Working With Texts: A Core Book for Language Analysis by Ronald Carter

By Ronald Carter

Operating with Texts: A center ebook for Language research presents a simple starting place for knowing points of English language an important within the research of textual content. the main issues coated comprise writing, the sound procedure of spoken English, phrases, sentence grammar and discourse construction.The wide variety of texts tested contain literary extracts from prose fiction (Jeanette Winterson, Anne Tyler), poetry (D. H. Lawrence, Margaret Atwood), drama (John Godber) and photo novels (Neil Gaiman), but additionally a major range of texts from modern media: newspaper articles, ads (Gap, Kelloggs), political speeches and unique real fabrics (children's writing, symptoms, daily conversation).

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Here are some areas to consider: 1 Plosives are often used in newspaper headlines to give a sense of energy and drama: for example, in words like ‘probe’, ‘cut’, ‘hit’, ‘snap’, ‘quit’, ‘scoop’ and ‘block’. ) Collect some headlines and investigate the types of words used in them. 2 Product brand names are carefully chosen by manufacturers to have a certain ‘ring’. Choose some different products and list their brand names and slogans. Do certain sounds recur, or are certain sounds associated with particular types of product?

In order to get a sense of these sounds, go through them, first alternating between short and long vowels and trying to feel the difference between them—for example, contrasting the vowel sound in ‘pit’ with that in ‘bean’; then sound out some diphthongs, trying to feel the way these sounds are sequences of vowels. The diagrams below show where English vowel sounds are made in the mouth. The shape of the diagram (called a ‘vowel trapezium’) is an abstract version of the space inside the mouth: ‘high’, ‘mid’ and ‘low’ refer to how near the tongue is to the roof of the mouth or bottom of the jaw; ‘front’, ‘central’ and ‘back’ refer to how far forward or retracted the body of the tongue is; the shapes drawn around the sounds themselves are explained below.

Analysing images in the form of photographs, paintings and drawings is clearly a large area in its own right. To do justice to this, a range of academic areas would need to be addressed— including art, media studies, cultural studies and anthropology. But the fact that analysing images may open up several more academic areas doesn’t mean that language analysts can simply ignore visual aspects, since images form an important part of the way we ‘read’ the world. What is offered here, then, is a set of headings and questions as a starting point: if you want to explore this area further now, look through this book, fix on some of the texts that use images as part of their message, and apply the ideas below to them.

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