The discourse of eco-cities as an ethical commitment: A comparative study in English specialized domains


This paper presents the methods and results of an integrated quantitative and qualitive analyses of texts related to contested environmental issues in the field of eco-city projects. The premise is that eco-cities are socially constructed entities, shaped by different voices, therefore the aim is to investigate how these voices are discursively constructed. Hence the study focuses on the exploration of specific rhetorical patterns which legitimize or delegitimize stakeholder claims about how to manage environmental issues in eco-city projects, empirically identifying grammatical and semantic clusters which uphold certain discourse processes such as evaluation, argumentation and ideological stance. The study pays particular attention to where the environment comes into contact with business and economic concerns, indicating the environmental-economic paradigm and ambivalent neoliberal frames. The methodological approach aligns itself within recent frameworks combining the in-depth contextual analysis of critical discourse analysis with corpus linguistic quantitative retrieval techniques, which can fine-tune the data and consolidate the qualitative analysis. In this way, two prominent clusters emerged throughout the corpus identified as lexical-semantic and syntactic patterns of authority and certainty.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v34p99

Keywords: critical discourse analysis; eco-cities; environmental-economic paradigm; lexical-semantic patterns; specialized corpora


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