Charting the semantics of labour relations in House of Commons debates spanning two hundred years: A study of parliamentary language using corpus linguistic methods and automated semantic tagging

Jane Demmen, Lesley Jeffries, Brian Walker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

In this chapter we use new corpus linguistic software tools to investigate the discourse(s) of labour relations in UK House of Commons debates over the 19th and 20th centuries. Our data is from the Hansard Corpus (1803–2005), and benefits from the annotation of meaning and sense categories with the newly-developed Historical Thesaurus Semantic Tagger (Alexander et al. 2015; Piao et al. 2014). Using the bespoke corpus interface CQPweb Hansard, we carry out automated searches for words tagged with relevant semantic category codes. Our quantitative results enable us to chart the semantics of parliamentary discourse on labour relations over time, providing a detailed empirical basis which, we argue, would usefully support further qualitative analysis in linguistic and other research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoing Politics
Subtitle of host publicationDiscursivity, Performativity and Mediation in Political Discourse
EditorsMichael Kranert, Geraldine Horan
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
Chapter4
Pages81-104
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263148
ISBN (Print)9789027201935
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2018

Publication series

NameDiscourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Volume80
ISSN (Print)1569-9463

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Demmen, J., Jeffries, L., & Walker, B. (2018). Charting the semantics of labour relations in House of Commons debates spanning two hundred years: A study of parliamentary language using corpus linguistic methods and automated semantic tagging. In M. Kranert, & G. Horan (Eds.), Doing Politics: Discursivity, Performativity and Mediation in Political Discourse (pp. 81-104). (Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture; Vol. 80). John Benjamins Publishing.