Vol. 11 (2022)
Scritture

Expressing Conflicts. Semantic Patterns Typifying Letters in the British Press

Christina Samson
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Published December 23, 2022
Keywords
  • Conflicts,
  • Discourse,
  • Letters,
  • Newspapers,
  • Otherness

Abstract

This study analyses the most frequent semantic patterns used in a corpus of letters published in the British press to express conflictual situations during the 1857-58 uprisings in colonial India. While the letters provided first-hand information of the dramatic events being experienced, they shaped the news and the readers’ opinions by expressing uncertainty and anguish deriving from the circumstances which generated a sense of anxiety in the public. The analysis starts with a corpus assisted approach focusing on the relative most frequent keywords and their recurring semantic patterns related to place and the actors involved in the events. The emerging data are interpreted qualitatively through discourse analysis to highlight how meaning is construed in communicating dramatic events.

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