Reported are select findings from largely qualitative, corpus-assisted research into the linguistic construal of the ‘social gospel’ of Martin Luther King, Jr. – i.e., the here-and-now side of the ‘slave theology’ message of deliverance within whose rhetorical tradition King was firmly located – with the aim of identifying resources for the representation of free* and for the alignment/affiliation of the (Black and Non-Black) hearer with that message. For this purpose, the environment of node word free* is investigated in 2 small (30,500 words ca.), specially created, diachronically representative corpora of, firstly, his speeches (MLK1) and, for comparative purposes, his sermons (MLK2). The study focuses on the distinctive resources chosen by King as a result of what, we argue, are presumably different addressees and, so, rhetorical purposes. Employing a multidirectional descriptive method of ‘shunting’ (Halliday 1961, in 2002: 45), we move from a lower-level corpus analysis to a complementary higher-level analysis of the ways in which King’s texts construe these abstract notions experientially and attitudinally – the former often ‘affording’ the latter. Firstly, concordances of free* are analyzed for experiential values and transitivity, focusing on significant participant and qualifying functions of NG ‘freedom’; then, speaker evaluation and engagement (Martin 2000, White 2003, Martin & White 2005), as enacted in the necessarily ‘grown’ co-textual environments of attitudinal free*, are probed; finally, our ‘positive’ discourse analysis (Martin 1999; 2004) of what for many was an inspirational message of hope in the possibility of racial desegregation and reconciliation turns intertextual, in the attempt to mine the biblical roots and other multiple (socio-political, sermonic etc) ideological sources of King’s ways of meaning.

“Construing the ‘social gospel’ of M.L. King: a corpus-assisted study of free*”

MILLER, DONNA ROSE;TURCI, MONICA
2006

Abstract

Reported are select findings from largely qualitative, corpus-assisted research into the linguistic construal of the ‘social gospel’ of Martin Luther King, Jr. – i.e., the here-and-now side of the ‘slave theology’ message of deliverance within whose rhetorical tradition King was firmly located – with the aim of identifying resources for the representation of free* and for the alignment/affiliation of the (Black and Non-Black) hearer with that message. For this purpose, the environment of node word free* is investigated in 2 small (30,500 words ca.), specially created, diachronically representative corpora of, firstly, his speeches (MLK1) and, for comparative purposes, his sermons (MLK2). The study focuses on the distinctive resources chosen by King as a result of what, we argue, are presumably different addressees and, so, rhetorical purposes. Employing a multidirectional descriptive method of ‘shunting’ (Halliday 1961, in 2002: 45), we move from a lower-level corpus analysis to a complementary higher-level analysis of the ways in which King’s texts construe these abstract notions experientially and attitudinally – the former often ‘affording’ the latter. Firstly, concordances of free* are analyzed for experiential values and transitivity, focusing on significant participant and qualifying functions of NG ‘freedom’; then, speaker evaluation and engagement (Martin 2000, White 2003, Martin & White 2005), as enacted in the necessarily ‘grown’ co-textual environments of attitudinal free*, are probed; finally, our ‘positive’ discourse analysis (Martin 1999; 2004) of what for many was an inspirational message of hope in the possibility of racial desegregation and reconciliation turns intertextual, in the attempt to mine the biblical roots and other multiple (socio-political, sermonic etc) ideological sources of King’s ways of meaning.
Donna Rose Miller; Monica Turci
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/50848
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