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Hans Martin Lehmann and Gerold Schneider

Abstract

In this paper we present a corpus-driven approach to the detection of syntax-lexis interactions. Our approach is based on the output of a syntactic parser. We have parsed the British National Corpus and constructed a database of lexical dependencies. Such a large-scale approach allows for a detailed investigation of patterns and constructions associated with individual lexical items found in argument positions.

We then address the methodological problems of such an approach: precision errors (unwanted instances) and recall errors (missed instances) and offer a detailed evaluation. We investigate the interaction between syntax and lexis in verb-subject and verb-object structures as well as the active-passive alternation. We show that our approach provides relatively clean data and allows for a corpus-driven investigation of rare collocations.

Series:

Georgie Columbus

Abstract

Invariant tags, such as huh and innit, are discourse markers that often occur at the end of an utterance to provide attitudinal and/or evidential information above that of the proposition. Many previous studies examined the meaning or usage of these tags in single varieties or dialects of English. Few of these studies, however, have examined variation in invariant tag use. Some studies have investigated sociolinguistic divisions within a dialect, but none have compared usage between varieties. Furthermore, differences in research methodology and aims prevent comparison of the prior results. This study investigates the meaning/functions of four invariant tags—eh, yeah, no, and na—in New Zealand, Indian, and British English. The four most frequent meanings are described in detail. The results show differences in the meanings available as well as in their usage frequencies across both items and varieties. This suggests that varietal differences at the level above propositional understanding could cause problems for intercultural and global communication. This has implications for pedagogy and materials for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and English for Specific/Business Purposes, in that global communication in English requires an awareness of these subtle differences at the varietal level.

Corpus-linguistic applications

Current studies, new directions

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Edited by Stefan Th. Gries, Stefanie Wulff and Mark Davies

This volume provides an overview of four currently booming areas in the discipline of corpus linguistics. The first section is concerned with studies of the history and development of morphological and syntactic phenomena in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. The second section contains case studies investigating the functions and contexts of use of different morphological and syntactic forms in English, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese. The third section contains studies in the field of genre and register from settings as diverse as health, call center, academic, and legal discourse. The final section features papers refining existing, and exploring new, corpus-linguistic methods: dispersions, text mining, corpus similarity, as well as the development of extraction patterns and the evaluation of tagging methods.

Corpora: Pragmatics and Discourse

Papers from the 29th International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 29). Ascona, Switzerland, 14-18 May 2008

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Edited by Andreas H. Jucker, Daniel Schreier and Marianne Hundt

This volume presents current state-of-the-art discussions in corpus-based linguistic research of the English language. The papers deal with Present-day English, worldwide varieties of English and the history of the English language. A special focus of the volume are studies in the broad field of corpus pragmatics and corpus-based discourse analysis. It includes corpus-based studies of speech acts, conversational routines, referential expressions and thought styles, as well as studies on the lexis, grammar and semantics of English. And it also includes several studies on technical aspects of corpus compilation, fieldwork and parsing.

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Edited by Wolfgang Herrlitz, Sigmund Ongstad and Piet-Hein van de Ven

Pioneering in the comparison of standard language teaching in Europe, the International Mother tongue Education Network (IMEN) in the last twenty-five years stimulated experts from more than fifteen European countries to participate in a range of research projects in this field of qualitative educational analyses. The volume “Research on mother tongue education in a comparative international perspective – Theoretical and methodological issues” documents theoretical principals and methodological developments that during the last decades shaped IMEN research and may enlarge the fundaments of comparative qualitative research in language education in a seminal way. The topics of this volume include: • IMEN’s aims, points of departure, history and methodology; • research on the professional practical knowledge of MTE-teachers; • innovation, key incident analysis and international triangulation; • positioning in theory and practice. Also included: the IMEN bibliography 1984-2004 which supplies a complete picture of IMEN research activities from the beginning.

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Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli

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Moisés Almela and Pascual Cantos

1 Introduction In corpus linguistics collocation is one of the primary sources of information for lexical semantic analysis. The search for distributional correlates of semantic properties is widely established as a fundamental methodological strategy in the discipline. At the same time, there is a

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Edited by Gisle Andersen and Kristin Bech

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.