Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1384-6655
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9811
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



In an article published in this journal, Partington (2014) addresses the criticism often made against corpus linguistics that it is apparently unable to cope with absences. He convincingly argues that corpus linguistics is better suited to account for absences than has been claimed. I resume the debate by discussing a type of absence not fully addressed in Partington (2014) which I have termed ‘creative absences’. With a focus on corpus stylistics, I consider the way in which the author Henry Green dispenses with a compulsory element in the grammatical structure of Standard English, i.e. the determiner (mainly, the definite article). By means of a manual analysis as well as two corpus stylistic analyses (keyness and text-type analysis) of the novel (Green 1929), I explore the effects of such an unorthodox use and argue, alongside Partington (2014), for the usefulness of corpus approaches to account for at least certain types of absences.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bell, M.
    (1986) Narrative gaps/narrative meaning. Raritan, 6(1), 84–102.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Biber, D.
    (1988) Variation across Speech and Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511621024
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511621024 [Google Scholar]
  3. (1989) A typology of English texts. Linguistics, 27(1), 3–43. 10.1515/ling.1989.27.1.3
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.1989.27.1.3 [Google Scholar]
  4. Chatman, S.
    (1978) Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Duguid, A.
    (2010) Investigating anti and some reflections on modern-diachronic corpus-assisted discourse studies (MD-CADS). Corpora, 5(2), 191–220. 10.3366/cor.2010.0105
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2010.0105 [Google Scholar]
  6. Gabrielatos, C.
    (2017, October). Clusters of keyness. A principled approach to selecting key items. Paper presented at theCorpus Linguistics in the South 15 Conference, Cambridge, UK.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2018) Keyness analysis: Nature, metrics and techniques. InC. Taylor & A. Marchi (Eds.), Corpus Approaches to Discourse: A Critical Review (pp.225–258). London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Gabrielatos, C., & Marchi, A.
    (2011, November). Keyness. Matching metrics to definitions. Paper presented at theCorpus Linguistics in the South: Theoretical-methodological challenges in corpus approaches to discourse studies – and some ways of addressing them, Portsmouth, UK.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. (2012, September). Keyness. Appropriate metrics and practical issues. Paper presented at theCADS Conference, Bologna, Italy.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Genette, G.
    (1980) Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Green, H.
    (1929) Living. London: Harvill Harper Collins.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. (1939) Party Going. London: Harvill Harper Collins.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (1950) The English novel of the future. Contact, 1, 21–24.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (1958) The art of fiction. InM. Yorke (Ed.), Surviving (pp.234–250). London: Harvill Harper Collins.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Greenbaum, S., & Quirk, R.
    (1990) A Student’s Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hardy, D.
    (2005) Towards a stylistic typology of narrative gaps: Knowledge gapping in Flannery O’Connor’s fiction. Language and Literature, 14(4), 363–375. 10.1177/0963947005056343
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947005056343 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hentea, M.
    (2014) Henry Green at the Limits of Modernism. Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Hoey, M.
    (2005) Lexical Priming: A New Theory of Words and Language. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Iser, W.
    (1978) The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Louw, B.
    (1993) Irony in the text or insincerity in the writer? The diagnostic potential of semantic prosodies. InM. Baker, G. Francis & E. Tognini-Bonelli (Eds.), Text and Technology: In Honour of John Sinclair (pp.157–176). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/z.64.11lou
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.64.11lou [Google Scholar]
  21. Mahlberg, M.
    (2013) Corpus Stylistics and Dickens’s Fiction. New York/London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Mahlberg, M., Stockwell, P., de Joode, J., Smith, C., & Brook O’Donnell, M.
    (2016) CLiC Dickens: Novel uses of concordances for the integration of corpus stylistics and cognitive poetics. Corpora, 11(3), 433–463. 10.3366/cor.2016.0102
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2016.0102 [Google Scholar]
  23. Marchi, A.
    (2010) ‘The moral in the story’: A diachronic investigation of lexicalised morality in the UK press. Corpora, 5(2), 161–190. 10.3366/cor.2010.0104
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2010.0104 [Google Scholar]
  24. Mellor, L.
    (2011) Reading the Ruins: Modernism, Bombsites and British Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511920813
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511920813 [Google Scholar]
  25. Millar, N.
    (2009) Modal verbs in TIME: Frequency changes 1923–2006. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 14(2), 191–220. 10.1075/ijcl.14.2.03mil
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.14.2.03mil [Google Scholar]
  26. Moon, R.
    (2011) English adjectives in – like, and the interplay of collocation and morphology. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 16(4), 486–513. 10.1075/ijcl.16.4.03moo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.16.4.03moo [Google Scholar]
  27. Nini, A.
    (2015) Multidimensional Analysis Tagger (Version 1.3) [Computer software]. Retrieved from: sites.google.com/site/multidimensionaltagger (last accessedAugust 2018).
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Partington, A.
    (2014) Mind the gaps. The role of corpus linguistics in researching absences. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 19(1), 118–146. 10.1075/ijcl.19.1.05par
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.19.1.05par [Google Scholar]
  29. Prince, G.
    (1988) The Disnarrated. Style, 22(1), 1–8.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Rácz, P.
    (2012) Operationalising salience: Definite article reduction in the North of England. English Language and Linguistics, 16(1), 57–79. 10.1017/S1360674311000281
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674311000281 [Google Scholar]
  31. Rayson, P.
    (2009) Wmatrix: A Web-based Corpus Processing Environment. [Computer software]. Lancaster: Lancaster University. Retrieved fromucrel.lancs.ac.uk/wmatrix/ (last accessAugust 2018).
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J.
    (1985) A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Stanford Tagger
    Stanford Tagger (2013) (Version 3.1.5) [Computer software]. Retrieved fromnlp.stanford.edu/software/tagger.shtml (last accessedAugust 2018).
  34. Stokes, E.
    (1959) The Novels of Henry Green. London: The Hogarth Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Toolan, M.
    ([1988] 2001) Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction (2nd ed). London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Treglown, J.
    (2000) Romancing. The Life and Work of Henry Green. London: Faber and Faber.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Wilson, P.
    (2000) Mind the Gap. Ellipsis and Stylistic Variation in Spoken and Written English. Harlow: England.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): absences; corpus stylistics; keyness; methodological triangulation; text type
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error