COMPUTER-ASSISTED AND TRADITIONAL METHODS OF TEXT ANALYSIS - A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF EAST AND WEST GERMAN NEWSPAPER LANGUAGE (SOCIOLINGUISTICS, TEXT LINGUISTICS).
AuthorKEMPF, RENATE UTA.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation uses a variety of approaches to investigate the language in two newspapers from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Each approach can give insights into the question of possible language differences, and eventually the authors' intentions and their ideological background will prove to be more relevant than their geographic origin. A comparative study of metaphors shows how certain recurrent metaphors are used to influence the readers' conceptual reality. While the actual effect of these metaphors cannot be determined, their use reveals the intentions of the authors. An investigation of pronouns and terms of address successfully applies sociolinguistic methods to written texts. A study of letters, speeches, and interviews proves that there is in some cases a conflict between the prescribed norm of an informal pronoun and speaker intuition. The concept of a very narrowly defined part of the language, a Textsorte, is used in an investigation of death notices. Notices from the FRG and GDR show great similarity in phrasing. Differences in content can be explained by the different social realities. Finally, a computer-assisted investigation of word formation and new words yields a small number of new words and shows how the content of a text influences the language, even on the level of the affixes that are used. Suffixes and words that stress collectivity are significantly more frequent in the GDR newspaper, while affixes and words expressing something negative are used more often in the newspaper from the FRG. We can see that various methods can give insights into various aspects of language, and benefits and problems of each method are discussed. Finally, we come to realize that the fear of language separation is unfounded, but that author intention has a greater influence on texts than one might expect.