Chapter published in:Reference and Identity in Public Discourses
Edited by Ursula Lutzky and Minna Nevala
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 306] 2019
► pp. 127–158
“Thanks for the donds”
A corpus linguistic analysis of topic-based communities in the comment section of The Guardian
In this chapter we use corpus linguistic techniques to analyse reader comments on the website of the UK newspaper The Guardian. Our research is based on a corpus containing over 500,000 articles published on the website from 2007 to 2010, along with all 6.2 million comments made on those articles. We examine the distribution of comments across articles and topics before going on to explore the commenting behaviour of individual people. The Guardian website is a public forum with over 20 million unique visitors per month yet, as we demonstrate, it is an online space where people are able to build distinct sub-communities around particular topics and interact regularly on an individual basis without necessarily knowing one another’s true identity.
Keywords: blogs, comments, journalism, corpus linguistics, collocation, community, addressivity, reference, identity, topic
Published online: 21 October 2019
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