Collocates of trans, transgender(s) and transexual(s) in British Newspapers: A Corpus-Assisted Critical Discourse Analysis

University essay from Mittuniversitetet/Avdelningen för humaniora

Abstract: Through their coverage in the mass media transgender people and the trans rights movement have only recently stepped into the public eye. Because this emergence is so recent, it has not been widely studied within the field of linguistics. This thesis aims to explore the representation of transgender people in newspapers using an approach informed by corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis. Using collocation and concordance line analysis it identifies and discusses what semantic prosodies exist surrounding transgender people in The Daily Mail and The Guardian during 2015–2017. Many different semantic prosodies were found, and most of them were neither clearly negative nor positive towards transgender people. The prosodies were found to sometimes overlap and reinforce each other, and dominant news stories surrounding transgender people seemed to have great staying power. The overall conclusion is that transgender language in newspapers is still in its formative years and that additional research in this field is necessary. 

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