Keyness in Texts

Marina Bondi & Mike Scott 2010

E-Book: 260 English Pages

Publisher: John Benjamins

Price: 1000 Toman

Download: Keyness in Texts (Bondi & Scott 2010).

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This is corpus linguistics with a text linguistic focus. The volume concerns lexical inequality, the fact that some words and phrases share the quality of being key – and thereby reflect or promote important themes – in some textual contexts, while others do not. The patterning of words which differ in their centrality to text meaning is of increasing interest to corpus linguistics. At the same time software resources are yielding increasingly more detailed ways of identifying and studying the linkages between key words and phrases in text databases. This volume brings together work from some of the leading researchers in this field. It presents thirteen studies organized in three sections, the first containing a series of studies exploring the nature of keyness itself, then a set of five studies looking at keyness in specific discourse contexts, and then three studies with an educational focus.


“The important collection of papers in ‘Keyness in Text’ takes us beyond the five questions which Michael Hoey (1997:3) proposes we need to ask when studing a word. Hoey’s questions are concerned with a word’s collocations, colligation, semantic prosody, role in text structure and role in the development of discourse. ‘Keyness in Text’ shows how computer assisted analysis of the keywords found in texts and text collections enables researchers and students to gain insights into how words construct discourse and culture, and how discourses and cultures can be understood through a consideration of the keywords themselves. […] Framed by Bondi’s opening essay, the contributions to the volume offer an authoritative account of keyness, encompassing its role in the ‘aboutness’ of a text, its role in metaphor and its role in discourse. […] ‘Keyness in Text’ offers the reader a remarkably comprehensive coverage of the areas where keyword analysis can make a difference. In three sections, the reader is provided with accounts of how to begin the exploration of keyness, how keyness operates in specialised discourses, and how the concept can contribute to critical and educational studies. Perhaps most importantly, the papers remind the reader of the fact that the corpus is made up of texts – not some kind of disembodied ‘language’ – and that it is these socially situated constructs which are the starting point for our research. […] Edited by two central figures in the development of keyword analysis, and with contributions from leading specialists in the field, this unique collection brings together a wide range of insights into how keyword analysis can contribute both to linguistic and cultural analysis and to language education. It deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone with an interest in these areas.”
Christopher Tribble, King’s College, London
“This is a fascinating volume addressing both methodological and theoretical questions in the study of keywords. It pushes forward the exploration of the nature of keyness and the interpretation of keywords in their textual contexts. An inspiring contribution to a central area of corpus linguistics.”
Michaela Mahlberg, University of Nottingham