Conversational mental verbs in English song lyrics: a corpus-driven analysis / Flora Goyak … [et al.]

Goyak, Flora and Muhammad, Mazura Mastura and Mohd Khaja, Farah Natchiar and Zaini, Muhamad Fadzllah and Mohammad, Ghada (2021) Conversational mental verbs in English song lyrics: a corpus-driven analysis / Flora Goyak … [et al.]. Asian Journal of University Education (AJUE), 7 (1): 18. pp. 222-239. ISSN 2600-9749


This corpus-driven study explores the linguistics phenomenon of mental verbs in English song lyrics from 1960s until 2000s. This study aims to identify the frequency distributions of lexical verbs, mental verbs, and to analyze the language uses of mental verbs in the Diachronic Corpus of English Song Lyrics (DCOESL). Quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis were applied. First, quantitative data covering frequency distributions of general verbs was produced via LancsBox. Top three mental verbs in song lyrics were selected for analysis and discussion. The frequency distributions of mental verbs and collocations were produced via LancsBox. Collocation patterns were illustrated through collocation graphs constructed via LancsBox. Frequency distributions of mental verbs were compared to reference corpus Contemporary Corpus of American English (COCA) for the purpose of generalizing the findings from this study as representative of English language. The statistical data were submitted for four statistical tests of significance namely Chi-square, Mutual Information, Log-likelihood, and t-score. Second, qualitative data was composed of corpus annotations. Corpus annotations were conducted via CLAWS for assigning part-of-speech C7 tagset to identify verbs. Semantic categories of mental verbs were identified via UCREL Semantic Analysis System (USAS). Findings uncovered significantly high frequencies of mental verbs know, want, and love in English song lyrics through 1960s until 1990s. These three mental verbs possess high inclination to occur alongside personal pronouns I and you, depict social actions, high predilection for simple present tense, and simple sentence structure. These attributes illuminate that song lyrics emulate spoken English, predominantly the informal conversation register.


Item Type: Article
Email / ID Num.
Goyak, Flora
Muhammad, Mazura Mastura
Mohd Khaja, Farah Natchiar
Zaini, Muhamad Fadzllah
Mohammad, Ghada
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > English language
P Language and Literature > PE English language
P Language and Literature > PE English language > Study and teaching
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam > Faculty of Education
Journal or Publication Title: Asian Journal of University Education (AJUE)
UiTM Journal Collections: UiTM Journal > Asian Journal of University Education (AJUE)
ISSN: 2600-9749
Volume: 7
Number: 1
Page Range: pp. 222-239
Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Corpus Driven, Computational Corpus Linguistics
Date: January 2021
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