Quotation Lutzky, Ursula, Kehoe, Andrew. 2017. 'I apologise for my poor blogging': Searching for apologies in the Birmingham Blog Corpus. Corpus Pragmatics, 1 (1), 37-56.




This study addresses a familiar challenge in corpus pragmatic research: the search for functional phenomena in large electronic corpora. Speech acts are one area of research that falls into this functional domain and the question of how to identify them in corpora has occupied researchers over the past 20 years. This study focuses on apologies as a speech act that is characterised by a standard set of routine expressions, making it easier to search for with corpus linguistic tools. Nevertheless, even for a comparatively formulaic speech act, such as apologies, the polysemous nature of forms (cf. e.g. I am sorry vs. a sorry state) impacts the precision of the search output so that previous studies of smaller data samples had to resort to manual microanalysis. In this study, we introduce an innovative methodological approach that demonstrates how the combination of different types of collocational analysis can facilitate the study of speech acts in larger corpora. By first establishing a collocational profile for each of the Illocutionary Force Indicating Devices associated with apologies and then scrutinising their shared and unique collocates, unwanted hits can be discarded and the amount of manual intervention reduced. Thus, this article introduces new possibilities in the field of corpus-based speech act analysis and encourages the study of pragmatic phenomena in large corpora.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Corpus Pragmatics
Language English
Title 'I apologise for my poor blogging': Searching for apologies in the Birmingham Blog Corpus
Volume 1
Number 1
Year 2017
Page from 37
Page to 56
Reviewed? Y
URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41701-017-0004-0
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41701-017-0004-0


Lutzky, Ursula (Details)
Kehoe, Andrew (Birmingham City University, United Kingdom)
Institute for English Business Communication IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
6604 Applied linguistics (Details)
6611 Linguistics (Details)
6625 Technical language studies (Details)
6633 Computational linguistics (Details)
6643 Synchronic linguistics (Details)
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