A Beautiful Wife Makes a Happy Husband : A CADS-based study on collocates to ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ throughout times in both movies and contemporary culture

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: This thesis aims to investigate the differences between what collocations are used for ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ in films and contemporary culture. The comparison spans through different decades and the decades will also be compared and analysed. The thesis will investigate if the collocates reflect the societal change and if so, can the results relate to existing power structures/gender roles? The background for the thesis consists of information about marriage history, films and their influence on culture, what a collocation is and previous research on collocation. The method used for this thesis was Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies which includes both corpus studies and discourse analysis. Consequently, a more in-depth understanding of the results and tables were given. To classify the collocates collected from the Movie Corpus (which represents movies) and the Corpus of Historical American English (representing culture) the results are presented Caldas-Coulthard and Moon’s categorisation schema. After this, in the discussion, the proportional distribution is presented because the corpora are different sizes and this way they can be compared correctly. The conclusion is that movies reflect culture somewhat, but it lacks in some areas. However, some patterns can be found. ‘Wife’ and ‘husband’ are discussed differently, and the difference in collocates shows that. Moreover, the results seem to reflect typical stereotypes that do exist and has existed.

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