Lexical Innovation in Ecotourism Discourse: The Case of Eco(-)lodge

  •  Lorenzo Buonvivere    


As repositories of the cultures whose language they describe, lexicographical resources partake in the (re)production of dominant ideologies. This is especially relevant with regard to the current ecological crisis. With this in mind, the present article contributes to research within the field of ecolexicography. Combining critical lexicography with ecolinguistics, it acknowledges the role of lexicographical resources in shaping the users’ awareness of environmental protection. In particular, this study investigates lexical innovation within ecotourism discourse in order to understand whether “ecotourism talk” can respond to its sustainable objectives. The research focusses on one specific instance, the noun eco(-)lodge, which is examined by searching both native speakers’ and learners’ dictionaries and specialised and general English corpora. Results highlight a partial clash between the two types of sources. While examples of usage mostly connote ecolodges as a type of luxury and exclusive accommodation placed in natural—i.e., non-urban—contexts, dictionaries define them solely with reference to their supposed minimal environmental impact. Outcomes suggest a semantic bleaching of the combining form eco- in ecotourism discourse, which is exploited in lexical creations to advertise a form of niche tourism that does not always align with ecological concerns.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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