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The Language of Migration in the Victorian Press: A Corpus Linguistic Approach

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The Language of Migration in the Victorian Press: A Corpus Linguistic Approach

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Ruth Byrne (Lancaster University)
20 February 2018
Digital History seminar
http://ihrdighist.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2017/09/06/tuesday-20-february-2018-ruth-byrne-the-language-of-migration-in-the-victorian-press-a-corpus-linguistic-approach/

Ruth Byrne (Lancaster University)
20 February 2018
Digital History seminar
http://ihrdighist.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2017/09/06/tuesday-20-february-2018-ruth-byrne-the-language-of-migration-in-the-victorian-press-a-corpus-linguistic-approach/

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The Language of Migration in the Victorian Press: A Corpus Linguistic Approach

  1. 1. The Language of Migration in the Victorian Press: A Corpus Linguistic Approach Ruth Byrne Department of History, Lancaster University @Ruth_M_Byrne
  2. 2. ‘In British law, the age-old term “alien” is used to designate someone who is not a citizen of Britain or its Empire; it has no derogatory connotations.’ Jewish Migration: Aliens Act’, jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaica/ejud_0002_0001_0_00811.html.
  3. 3. ‘…every time we use a word, and every time we encounter it anew, the experience either reinforces our priming by confirming an existing association, or […] weakens [it].’ M. Hoey, Lexical Priming: A New Theory of Words and Language (London: Routledge, 2005), 9.
  4. 4. 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 1851 1861 1881 1891 1901 French and German residents of the UK documented in the census returns France Germany
  5. 5. 0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 70000 80000 1851 1861 1881 1891 1901 French, German and 'Russian' residents of the UK documented in the census returns France Germany Russia
  6. 6. Corpus Linguistics: The computer-assisted analysis of language in very large bodies of text. Commonly used in Linguistics, only beginning to be used by historians. Helpful for identifying patterns in language use.
  7. 7. PhD Research Aims: 1. To build a temporal overview of attitudes to immigration in the British Library’s newspaper collection. 2. To provide a case study for what corpus linguistics can offer to historical research, indicating areas of cohesion + conflict. Research mainly uses CQPweb – a web based concordancer.
  8. 8. • 1865 onwards • London-based • Frequent changes in staff and politics • Literary tone • Smaller affluent audience • 1850 onwards • London-based but popular in the North + industrial Wales and Scotland • Large working class readership
  9. 9. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 1870s 1880s 1890s Freq.permillionwords PMGZ RNP Mentions of alien(s) per decade in the Reynolds’s Newspaper and Pall Mall Gazette, normalized as a frequency per million words.
  10. 10. ‘Collocation’ = The statistically significant co- occurrence of two words.
  11. 11. No. Word Expected Frequency Observed Frequency Log Ratio 1 Immigration 0.09 88 10.02 2 Naturalization 0.026 14 9.139 3 naturalized 0.037 13 8.479 4 pauper 0.167 43 8.032 5 immigrants 0.063 16 8.02 6 alien 0.125 28 7.829 7 INFLUX 0.069 10 7.198 8 destitute 0.343 47 7.111 9 expulsion 0.125 14 6.814 10 importation 0.15 10 6.062 Top 10 collocates of ‘alien(s)’ in the Pall Mall Gazette
  12. 12. intends to direct attention to the question of the immigration of destitute aliens , and to ask the Government whether they are prevented by any Hull is the great port for foreign immigration , but the aliens arriving there, who come mainly from the Scandinavian countries , are have recently made themselves prominent in upholding the immigration and alien contract labour d2ws Now York would have carried their point and excluded 2 ) Secondly , I am for restricting the immigration of indigent aliens . All other remedies are useless so long as the influx of the effect of the new American legislation against the immigration of destitute aliens will be to convert the United Kingdom into the dumping ground of to call attention to the very large and continued immigration of destitute aliens into this country , and to move that the naturalization fee of the frrma- tion of an association for preventing the immigration of destitute aliens , Mr. Arnold White was one of the speakers , and made That , in view of the large and continued immigration of destitute aliens , her AMajestys Governinert should take into their immediate consideration whether , Club , Northumberland-avenue . J. E. MILLES . THE IMMIGRATION OF DESTITUTE ALIENS . To the EDITOR of the PALL MALL GAZETTE . SIR , not propose to take steps themselves to prevent the immigration of destitute aliens Mr. Jennings intends at once to introduce a bill and to ask secretary of the Association for Preventing the Immigration of I destitute Aliens , sends the followvn- translation o , a paragraph which recently appeared Concordance lines that show how ‘immigration’ collocates with ‘alien(s)’ in the Pall Mall Gazette
