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The semantic extensions of kill and killer in magazine and newspaper corpora

The semantic extensions of kill and killer in magazine and newspaper corpora The occurrences of kill and killer are often understood as negative; however, evidence suggests that these words also have positive meanings. To many people, the use of kill and killer indicates physical death, but we found other meanings of these words. First, death is the worst possible outcome, but it is not necessarily a consequence of kill and killer. Second, killer, in particular, has a strong positive meaning that is extended from the ‘deadly’ meaning of kill. Third, we found that the figurative use of killer appeared more often in magazines and newspapers, as well as in fiction but with different purposes, when we compared the data from magazines and newspapers with those from different genres. The results obtained by analysing magazine and newspaper corpora in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) showed the importance of pragmatic interpretation in understanding meanings. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Review of Pragmatics Brill

The semantic extensions of kill and killer in magazine and newspaper corpora

International Review of Pragmatics , Volume 10 (1): 28 – Jan 1, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1877-3095
eISSN
1877-3109
DOI
10.1163/18773109-01001002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The occurrences of kill and killer are often understood as negative; however, evidence suggests that these words also have positive meanings. To many people, the use of kill and killer indicates physical death, but we found other meanings of these words. First, death is the worst possible outcome, but it is not necessarily a consequence of kill and killer. Second, killer, in particular, has a strong positive meaning that is extended from the ‘deadly’ meaning of kill. Third, we found that the figurative use of killer appeared more often in magazines and newspapers, as well as in fiction but with different purposes, when we compared the data from magazines and newspapers with those from different genres. The results obtained by analysing magazine and newspaper corpora in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) showed the importance of pragmatic interpretation in understanding meanings.

Journal

International Review of PragmaticsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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