Construing the ‘social gospel’ of Martin Luther King Jr.

a corpus-assisted study of free*

Authors

  • Donna R. Miller Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Bologna
  • Monica Turci Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Bologna

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v2i3.399

Keywords:

N/A

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of research into select linguistic resources construing what has been called the ‘social gospel’ of Martin Luther King Jr. (henceforth MLK): i.e., the secularized ‘here and now’ face of the typically other-worldly religious message of deliverance. For this purpose, the environment of the node word free* is investigated in 2 small, specially created, diachronic corpora of, firstly, his speeches (MLK1) and, for comparative purposes, his sermons (MLK2).

Author Biographies

Donna R. Miller, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Bologna

Donna R. Miller holds the chair of English Linguistics at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature of the University of Bologna, where she coordinates its ‘English Language Studies Program’ and post-graduate course in ‘Language, society and communication. She also heads the Centre for Linguistic-Cultural Studies (CeSLiC: http://www2.lingue.unibo.it/ceslic/) in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literature. Her increasingly corpus-assisted research focuses, in a Systemic Functional Linguistics perspective, on discourse and register analysis, principally in political, deliberative, juridical and literary text types. For years her work has specifically explored the grammar of evaluation (most recently in “From concordance to text: appraising ‘giving’ in Alma Mater donation requests”, in Thompson & Hunston (eds), 2006) as well as the linguistic approach to ‘verbal art’ (as in the forthcoming Equinox volume, Miller & Turci (eds.), Language and Verbal Art Revisited: Linguistic Approaches to the Study of Literature).

Monica Turci, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Bologna

Monica Turci is a lecturer at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature of the University of Bologna, where she teaches Functional Grammar and Linguistic Stylistics. Her research focuses on the linguistic approach to ‘verbal art’ and, more recently, also on political discourse. Recent publications include: “Recasting Translation and Migration: Les Murray’s Translations from the Natural World” (2004) and “The meaning of dark* in J. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” (to appear in Miller & Turci (eds.), Language and Verbal Art Revisited: Linguistic Approaches to the Study of Literature).

References

Aston, G. (ed.) (2001) Learning with Corpora. Bologna: CLUEB.

Bayley, P. and Miller, D. R. (1993) Texts and Contexts of the American Dream: a social semiotic study of political language. Bologna: Pitagora.

Bayley, P. (ed.) (2004) Cross-cultural Perspectives on Parliamentary Discourse. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Bayley, P. (2005) The representation and construction of fear in political discourse. In N. Vasta and I. Jammernegg (eds) Paura e paure. Contatti 1: 86–111.

Biber, D., Conrad, S., Reppen, R. (1998) Corpus Linguistics: investigating language structure and use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Caldas-Coulthard, C. R. and Coulthard, M. (1996) Texts and Practices: readings in critical discourse analysis. London: Routledge.

Chilton, P. (2004) Analysing Political Discourse. Theory and Practice. London and New York: Routledge.

Coffin, C. C. and O’Halloran, K. (2005) Finding the global groove: theorising and analysing dynamic reader positioning using appraisal, corpus, and a concordancer. Critical Discourse Studies 2(2): 143–163.

Fairclough, N. (1995) Critical Discourse Analysis: the critical study of language. London: Longman.

Halliday, M. A. K. [1961] (2002) Categories of the theory of grammar. In J. J. Webster (ed.) The Collected Works of M. A. K. Halliday. (Vol. 1) On Grammar 37–94. London and NY: Continuum.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Matthiessen, C. M. I. M (1999) Construing Experience through Meaning: a language-based approach to cognition. London and New York: Cassell.

Halliday, M. A. K. and Matthiessen, C. M. I. M (2004) An Introduction to Functional Grammar. (Third edition.) London: Edward Arnold.

Heather, N. (2005) Critical postliberalism: critical discourse analysis as the basis for new theology. Helping to understand the discourse of hundreds of millions worldwide. Critical Discourse Studies 2(2): 165–187.

Hunston, S. and Francis, G. (2000) Pattern Grammar: a corpus-driven approach to the lexical grammar of English. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Jakobson, R. (1960) Closing statement: linguistics and poetics. In T. A. Sebeok (ed.) Style in Language 350–377. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Jakobson, R. (1966) Grammatical parallelism and its Russian facet. Language 42(2): 399–429.

