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Public perception and usage of the term carbon: Linguistic analysis in an environmental social media corpus


The main objective of this study was to examine the specialized environmental vocabulary which is incorporated in ordinary discourse found on the Internet. Specifically, we collected English-language data from two social networks, Twitter and Reddit, with a set of environmental keywords which was compiled using the term candidates extraction technique described in Shvets and Wanner (2020). Furthermore, using data from the initial corpus, we built a smaller sample of texts to serve as a ground for a preliminary linguistic analysis of the environmental term carbon. In environmental discourse, carbon is an umbrella term which has acquired multiple senses when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this term has settled in ordinary communication (Fletcher & Downing, 2011). By means of a fine-grained manual linguistic analysis applied to the data sample, we identified five semantic patterns in the way the general public conceptualizes carbon in the environmental context.

Zeitrahmen der Veröffentlichung:
Volume Open
Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Sozialwissenschaften, Psychologie, Angewandte Psychologie