Chapter published in:Cross-linguistic Correspondences: From lexis to genre
Edited by Thomas Egan and Hildegunn Dirdal
[Studies in Language Companion Series 191] 2017
► pp. 221–252
A corpus-based analysis of genre-specific multi-word combinations
Minutes in English and Spanish
English and Spanish minutes both contain two vocabulary sets, one that codifies the ‘field’ and belongs in a given content area, and another that codifies the discursive practices of the genre ‘minutes’. This paper sets out to explore which multi-word combinations can be identified as genre- and step-specific, and what correspondences can be identified across languages. The study draws on an English–Spanish comparable corpus of meeting minutes, tagged on the rhetorical level. A comparable corpus browser with a basic statistic feature has been used to obtain step subcorpora and WordSmith Tools was used to obtain n-grams within rhetorical steps in each language. N-grams were classified as genre-specific, step-specific, field-related, function-word combination or noise. Empirical findings show that for each rhetorical move, irrespective of text ‘field’, a number of n-grams have become readily associated in each of the languages. Since word choice is determined by genre-bound expectations and by context, selections across languages are not obvious and correspondences show different grams and number of grams.
Published online: 23 November 2017
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