Metaphorical keyness in specialised corpora

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What is more important in text: the topical content, or the manner in which topical content is presented? While statistically-generated key words tell us about a text’s content, the inter-relation between these words and the message of the text can be difficult to ascertain. One method of doing so is to observe the inter-relation of key words with evaluative language: in this case, metaphor. Metaphors are notoriously difficult to locate in corpora, but this paper sets out a method for their semi-automatic identification, and demonstrates how their interaction with keywords is both systematic and pervasive. Studying the interaction of key words and metaphors brings to light attitudes which lurk beneath the surface of text.


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