INTEREST RATES

 

a) Keyness

 

 ‘Interest rates’ was the seventy-first most significant two-word cluster in the BEC corpus.

 

N

Word

bec freq.

bec.lst %

bnc freq.

bnc.lst %

Keyness

P

71

INTEREST RATES

127

0.01

37

-

127.9

0.000000

 

b) Semantic Prosody

 

Left: Five groups identified. An interesting, though not surprising factor, is the semantic prosody concerning the upward and downward movement of interest rates. Where higher interest rates are mentioned they are often accompanied by very negative language:

 

 

Conversely, where lower interest rates are mentioned these examples are often accompanied by positive co-text:

 

 

A third semantic group contains the lexis of containment:

 

 

Thus, interest rates can be seen as an evil to be contained: feared on the rise and celebrated on the fall.

 

semantic prosody

frequency/ 127 & %

example

movement upwards/

high level

46 - 36.22%*

higher interest rates

rise in interest rates

Russia raised interest rates

movement downwards/

low level

18- 14.17%

if it reduces interest rates

it is the decline in interest rates

falling interest rates

time

10 - 7.87%

long-term interest rates

short-term interest rates

containment/control

7 - 5.51%

set interest rates

peg interest rates

decisions

7 - 5.51%

The decision to raise interest rates from 7pc to 7.25pc

 

* Included here are two instances of right of the node lexis, e.g. forced interest rates up sharply.

 

Right: No groups identified.

 

c) Three-word clusters

 

N

cluster

Freq.

1

higher interest rates

12

2

in interest rates

11

3

low interest rates

11

4

term interest rates

10

5

high interest rates

9

6

interest rates and

9

7

of interest rates

8

8

interest rates are

7

9

on interest rates

6

10

interest rates by

5

11

interest rates in

5

12

raise interest rates

5

13

interest rates have

4

14

interest rates to

4

15

interest rates up

4

16

interest rates will

4

17

rise in interest

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

d) Macro-generic distribution

 

 

e) Colligation

 

i) noun + in + interest rates: (the nouns show movement - mostly upwards)

11 instances - 8.66% of sample (upwards movement verbs 8/11)

 

 

f) Associates

 

‘Interest rates’ was key in 12 files. The only associate of frequency > =5 was ‘interest rates’ itself.

 

Comments

 

1. The semantic prosody category decisions was gained using a 10:10 span concordance search. It has typical patterns: noun-on-noun or noun-to-inf-noun: