Idioma: Español
Fecha: Subida: 2021-04-07T00:00:00+02:00
Duración: 14m 55s
Lugar: Conferencia
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Body Language through Clusters in a Corpus of Contemporary Male Irish Novelists

Cassandra Sian Tully (Universidad de Extremadura)


The different “kinetic features” (Culpeper, 2001) that are used to describe characters in
novels, may show the many and varied ways in which these same characters relate to one
another and are characterised (Korte, 1997). That is, through the description of eye
contact, body posture, or hand movement, an author may reinforce the depiction that a
character has in the reader’s mind. This paper aims to firstly present the different clusters
that show key descriptions regarding body language through the eyes, hands, head, or
facial expressions, amongst others; and secondly, to analyse the relationship between
these descriptions and the portrayal of male characters. In order to do so, this study will
use a Corpus Stylistics methodology and the analysis toolkit Sketch Engine (Kilgarriff et
al. 2004), as well as a theoretical framework on Irish masculinities (Holohan & Tracy,
2014; Darcy, 2019; Heffernan, 2019; amongst others). Corpus Stylistics, as the blending
of both literary analysis and corpus linguistics approaches, has been used to analyse body
language before, see for instance Mahlberg’s (2013) analysis on Dickens’ fiction or Nieto
Caballero’s and Ruano San Segundo’s (2020) comparison of gestural language in
Dickens and Spanish writer Benito Pérez Galdós. However, in the present study, I
specifically focus on how male Irish characters are portrayed in a corpus of contemporary
Irish novels written exclusively by male Irish authors during the 20th and 21st centuries.
In this manner, clusters found in the corpus such as “put his arms around her,” “to put his
head in his hands,” or “his hand on my shoulder” may show a pattern of both behaviour
and description in male characters that address their dominance or submission in an
interaction. Power relationships are at play within this feature of language (Culpeper,
2001) as one can maintain a respectful distance to show politeness or one can show
possessiveness and superiority by physically overpowering the other, maybe not
necessarily in a violent manner, but in an effortless way as in the example mentioned
above, by putting a hand on one’s shoulder. Hence, drawing from these methodologies
and theories presented here, the portrayal of gestural language in relation to a number of
male Irish characters will be looked into.


Congreso Cilc 2021


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Serie: CILC2021: Discurso, análisis literario y corpus / Discourse, literary analysis and corpora (+información)