Divided by one language

20th August 2004 at 01:00
Crude discourse analysis of two brief arguments (TESCymru, August 6) reveals that Bethan Marshall (pro-Welsh) and Conor Ryan (pro-English) are simply not talking the same language. And I'm not simply referring to the Welsh language versus the English language.

Taking just the nouns, in Bethan Marshall's writing there's a preponderance of related items such as "learning for its own sake", "children", "autonomy" and "education". By contrast, the family of lexical items characterising Conor Ryan's piece includes "money", "opportunities", "diversity", "innovation", "producer interests", "data", "information" and "new technologies". I note that Marshall's family of nouns impacts very differently from Ryan's.

Alan Gorman

88 High Street



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