ABSTRACT:

From the inception of the adjective “Shavian,” a sought-after term that Shaw came up with almost by chance, the meaning and use of this word has changed a great deal. Once merely denotative, it used to refer to everything Shaw related. Progressively, it came to be used to qualify those works and ideas that were typically Shaw's, that is, the idiosyncratically “Shavian” stuff. The purpose of this article is to situate the meaning of the word “Shavian” and to trace the evolution of its meaning in later years, especially as the arrival of new media made it possible for this word to colonize other domains. In order to do so, a corpus-based analysis of the most common collocates for “Shavian” has been utilized to map the recurring binomials that shape the meaning of the term. Later, this article looks into specific uses of the term that, for different reasons, have come to be used (1) in a sense that is alien to what is usually covered by Shaw studies and/or (2) in new media of the digital age. This part allows us to gain insights into the semantic transformation of “Shavian” after Shaw.

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