English Corpus Linguistics: Variation in Time, Space and Genre

Selected papers from ICAME 32


As its title suggests, this book is a selection of papers that use English corpora to study language variation along three dimensions – time, place and genre. In broad terms, the book aims to bridge the gap between corpus linguistics and sociolinguistics and to increase our knowledge of the characteristics of English language. It includes eleven papers which address a variety of research questions but with the commonality of a corpus-based methodology. Some of the contributions deal with language variation in time, either by looking into historical corpora of English or by adopting the method known as diachronic comparable corpus linguistics, thus illustrating how corpora can be used to illuminate either historical or recent developments of English. Other studies investigate variation in space by comparing different varieties of English, including some of the “New Englishes” such as the South Asian varieties of English. Finally, some of the papers deal with variation in genre, by looking into the use of language for specific purposes through the inspection of medical articles, social reports and academic writing.

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Table of contents

Kristin Bech and Gisle Andersen: New developments in corpus linguistics and the study of language variation and change
Variation in time: Corpus studies in the history of English
Christian Mair: Writing the corpus-based history of spoken English: The elusive past of a cleft construction
Lilo Moessner: Discourse communities and their writing styles: A case study of Robert Boyle
Gjertrud F. Stenbrenden: The diphthongisation of ME ū: The spelling evidence
Variation in space: Corpus studies of contemporary features of English
Christopher Koch and Tobias Bernaisch: Verb complementation in South Asian English(es): The range and frequency of “new” ditransitives
Xinyue Yao and Peter Collins: Functional variation in the English present perfect: A cross-varietal study
Johan Elsness: Gender, culture and language: Evidence from language corpora about the development of cultural differences between English-speaking countries
Kathrin Luckmann de Lopez: Clause-final man in Tyneside English
Cristina Suárez-Gómez and Elena Seoane: They have published a new cultural policy that just come out: Competing forms in spoken and written New Englishes
Variation in genre: Corpus studies of English for Specific Purposes
Daniel Lees Fryer: Exploring the dialogism of academic discourse: Heteroglossic Engagement in medical research articles
Matteo Fuoli: Texturing a responsible corporate identity: A comparative analysis of Appraisal in BP’s and IKEA’s 2009 corporate social reports
Natassia Schutz: How specific is English for Academic Purposes? A look at verbs in business, linguistics and medical research articles