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Hyphenated Phrasal Expressions in Fashion Journalism: A Diachronic Corpus-assisted Study of Vogue Magazine

Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli


Following Barthes’s seminal Système de la Mode, there have been relatively few studies focusing on fashion journalism from a linguistic perspective. This paper offers an in-depth analysis of hyphenated phrasal expressions (HPEs) of three or more constituents in the American edition of Vogue. The Vogue corpus covers a timeframe from 2003 to 2019 to provide diachronic insights. Corpus software was used to extract and analyse all hyphenated phrasal expressions. Results showed a general rise in usage over time, with most functioning as adjectives in line with the descriptive and evaluative purposes of fashion journalism. A wide range of structural patterns reflected richly detailed and striking mental images (i.e., *-and-*, *-meets-*), multiple roles (i.e., *-slash-*, NP-NP-NP), and novelty [(*)-of-the-moment, *-to-be]. Extensive clause-like HPEs offered a particularly interesting window on the writing talents of this discourse community. The study provides a useful benchmark for contrastive studies aiming to understand to what extent HPE usage in American Vogue may influence the writing style of journalists of other language backgrounds, with particular reference to Italian fashion journalism.


corpus methodology; fashion journalism; hyphenated phrasal expressions; semantic tagging; Vogue magazine.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/lcm-2020-002-craw

Copyright (©) 2021 Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie

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