The Use of Tense and Aspect in Holocaust Survivors Interviews: A Corpus-Based Approach

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Woobeen Bang

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Department of English Language and Literature, Seoul National University
SNU Working papers, Vol. 19
corpus studythe Holocaust studylanguage usetenseaspect
This article explores the use of tense and aspect of verbs in Holocaust survivors spoken interviews, provided by the Voice and Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive. The plenty of testimonies and interviews collected after the Holocaust are a yet untapped resource within linguistics. Focusing on scarcity, a corpus was specially constructed for the current study based on the
existing data. The corpus contains the interviewees episodes during the Holocaust. By using AntConc, and its tagging program, verb forms of past tense and aspects such as progressive and passive voice in the interviews are analyzed. In the obtained data, the verb uses of interviewees vary depending on their traumatic and particular episodes. The progressive and passive verb forms in past contexts appear more frequently when the survivors describe their experience during the genocide. Additionally, the lexica reflect the victims negative emotions for the same period during the war. With the new and particularly constructed corpus, it is fairly expected that further approaches can be made in collaboration with linguistics and the Holocaust study.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)SNU Working Papers in English Language and LinguisticsSNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics Vol.19 (2023)
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