Texts iCon/i and iPro/i

Texts iCon/i and iPro/i

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Ratia, Maura
Texts Con and Pro. The Early Modern Medical Controversy over Tabacco
Modern Language Society
Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki LXXXII
Jyväskylä 2011, xiii + 273 pp.


This book examines how language is used in polemic discourse and argumentation. The material consists of medical texts arguing for and against tobacco in early modern England. The texts were compiled into an electronic corpus of tobacco texts (1577–1670) representing different genres and styles of writing. With the help of the corpus, the tobacco controversy is described and analyzed in the context of early modern medicine. The linguistic features examined include personal pronouns, intertextuality, structural components, and statistically derived keywords. A common thread in the work is persuasive language use manifested, for example, in the form of emotive adjectives and the generic use of pronouns; the latter is especially pronounced in the dichotomy between ius/i and ithem/i.


ISBN 978-951-9040-38-7
ISSN 0355-0192