Edited by Michaela Mahlberg and Gavin Brookes
[International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 26:4] 2021
► pp. 557–582
This paper reports on study of online COVID-19 memorials posted during 2020 to the Church of England website https://www.rememberme2020.uk/. The paper employs a Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS) approach to analyse networks of co-occurring linguistic items (types and lemmata) and patterns (ngrams) within online memorials, and examines how these frequent items/patterns exist within networked discourses that underpin an overarching bereavement discourse. The analysis finds that bereavement discourse is underpinned by frequent reference to love, relationships and relational identification, time and temporality, loss/absence, and memory, as well as metaphors based on container and journey image schema. An analysis of these metaphorical representations of death and bereavement suggest that online memorials serve as a space for the social practice of bereavement and shows how the language used to grieve attempts to ideologically (re)present the relationships between the bereaved and decedent. All code used in this paper can be found at https://osf.io/khcj2/.