A matter of tradition and good advice

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Based on a corpus of Old Spanish texts, the discourse traditions of counselling are analysed within the framework of diachronic corpus pragmatics and dialogue analysis. On a methodological level, the study distinguishes three types of pragmatics and offers a clear-cut distinction between language change and cultural changes in the realm of discourse traditions. In order to clearly define the different interaction patterns in these dialogues, the qualitative approach of traditional philology is combined with quantitative methods that extract lexical clusters which are typical of counselling dialogues. This combination proves to be fruitful in two ways: on the one hand, the philological interpretations have a strong explanatory power for the interpretation of the quantitative findings; on the other hand, corpus-driven quantitative methods have the merit of discovering “blind spots” of traditional hermeneutic interpretations.


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