Corpus Linguistics as Digital Scholarship: Big Data, Rich Data and Uncharted Data

In: From Data to Evidence in English Language Research

Abstract

This introductory chapter begins by considering how the fields of corpus linguistics, digital linguistics and digital humanities overlap, intertwine and feed off each other when it comes to making use of the increasing variety of resources available for linguistic research today. We then move on to discuss the benefits and challenges of three partly overlapping approaches to the use of digital data sources: (1) increasing data size to create “big data”, (2) supplying multi-faceted co(n)textual information and analyses to produce “rich data”, and (3) adapting existing data sets to new uses by drawing on hitherto “uncharted data”. All of them also call for new digital tools and methodologies that, in Tim Hitchcock’s words, “allow us to think small; at the same time as we are generating tools to imagine big.” We conclude the chapter by briefly describing how the contributions in this volume make use of their various data sources to answer new research questions about language use and to revisit old questions in new ways.

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