Sports idioms in movies: a corpus-based study
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Idioms, including sports idioms, are commonly used in spoken language and the aim of this thesis is to explore how they have been used over time. In addition to studying the change in popularity the thesis also studies their use in different English varieties and their classification based on Makkai’s (1972) idiom classifications system. The introduction gives an overview of the thesis and is followed by the literature review which introduces Liu’s (2008) study on different scholars’ views on defining idioms and using them, Glucksberg and McGlone’s (2001) work on understanding idioms and their flexibility and two studies on the use of idioms. The empirical part of the thesis consists of a corpus-based study on sports idioms and their use in movies. By using The Movie Corpus (Davies 2019) the change in their frequency in movies from the 1930 to the 2010s was studied. In addition, it was analysed which English varieties they were more characteristic of and which classification categories they belong according to Makkai’s (1972) system. It is also shown how the idioms support the metaphorical concept of ‘life is sport’ and they are all categorized as negative of positive based on their meanings.
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