Conceptualizing Evolution Education: A Corpus-Based Analysis of US Press Discourse

This volume explores the benefits of grounding corpus-assisted discourse analysis within the theoretical framework of cognitive linguistics. This is accomplished here against the highly emotive controversy over the teaching of evolution in the US classroom. The book explores grammatical construal, conceptual metaphor theory, conceptual blending theory, frame semantics, and key word analysis, and uses a combination of corpus-based analysis and in-depth manual analysis of select articles. As such, it provides both a broad picture of the way the debate is conceptualized in the US press, as well as a close-up of some of the more representative discourses. This research will be of interest to scholars in a variety of fields including corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis, communication studies and American culture, as well as anyone interested in the debate over evolution education.

Dr Shala Barczewska is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Culture Studies of the Institute of Foreign Languages at Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Poland. Her research interests include cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, and discourse analysis, and looks to bridge the gap between language and culture; specifically, how language is used to construe society and social norms.

"Adopting the general theory of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Shala Barczewska provides, on the basis of rich empirical data from the American press, a cognitive linguistic analysis of the coverage of the debate on human evolution that has been taking place in American schools. The book shows how the language of the American press has created the “problem of Evolution” and how the conceptualization of the problem has been changing over time in the press’s coverage. Subscribing to the so-called triangulation method, the author successfully combines the basic tenets of CDA analysis with Ronald Langacker’s theory of cognitive grammar. Owing to the wealth of empirical material and to its in-depth systematic analysis, the book will be of interest to both a professional linguist and the general reader who seeks to understand how the press can shape public opinion."

Professor Henryk Kardela Maria Curie-Skłodowska University

"With skill and care, Barczewska’s thoughtful inquiry uniquely draws from different approaches to the study of language (Corpus Linguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics) to provide much insight into the current debate on human evolution in American press discourse. It is a challenging and enlightening analysis."

Professor Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski University of Łódź

"Dr Barczewska uses a method of triangulation in her analysis, incorporating Cognitive Linguistics and language corpus materials, along with elements of pragmatics and discourse analysis. Conceptualizing Evolution Education: A Corpus-Based Analysis of US Press Discourse is an excellent contribution both to the fields of linguistics and social cognition."

Professor Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk State University of Applied Sciences in Konin

"This book represents a unique attempt to address the debate over teaching of human evolution in the American public school system from a perspective of a linguist. The richness of data is matched by the sophistication of the methodological approach. The author skillfully combines the analytical tools of Cognitive Linguistics, corpus linguistics, and elements of pragmatics and discourse analysis. The book will be of interest to non-linguists due to its clear and disciplined presentation of the ever-relevant topic of evolution education and its diverse construals by the opposite sides of the debate. It is also valuable for linguists as a solid contribution to the development of Cognitive Pragmatics and the Cognitive Linguistic Approach to discourse analysis."

Dr Anna Drogosz Warmia and Mazury University, Olsztyn

''The multifaceted, thorough and objective approach undertaken in this volume defies claims that linguistics has become has become an abstract field of enquiry and that theoretical contructs remain detached from social concerns and practical applications.'
Ewa Gieron-Czepczor
State University of Applied Sciences, Raciborz
Extract from Review in Evolutionary Linguistic Theory 1:2 (John Benjamin Publishing Co., 2019)

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ISBN: 1-4438-4314-8

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-4314-0

Release Date: 20th February 2017

Pages: 400

Price: £74.99