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Wicked Witches and Evil Queens?: A corpus-based study of the near-synonyms evil and wicked in contemporary American English
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to examine what contemporary corpora can reveal about the use of the two adjectives evil and wicked. These two synonyms have been analysed using corpus linguistics in order to acquire results about the differences between them regarding frequency of use, as well as their collocating nouns. The results have also been analysed with a focus on gender perspectives. The study has a quantitative as well as a qualitative approach. The material investigated for this study consists of a corpus called The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The definitions of the two adjectives have also been searched within a few of the greater dictionaries.

The findings reveal that the word evil is used to a greater extent by speakers and writers in different contexts in comparison to its synonym wicked. There are also significant differences between male and female nouns in adjective and noun collocations. The adjective evil is more frequently used to address male nouns, whereas its synonym wicked is more widely used as an attribute to female nouns. The differences are aligned with common gender stereotypes presented in previous studies and support the results regarding gender approaches in adjective and noun collocations. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 41
Keywords [en]
adjectives, collocations, corpus linguistics, dictionaries, gender studies, synonyms
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20629Local ID: EON200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20629DiVA, id: diva2:1792492
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English
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Available from: 2023-08-30 Created: 2023-08-29 Last updated: 2023-09-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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