Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory and Practice by Tony McEnery

By Tony McEnery

Corpus linguistics is the examine of language facts on a wide scale - the computer-aided research of very wide collections of transcribed utterances or written texts. This textbook outlines the fundamental tools of corpus linguistics, explains how the self-discipline of corpus linguistics built and surveys the main methods to using corpus information. It makes use of a vast diversity of examples to teach how corpus facts has resulted in methodological and theoretical innovation in linguistics in most cases. transparent and specific factors lay out the most important problems with technique and thought in modern corpus linguistics. A based and coherent narrative hyperlinks the old improvement of the sphere to present subject matters in 'mainstream' linguistics. functional projects and questions for dialogue on the finish of every bankruptcy motivate scholars to check their knowing of what they've got learn and an in depth thesaurus offers quick access to definitions of technical phrases utilized in the textual content.

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These governments typically publish material in the official language, often on the web. They also, at times, fund corpus-building projects. Unofficial languages suffer from a lack of official recognition, and hence state funding. Furthermore, if the language is associated with an oppressed group, the language itself may be suppressed. The issue with endangered languages is obvious – very few speakers producing little material relative to the larger languages. It may also be the case that endangered languages are also suppressed, making their situation yet worse.

Being able to search for, and extract frequencies of, different wordforms or phrases gets us a long way. But it does not give us all the tools we need for every sort of research question. We can search for walking, having walked or to walk, but we cannot search for ‘every non-finite verb’. Searching for each non-finite form of every verb in English would take a very long time indeed. Quantifying the relative frequency of, say, nouns and adverbs in English would take even longer – to the extent that an investigation of these features based on corpus data is effectively impractical if we use searches based on wordform alone.

Opposition to annotation is typically associated with neo-Firthian corpus linguistics and the corpus-driven approach, as will be discussed in Chapter 6. However, in brief, arguments against annotation are largely predicated upon the purity of the corpus texts themselves, with the analyses being viewed as a form of impurity. This is because they impose an analysis on the users of the data, but also because the annotations themselves may be inaccurate or inconsistent (Sinclair 1992). Such claims are interesting because, as has been noted, corpus annotation is the manifestation within the sphere of corpus linguistics of processes of analysis that are common in most areas of linguistics.

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