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Corpus Linguistics: Counting words, texts or features Mike Scott, University of Liverpool Corpus Linguistics Summer Institute June-July 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Corpus Linguistics: Counting words, texts or features Mike Scott, University of Liverpool Corpus Linguistics Summer Institute June-July 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Corpus Linguistics: Counting words, texts or features Mike Scott, University of Liverpool Corpus Linguistics Summer Institute June-July 2008

2 Aims to identify what is in principle countable using CL techniques to consider what it is in principle desirable to count and why

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5 No, not that kind of sentence

6 What have we got, anyway? electronic texts is anything missing?

7 What is a text, anyway?

8 What we’re looking at Words in Texts sentences paragraphs sections key words etc. Words in the Brain memory e.g. tip-of-the-tongue word associations enjoyment priming Words in the Language lexicography terminology, phraseology, etc. patterns of “standard English” Words in Culture cultural key words, indicators of class and stance, bias, etc.

9 What is countable? characters word-forms parts of speech sentences headings? paragraphs? lines? pages? other divisions (section, chapter) if marked up utterances turns grammatical sequences

10 What isn’t countable? metaphors semantic prosody patterns  because these are abstractions

11 though we have to try … by seeking various markers, frames signalling these abstractions recognising, however, that 1 form ≠ 1 function Corpus Linguistics is all about pattern-seeking!

12 Why counting, anyway? search for interpretations understanding re-defining categories via patterns WordSmith

13 What should we count? the question of focus the question of scope pointfulness: the search for patterns the POS-trap  metadata are used to forget the data (François Rastier)

14 Reference Scott, M. & C. Tribble, Textual Patterns: keyword and corpus analysis in language education, Amsterdam: Benjamins. Chapters 1 & 2.


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