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Keywords and plays (part 1)

Watch Jonathan Culpeper explain how a keyword analysis can shed light on the style(s) of a play.

This video-talk, though voiced by Jonathan Culpeper, incorporates the words of Sean Murphy.

A keyword analysis can be used to identify a style in any body of language data. Here, and in the next video-talk, the focus is on the styles of plays.

As a preliminary, and this is the focus of this video-talk, we are going to show you another way of thinking about groups of keywords, and in turn another way of thinking about differences in styles and discourses. This way of grouping keywords draws on Michael Halliday’s functional grammar, which describes three metafunctions of language: ideational (capturing how we construe the world), interpersonal (capturing how we relate to each other), and textual (capturing how we organize our texts, our language).

More extensive illustration of these groupings follows in the next video-talk. If you have any preliminary questions about the nature of those groups or anything else, do add them to the comments.

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