Mapping Austerity: Geographical Text Analysis of UK Place-Names in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph

Paterson, Laura L. (2020). Mapping Austerity: Geographical Text Analysis of UK Place-Names in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. In: Greibel, T.; Evert, S. and Heinrich, P. eds. Texts and Images of Austerity in Britain. Corpus-Assisted Analyses. Abingdon: Routledge, (In Press).

Abstract

By analysing corpora of newspaper articles from The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph this chapter uses a modified form of geographical text analysis (GTA) to investigate whether (and in what form) mass media texts express a relationship between austerity and UK places. Concordance geoparsing is used to detect the use of place-names occurring within a set span of key terms, such as austerity, policy, crisis, measures and spending. The geoparsing process generates Place-Name Co-occurrences (PNCs), which are comprised of a search term, a place-name, its coordinates, and its surrounding co-text. The coordinates of PNCs can be plotted on maps using GIS (Geographical Information Systems) software, to show patterns in place-name mentions, while the co-text is well-suited to linguistic analysis. Ultimately, GTA facilitates the visualisation of corpora and adds the consideration of physical space to language analysis. The results of GTA show that coverage of UK austerity focuses overwhelmingly on England and that both newspapers are London-centric.

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