Chapter published in:Applications of Pattern-driven Methods in Corpus Linguistics
Edited by Joanna Kopaczyk and Jukka Tyrkkö
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 82] 2018
► pp. 131–158
Chapter 6Between corpus-based and corpus-driven approaches to textual recurrence
Exploring semantic sequences in judicial discourse
The article investigates the link between lexical and meaning patterns in the specialized discourse of judicial opinions. It presents an analysis of the N that pattern in a corpus of US Supreme Court opinions. The analysis looks at the distribution of a selection of nouns found in the pattern across different discourse functions. It is shown that judicial opinions use a range of status-indicating nouns in the N that pattern to perform five main functions: evaluation, cause, result, confirmation and existence. Yet, evaluation plays a central role in judicial writing and most status-indicating nouns are used to signal sites of contentions, i.e. challenged propositions are likely to be labelled as arguments, assumptions, notions or suggestions. By drawing on the concept of semantic sequence (Hunston 2008), the analysis illustrates how corpus-based and corpus-driven approaches can complement one another to build a picture of common epistemological practices in the corpus of legal texts.
- 2.N that pattern, evaluation and status
- 3.Corpus and context
- 5.Discussion of findings
- 5.1The phrase argument that and its functions
- 5.2Status-indicating nouns and their discourse functions
- 6.Conclusion and outlook
Published online: 13 March 2018
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Cited by 3 other publications
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