This book is about investigating the way people use language in speech and writing. It introduces the corpus-based approach to linguistics, based on analysis of large databases of real language examples stored on computer. Each chapter focuses on a different area of linguistics, including lexicography, grammar, discourse, register variation, language acquisition, and historical linguistics. Example analyses are presented in each chapter to provide concrete descriptions of the research methods and advantages of corpus-based techniques. Ten methodology boxes provide clear and concise explanations of the issues in doing corpus-based research and reading corpus-based studies and there is a useful appendix of resources for corpus-based investigation. This lucid and comprehensive introduction to the subject will be welcomed by a broad range of readers, from undergraduate students to professional researchers.
• Introduces the corpus-based approach to linguistics, based on analysis of large databases of real language examples stored on computer • Examples of analyses investigating real research questions in every chapter to make every explanation concrete • Methodology boxes provide concise, clear explanations of issues involved in doing corpus-based research and reading corpus-based methods
Preface; 1. Introduction: goals and methods of the corpus-based approach; Part I. Investigating the Use of Language Features: 2. Lexicography; 3. Grammar; 4. Lexico-grammar; 5. The study of discourse characteristics; Part II. Investigating the Characteristics of Varieties: 6. Register variation and English for specific purposes; 7. Language acquisition and development; 8. Historical and stylistic investigations; Part III. Summing Up and Looking Ahead: 9. Conclusion; Part IV. Methodology Boxes: 10. Issues in corpus design; 11. Issues in diachronic corpus design; 12. Concordancing packages versus programming for corpus analysis; 13. Characteristics of tagged corpora; 14. The process of tagging; 15. Norming frequency counts; 16. Statistical measures of lexical associations; 17. The unit of analysis in corpus-based studies; 18. Significance tests and the reporting of statistics; 19. Factor loadings and dimension scores; Appendix: commercially available corpora and analytical tools; References; Index.