Corpus Linguistics

Refinements and Reassessments


Throughout history, linguists and literary scholars have been impelled by curiosity about particular linguistic or literary phenomena to seek to observe them in action in original texts. The fruits of each earlier enquiry in turn nourish the desire to continue to acquire knowledge, through further observation of newer linguistic facts.
As time goes by, the corpus linguist operates increasingly in the awareness of what has gone before. Corpus Linguistics, thirty years on, is less an innocent sortie into corpus territory on the basis of a hunch than an informed, critical reassessment of existing analytical orthodoxy, in the light of new data coming on stream.
This volume comprises twenty-two articles penned by members of the ICAME (International Computer Archive of Modern and Mediaeval English) association, which together provide a critical and informed reappraisal of the facts, data, methods and tools of Corpus Linguistics which are available today. Authors reconsider the boundaries of the discipline, exploring its areas of commonality with Sociolinguistics, Language Variation, Discourse Linguistics, and Lexical Statistics and showing how that commonality is potentially of immense benefit to practitioners in the fields concerned.
The volume culminates in the report of a timely and novel expert panel discussion on the role of Corpus Linguistics in the study of English as a global language. This encompasses issues such as English as an international lingua franca, ‘norms’ for global English, and the question of ‘ownership’, or who qualifies as a native speaker.

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Antoinette Renouf and Andrew Kehoe: Introduction
1. Looking more closely at existing boundaries of the discipline
Christian Mair: Corpus linguistics meets sociolinguistics: the role of corpus evidence in the study of sociolinguistic variation and change
Joan C. Beal: Creating corpora from spoken legacy materials: variation and change meet corpus linguistics
Tuija Virtanen: Discourse linguistics meets corpus linguistics: theoretical and methodological issues in the troubled relationship
Turo Hiltunen and Jukka Tyrkkö: 'Tis well known to barbers and laundresses: Overt references to knowledge in English medical writing from the Middle Ages to the Present Day
Tanja Säily and Jukka Suomela: Comparing type counts: The case of women, men and -ity in early English letters
2. Examination of a known language feature from a new point of view
Karin Aijmer: Does English have modal particles
Julie Van Bogaert: A reassessment of the syntactic classification of pragmatic expressions: the positions of you know and I think with special attention to you know as a marker of metalinguistic awareness
Magnus Ljung: The functions of expletive interjections in spoken English
3. Examination of the potential of a new corpus, tool, model or technique to extend linguistic knowledge
Geoffrey Leech and Nicholas Smith: Change and constancy in linguistic change: How grammatical usage in written English evolved in the period 1931-1991
Alexander Onysko, Manfred Markus and Reinhard Heuberger: Joseph Wright’s ‘English Dialect Dictionary’ in electronic form: A critical discussion of selected lexicographic parameters and query options
Lilo Moessner: How representative are the ‘Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society’ of 17th-century scientific writing?
Bertus van Rooy and Lize Terblanche: A multi-dimensional analysis of a learner corpus
Andrew Kehoe and Matt Gee: Weaving web data into a diachronic corpus patchwork
4. Re-examination of known linguistic phenomenon in light of further/new data
Elisabetta Adami: “To each reader his, their or her pronoun”. Prescribed, proscribed and disregarded uses of generic pronouns in English
Anna Belladelli: The interpersonal function of going to in written American English
Marta Degani: Re-analysing the semi-modal ought to: an investigation of its use in the LOB, FLOB, Brown and Frown corpora
Javier Calle-Martín and Antonio Miranda-García: On the use of split infinitives in English
Juhani Rudanko: Exploring change in the system of English predicate complementation, with evidence from corpora of recent English
Sara Gesuato: Encoding of goal-directed motion vs resultative aspect in the COME + infinitive construction
Georgie Columbus: A corpus-based analysis of invariant tags in five varieties of English
Christoph Rühlemann: Discourse presentation in EFL textbooks: a BNC-based study
Göran Kjellmer: Awful adjectives: a type of semantic change in present-day corpora
5. Discussion Panel
Marianne Hundt: Global English – Global Corpora: Report on a panel discussion at the 28th ICAME conference