  13. 13. 1870s
  14. 14. 1880s
  15. 15. 1880s
  16. 16. 1890s
  17. 17. 1890s 1870s
  18. 18. Table 2. Semantic groups identified within the collocates of ‘alien’ Semantic Group Example Collocations Synonyms Alien, strangers, foreigners, immigrant, immigrants, foreigner, foreign, aliens, stranger, strangers Arrival Landing, arriving, arrived, ports, coming, importation Quantity Influx, number, importation, invasion, population Poverty Pauper, paupers, destitute, chargeable Identity Jews, Jew (Anarchists, Females, Seaman – only in Glasgow Herald) Legislation Law, laws, bill, act, legislation, registration, clause, passing, repeal, government, reading An as ‘issue’ question (‘the question of aliens’), subject (‘the subject of alien immigration’), dealing (‘dealing with alien immigration’) Rights Privileges, resident, citizens, naturalization, naturalized, citizen, status, realm, born, become (‘become enfranchised’) Restriction expel, expulsion, removal
  19. 19. 1.Synonyms 2.Arrival 3.Quantity 4.Poverty 5.Identity 6.Legislation 7.As an ‘issue’ 8.Rights 9.Restriction Landing, arriving, arrived, ports, coming, importation, shores
  20. 20. 1.Synonyms 2.Arrival 3.Quantity 4.Poverty 5.Identity 6.Legislation 7.As an ‘issue’ 8.Rights 9.Restriction Jews, Jew
  21. 21. 1.Synonyms 2.Arrival 3.Quantity 4.Poverty 5.Identity 6.Legislation 7.As an ‘issue’ 8.Rights 9.Restriction Jews, Jew
  22. 22. 1.Synonyms 2.Arrival 3.Quantity 4.Poverty 5.Identity 6.Legislation 7.As an ‘issue’ 8.Rights 9.Restriction Influx, number, importation, invasion, population
  23. 23. certain other countries against the importation of pauper and destitute aliens , and while they are not prepared to recommend such legislation at the desirability of exercising some check over this wholesale importation of destitute aliens should it be persisted in , If the reply is unsatisfactory called " Cholera made easy by the importation of infected . pauper aliens , " how is it that open carts of decaying and stinking the right to work . He would stop the importation of aliens , and he would close a very large number of the public-houses on the spot the facts respecting the importation into that country of alien contract labourers , and to make other inquiries , has been published the regulation of Public Companies , for checking the importation of destitute Aliens , for amending the Law with respect to the supply of water on both sides accepted the principle of restricting the importation of undesirable aliens . A considerable portion of the work in connection with these Committees Concordance lines that show how ‘importation’ collocates with ‘alien(s)’ in the Pall Mall Gazette
  24. 24. …cattle.’ …arms.’ …slaves.’ …corn.’ …disease.’ The broader associations of ‘importation of’ in the Pall Mall Gazette and Reynolds’s Newspaper.
  25. 25. Metaphors Water – ‘influx’, ‘tide’, ‘streams’, ‘flooding’, ‘flowing’, ‘overflow’, ‘torrent’ Goods – ‘wholesale’, ‘importation’, ‘protectionist’ Livestock – ‘herds’ Medical/disease – ‘remedy’ Military – ‘invasion’, ‘hordes’ Rubbish – ‘dumping ground’
  26. 26. 1.Synonyms 2.Arrival 3.Quantity 4.Poverty 5.Identity 6.Legislation 7.As an ‘issue’ 8.Rights 9.Restriction Pauper, paupers, destitute, chargeable
  27. 27. L1 collocates of alien(s) in Historic Hansard (1890s) 62 49 42 25 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 destitute alien the alien pauper aliens the aliens Numberofmentions
  28. 28. 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 1870 1872 1874 1876 1878 1880 1882 1884 1886 1888 1890 1892 1894 1896 1898 1900 Freq.permillionwords PMGZ RDNP Frequency with which poverty terms collocate with alien(s) in the Pall Mall Gazette and Reynolds’s Newspaper.
  29. 29. Some of the charges made against the ‘pauper alien’ http://cass.lancs.ac.uk • Disease spreaders ‘Cholera made easy by the importation of infected pauper aliens’ (6 September 1892 Pall Mall Gazette) • Job competition ‘pauper aliens compete with English working men’ (16 September 1894 Reynolds’s Newspaper) • Encourage the sweating industry ‘the pauper alien is not wanted by anybody except the sweater’ (15 November 1895 Pall Mall Gazette)
  30. 30. ‘…we have amongst us a whole tribe of alien and native paupers [the royal family], upon whom the uttermost tenderness is lavished.’ (23 August 1874, The Reynolds’s Newspaper)
  31. 31. To Summarise • Although individual newspapers expressed different attitudes, the ‘alien’ was associated with similar language across the press, • ‘Aliens’ who made the news were new arrivals, despite the legal term referring to a much wider group. • ‘Aliens’ were associated with many economic issues but immediately framed using the language of poverty.
  32. 32. The Language of Migration in the Victorian Press: A Corpus Linguistic Approach Ruth Byrne Department of History, Lancaster University @Ruth_M_Byrne

Editor's Notes

  • Alien Image
  • Collocation heading – few lines – collocates of ‘alien’ in 1890s on CQPweb.
  • Both papers 1870s
  • 1880s both papers
  • 1880s migration contexts
  • 1890s words
  • Alien butcher/ fishwife image
  • Conclusion

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