertextual revision”, explored as one of the most recent and innovative strategies employed while reviving the legacy of the Danish fairy-tale classic Hans Christian Andersen. In order to illustrate this practice, I discuss a short story entitled Travels with the Snow Queen (2001), by an American writer Kelly Link, which is a reworking of Andersen's worldfamous fairy tale The Snow Queen (1844). Link’s take on Andersen’s tale represents one of the leading directions within revisionary fairy-tale fiction, inspired by feminism and gender criticism. The analysis is centered around the narrative strategies employed by the author in order to challenge the gender logic incorporated into Andersen’s account, as well as the broader fairy-tale tradition it belongs to.

Abstract

The live broadcast of different, socially important events is nowadays no longer reserved only for radio and television. The live-ticker, a result of various media convergence processes, is a multimodal and interactive set of institutional reports, journalists’ and politicians’ opinions, pictures, short films and social media posts, that 24/7 provides the most up-to-date information on a specific topic. The article is an investigation into the media genre live-ticker with a focus on its multimodal structure, the language-image relations, as well as aspects of hypertextuality. Finally, I want to show what the live ticker differs from similar forms of online broadcasting. The corpus are three Danish live-tickers that provided the most detailed report on the trial of the Danish entrepreneur and designer Peter Madsen: bt.dk, ekstrabladet.dk and jyllands-posten.dk. Madsen murdered in 2017 a Swedish journalist Kim Wall, for which he was sentenced in April 2018 to life imprisonment.

Abstract

From Philip Roth’s characater Merry Levov in American Pastoral to real-life figures such as the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre, the young domestic terrorist has become the archetype of a dramatic and unpredictable social and political climate. This paper intends to explore the real and fictional avatars of this contemporary anti-hero, its dynamics and specific place in contemporary imagination.