Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis

By Carmen Rosa Caldas-Coulthard; Malcolm Coulthard | Go to book overview

Chapter 8

A clause-relational analysis of selected dictionary entries

Contrast and compatibility in the definitions of ‘man’ and ‘woman’

Michael Hoey

This chapter begins by reconsidering a neglected class of texts that I have elsewhere termed ‘colony’ texts (Hoey, 1986). It was suggested in passing in that paper that the components of such texts might form strong semantic relations at a distance from each other. Although this claim has been tested on criminal statutes, it has never been tested on dictionaries, even though the claim was originally illustrated with a pair of dictionary definitions. This chapter seeks to show that the claim indeed holds for dictionaries as for statutes. In doing so, however, it uncovers a systematic bias in the dictionary definitions in preference of men, a bias that has arisen despite the explicit intentions to the contrary of the dictionary makers. It is argued that this is the result of their having worked with a corpus of the contemporary English language that gives undue representation to the male voice. The dictionary in this way not only reflects bias but also helps to perpetuate it.


THE NATURE OF ‘COLONY’ TEXTS

If you ask a group of students what texts they have read in the past few days, you get a varied response. Some will conscientiously recall the novels they have read, the articles they have pored over and the newspapers they have browsed. Others, more adventurous, will add the advertisement hoardings they have seen and the junk mail they have received through the post. A clever few, however, will challenge the constrained view of text that these examples imply and will mention bus tickets, timetables and shopping lists. Usually the mention of such items will then provoke a lively discussion about the nature of text and the kinds of reading we engage in.

Students are not alone in overlooking certain common kinds of texts. ‘Cinderella’ texts such as timetables and shopping lists have on the whole received short shrift from discourse analysts as well, if indeed they have been noticed at all. This is not a consequence of their low importance in our society but rather of a restricted notion of reading as

-150-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 294

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.