King, M. L. Jr. [1998] (2000) A Knock at Midnight. The Great Sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by C. Carson and P. Holloran. London: Abacus.

King, M. L. Jr. (2001) A Call to Conscience. The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by C. Carson and K. Shepard. London: Little, Brown and Company.

Lemke, J. L. (1995) Intertextuality and text semantics. In P. Fries and M. Gregory (eds) Discourse in Society: systemic functional perspectives 85–114. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Macken-Horarik, M. (2003) Envoi: intractable issues in appraisal analysis? In M. MackenHorarik and J. R. Martin (eds) Negotiating heteroglossia: social perspectives on evaluation. Special issue of Text 23(2) 313–319.

Macken-Horarik M. and Martin, J. R. (eds) (2003) Negotiating heteroglossia: social perspectives on evaluation. Special issue of Text 23(2).

Martin, J. R. (1999) Grace: the logogenesis of freedom. Discourse Studies 1(1): 29–56.

Martin, J. R. (2000) Beyond exchange: appraisal systems in English. In S. Hunston and G. Thompson (eds) Evaluation in Text 142–175. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Martin, J. R. (2004) Positive discourse analysis: solidarity and change. Revista Canaria de Estudios Inglese 49: 1–37.

Martin, J. R. and White, P. R. R. (2005) The Language of Evaluation: Appraisal in English. London: Palgrave.

Miller, D. R. (2002) Ways of meaning ‘yea’ and ‘nay’ in parliamentary debate as register: a cost-benefit analysis. In M. Bignami, G. Iamartino and C. Pagetti (eds) The Economy Principle in English: linguistic, literary, and cultural perspectives. Proceedings of the 19th Conference of the Associazione Italiana di Anglistica 220–233. Milano: Edizioni Unicopli.

Miller, D. R. (2004) ‘…to meet our common challenge’: engagement strategies of alignment and alienation in current US international discourse. In M. Gotti and C. Candlin (eds) Intercultural Discourse in Domain-Specific English, Textus XVIII (1): 39–62.

Miller, D. R. (2006a) From concordance to text: appraising ‘giving’ in Alma Mater donation requests. In G. Thompson and S. Hunston (eds) 248–268.

Miller, D. R. (2006b) Packaging the presidency: electoral texts in the cultural context of the American Dream. In N. Vasta (ed.) Forms of Promotion: texts, contexts and cultures 167–201. Bologna: Pàtron Editore.

Miller, D. R. (in press) Corpus-assisted study of evaluation and stance in parliamentary debate: from theory to practice – and back again. In M. Dossena and A. Jucker (eds) (R)evolution in Evaluation. Special issue of Textus.

Miller, K. D. (1992) Voice of Deliverance. The Language of Martin Luther King, Jr. and its Sources. New York: Macmillan.

Partington, A., Morley, J. and Haarman, L. (eds) (2003) Corpora and Discourse. Peter Lang: Bern.

Scott, M. (1999, 2004) WordSmith Tools. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sinclair, J. M. (1991) Corpus, Concordance, Collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stubbs, M. (1996) Text and Corpus Analysis: computer assisted studies of language and culture. Oxford: Blackwell.

Thompson, G. and Hunston, S. (eds) (2006) System and Corpus: exploring connections. London: Equinox.

Tognini-Bonelli, E. (2001) Corpus Linguistics at Work. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Wodak, R. (1996) The genesis of racist discourse in Austria. In C. R. Caldas-Coulthard and M. Coulthard (eds) 107–128.

Wodak, R. and van Dijk, T. A. (eds) (2000) Racism at the Top: parliamentary discourses on ethnic issues in six European states. Klagenfurt: Drava Verlag.

Published

2008-06-24

How to Cite

Miller, D. R., & Turci, M. (2008). Construing the ‘social gospel’ of Martin Luther King Jr.: a corpus-assisted study of free*. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 2(3), 399–424. https://doi.org/10.1558/lhs.v2i3.399

Issue

Section

Articles