How can corpus linguistics contribute to research on Intimate Partner Violence?
Alfonso Sánchez-Moya
(Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Friday (April 21st), 12:00-12:25
Lipsius 147

Despite the fact that intimate partner violence (IPV) was identified as a social problem back in the 1980s, it is still widespread in many areas of the world (Benagiano, 2013). Broadly speaking (FRA, 2014) one in four women are believed to go through abusive experiences of this sort during her lifetime. 

Given this topic is remarkably under-researched from a critical discourse analysis (CDA) perspective, this paper illustrates how IPV can be discursively investigated in the attempt to achieve a more holistic understanding of it. Additionally, I seek to offer an overview of how corpus-driven approaches to IPV can shed interesting light on the psychological patterns of this type of discourse. 

As far as methodology is concerned, I apply software tools (AntConc and LIWC) to the analysis of a 120,000-word corpus collected from an online forum used by IPV survivors. I concentrate on the way men perpetrators are represented as social actors in these women’s discourse. Attention is also paid to different linguistic phenomena (pronouns, semantic fields, inter alia) that are used as pointers of these women's emotional states. 

Findings provide an overview of the most common linguistic realisations of men perpetrators as SAs. They also draw on how conducting corpus research to the analysis of a corpus of this sort can pave the way to establish connections between some linguistic phenomena and women survivors' psychological conditions. Furthermore, I conclude by linking these discourse patterns in the micro-textual level with research in the macro-level of abused women’s discourse (Baly, 2010).