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Abstract

In this paper on middle formation in English and Dutch, we take the existing analyses of the English middle as starting point and show that they are insufficiently based on corpus data and therefore account for only a limited, prototypical set of middle structures. Not only do corpus data reveal that more process-participant configurations can figure in middle formation than thus far assumed; comparative data on the Dutch middle alert us to the existence in English of intransitive middles, with a circumstantial rather than patientive Subject The distinct process-participant relations which middles can display, we then argue, are part of the semantics of the construction, but it is the constructional link between b non-agentive Subject and an active VP which typifies the construction, adding a semantic component which is shared by all middle constructions and which we identify as being one of ‘letting’ rather than ‘causing’.

In: Corpus-based Approaches to Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the various constructions containing one of the three main type nouns sort, kind and type. Basing ourselves on data from the COBUILD corpus and COLT corpus, we first present a subclassification of the main type noun constructions, which owes a lot to but also expands on Denison (2002) and Aijmer (2002). In comparison with the categories proposed in the current literature, we advocate finer distinctions mainly within the NP-internal uses of type nouns, by positing fundamental structural and semantic distinctions between head uses on the one hand and modifier uses (attributive and semi-suffix) and postdeterminer uses on the other. The subjectified qualifying uses and discourse marker uses of type nouns, by contrast, have been covered rather extensively in the literature. From the existing descriptions we retain the distinction between nominal, adverbial and sentential qualifiers, discourse markers and quotative markers. We then apply this descriptive framework to two British English data sets from opposing registers: written texts from the quality newspaper The Times (COBUILD subcorpus) and spontaneously spoken conversation between teenagers (COLT). The quantification of these analyses reveals strong asymmetries in the relative frequencies of the various type noun uses in the two data sets. While type nouns are used predominantly NP-internally in The Times, adverbial qualifiers and discourse markers predominate in the COLT-data.

In: Corpus Linguistics 25 Years on
This book is a selection of studies presented at the 33rd International Conference of the International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English (ICAME), hosted by the University of Leuven (30 May - 3 June 2012). The strictly refereed and extensively revised contributions collected here represent recent advances in corpus linguistics, both in the development of specialist corpora and in ways of exploiting them for specific purposes. The first part focuses on “Corpus development and corpus interrogation” and features papers on the compilation of new, highly specialized corpora which aim to fill gaps in historical databases, and on new ways of extracting relevant patterns automatically from computerized datasets. The second part, devoted to “Specialist corpora”, presents detailed descriptive studies on grammatical patterns in World Englishes, on neology, and – using a contrastive approach – on prepositions and cohesive conjunctions. The third and final part on “Second language acquisition” groups together studies situated at the intersection of corpus linguistics and educational linguistics and dealing with markers of relevance and lesser relevance in lectures, deceptive cognates, the automatic annotation of native and non-native uses of demonstrative this and that, and measuring learners’ progress in speech and in writing. Each contribution in its own way reports on novel ways of getting mileage out of specialist corpora, and collectively the contributions attest to the rude health of computerized corpus linguistic studies.

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the various constructions containing one of the three main type nouns sort, kind and type. Basing ourselves on data from the COBUILD corpus and COLT corpus, we first present a subclassification of the main type noun constructions, which owes a lot to but also expands on Denison (2002) and Aijmer (2002). In comparison with the categories proposed in the current literature, we advocate finer distinctions mainly within the NP-internal uses of type nouns, by positing fundamental structural and semantic distinctions between head uses on the one hand and modifier uses (attributive and semi-suffix) and postdeterminer uses on the other. The subjectified qualifying uses and discourse marker uses of type nouns, by contrast, have been covered rather extensively in the literature. From the existing descriptions we retain the distinction between nominal, adverbial and sentential qualifiers, discourse markers and quotative markers. We then apply this descriptive framework to two British English data sets from opposing registers: written texts from the quality newspaper The Times (COBUILD subcorpus) and spontaneously spoken conversation between teenagers (COLT). The quantification of these analyses reveals strong asymmetries in the relative frequencies of the various type noun uses in the two data sets. While type nouns are used predominantly NP-internally in The Times, adverbial qualifiers and discourse markers predominate in the COLT-data.

In: Corpus Linguistics 25 Years on

Abstract

In this paper we discuss our approach to two areas of learning that have tended to be kept separate in the past, viz. proficiency and research-oriented descriptive heuristics. In proficiency courses the aim is for L2 students to acquire an advanced competence in English, while in research seminars students have to learn a methodology for language description. We will argue that these two aims can be integrated with each other by involving students throughout the curriculum in progressively more advanced forms of pattern discovery in English language corpora. We will illustrate this interaction between research and proficiency by means of the case study of ‘size nouns’. Brems (2003) showed through corpus-driven analysis that nouns such as bunch, load(s), pile(s), heap(s) have, besides literal uses as heads, also grammaticalized quantifier uses. This research informed the unit on size nouns in COLLEX, a corpus-based learning environment being developed by us, which aims at letting students acquire frequent and communicatively useful lexicogrammatical patterns. This case study of size nouns also illustrates the ongoing incorporation of results from research seminars in the higher years into the COLLEX proficiency resource offered to first year students.

In: Corpora in the Foreign Language Classroom
In: Recent Advances in Corpus Linguistics