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Repetitions of Word Forms in Texts

An Approach to Establishing Text Structure

Author(s): Elena Tarasheva

Book Description

This book explores how experienced authors repeat word forms in three different genres: research articles, short stories and political speeches. Methods from corpus linguistics are used to elicit all the repeated word forms in each text and then the material is analysed to establish the nature of the repetitions. The analysis seeks answers to the questions: in what naming complexes are the words repeated; is the same concept evoked; is the referential type repeated; are there metaphoric, pragmatic or other shifts in the meaning of the word? Taxonomy of repetition types is evolved which leads to conclusions about the role of repetition in creating coherent texts.

The book provides evidence that repetitions amount to about 60% of the words in a text and they form groups of chains typical for each genre. Thus the way words are repeated serves to create the skeleton of a genre. Comparisons show that in texts written by inexperienced authors the repetitions are considerably fewer than in the work of the experienced ones. The study also reveals which types of repetition decrease the quality of the text.

Specific applications of the theory are suggested for assessing the quality of a text, creating short summaries and building good texts in the respective genres.

The study is placed within the framework of discourse studies of lexical repetitions and presents a brief non-technical description of the linguistic field. Inasmuch as the issue of how words relate to objects in reality is one of the criteria for assessing the repetitions, an overview is given and the analysis elicits specific reference types.

Hardback

ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2662-4
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2662-6
Date of Publication: 01/02/2011
Pages / Size: 165 / A5
Price: £34.99
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Biography

Elena Tarasheva is Lecturer in English Studies at the New Bulgarian University in Bulgaria. She specialised in Cultural studies in Glasgow and Durham in the UK. Some of her publications in English are chapters in the books A Distance Learning Course in Culture Studies for Teachers, Developing Intercultural Competence in Practice, and Global Citizenship in the English Language Classroom. She received a PhD in Computational Linguistics from the Bulgarian Academy of Science. This book presents some of the findings in her doctoral thesis.