The Role of Lexis in Scottish Newspapers

Douglas, Fiona M (2000) The Role of Lexis in Scottish Newspapers. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study investigates the language of Scottish newspapers, excluding Sunday editions, during 1995. The newspapers studied are the Herald, the Scotsman, the Daily Record and the Scottish Sun, with the Times (London) and the English edition of the Sun used as controls. The research is based on a computerised corpus of newspaper texts, collected specifically for the project. The texts and the research results are contained in a Microsoft Access relational database on CD-ROM, again specially designed for this project, which has been submitted in conjunction with the thesis as an integral part of the research project. The study investigates the hypothesis that the use of peculiarly Scottish lexis plays an important part in the Scottish newspapers' construction and maintenance of a Scottish identity. It argues that this Scottish identity is important in helping these newspapers relate to their largely Scottish readership. The study investigates which items of Scottish lexis are used by the newspapers, and where they are most likely to be found. It asks to what extent the newspapers use a standardised Scots, and also whether there are identifiable differences between the broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. The immediate contexts of items of Scottish lexis are also considered, such as the language variety of the surrounding context (i.e. whether Scots or English) and whether Scots is used in direct speech or narrative contexts. The study asks what reference is made to well-known Scottish stereotypes and to what extent the construction and maintenance of this Scottish identity relies on formulaic content such as Scottish fixed expressions and idioms. The main theme of the study is therefore the linguistic construction and maintenance of Scottish identity. In addition, it investigates the extent of coverage of Scottish stories by the Scottish press, and in particular, the coverage of articles concerned with Scottish language. The observations made from the research data are considered in the context of the more general link between language, identity and social group membership, and m light of the complex linguistic situation that exists in Scotland today.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: John Corbett
Keywords: Modern language, Sociolinguistics, Communication
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-76182
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2019 09:15
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2019 09:15
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76182

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